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Specials (Uglies Trilogy) by Scott…
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Specials (Uglies Trilogy) (edition 2007)

by Scott Westerfeld, Rodrigo Corral (Designer)

Series: Uglies (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,876188712 (3.79)184
Member:krao
Title:Specials (Uglies Trilogy)
Authors:Scott Westerfeld
Other authors:Rodrigo Corral (Designer)
Info:Simon Pulse (2007), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Young Adult Fiction, Fiction
Rating:**
Tags:None

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Specials by Scott Westerfeld

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Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
ok. so on top of all the other stuff i have been reading lately, i became thoroughly engrossed in a series which has not let me down in the slightest. this is a bit long winded, but keep in mind it is in reference to reading three books.. and i am trying REALLY hard not to give away spoilers..

it is hard to write about this book because in the context of the review, the keywords and mannerisms of the characters society seems like nothing but grammar and spelling errors. bear with it though, in the books, you are so washed over with the word use and logic that it actually makes sense in the proper frame.

the Uglies trilogy (now a quadrilogy?) was very engrossing. Book one, Uglies, describes a world where there is no war. there is no famine, hatred, or turmoil. 200-300 years in the past over population, strip mining, clear cutting, genetic engineering of plants and animals laid waste on everything in the world. humans have rebuilt from the ashes after we destroyed ourselves. our generation is referred to as “the rusties” since everything left from our world is covered in rust and falling apart.

Tally Youngblood is 15 years old, and only months away from becoming one of the “pretties”. in this world, to remove all of the dangerous human habits of destruction, you are born and raised by your parents, once you hit a certain age (8 or 9 from what i could tell) you are shipped off to school as an ugly. at the age of 16 you are taken from school where you will be put under the knife and remade as a better person. your bones are ground down and or elongated, you have new muscle tissue added to your body, and you have full facial re-constructive surgery. all “pretties” have a choice on how they look, with in the guidelines of the governments rules of morphology. they effectively remove all extremes in height, hair color, skin color, etc. everyone is similar and there is no need for hatred.

Tally, in waiting for her 16th birthday meets a new friend, Shay, who has no desire to become one of the pretties. a week before their shared birthday/graduation from being uglies, Shay decides to run off to a rumored group of rebels who have shafted the system and stayed ugly, and foregone all efforts to work within the system. Tally however has no desire to join her friend and sticks around for her surge (surgery). her only desire is become pretty and join her friends in New Pretty town, where she can dance and play and enjoy the life she has been programmed to want since birth.

Unfortunately, Tally is roped into a game of social change. she is scooped up by the fearsome and dangerous police force that acts as bogeymen for the government. Special Circumstances (the Specials) only comes forward when needed, generally letting the local police force take care of everything. This being a “Special circumstance” Tally is forced to follow her friend to the encampment of rebels (the Smoke) and betray her friend, and everyone who has escaped so far. if she does not, she will be denies surge and will forever be Ugly. and in this society, this is the worst thing that could ever happen to you.

Book one was so good, that i had an itch to move on to book two immediately. i hate doing that. i love to stretch a series out if possible, and draw out the enjoyment from the story line. so when book one was finished, though i really wanted to move on to the second book, i ramped myself down and read the Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja book. Book two immediately followed and when finished i lost all self control and my fingers and eyes forced me to read book three next.. it took about two days with my schedule.. two lousy days.. why couldn’t it last longer… i wasted a great book by reading it too soon..

well, not a waste. damn. it was so good, i had no choice really.. it was in my best interest to read the book. or so i keep telling myself. there is a fourth book. it was written after the trilogy was announced, so it is a bit of an anomaly, thus the trilogy quadrilogy notation above. unfortunately, the book Extras is still in hardback edition, so until it hits paperback, i will have to force myself to wait.. this sucks..

these books, written by Scott Westerfeld, fall into the teen-fiction category. they are written for teens, but the story line and books themselves do not lend themselves only to teens. being thirty years old, i literally could not stop reading these books. if you need a good break from your normal reading schedule, i would throw these in the mix and read them. they all rank around 300 pages of single space small print, so they are not some little read you would use to sturdy the kitchen table. instead, they are full of vibrant ideas, technology, tattoos that i wish were a reality. there were no obvious plot twists that made me think “why am i reading this” or “how predictable” instead, i was often surprised and left feeling “bubbly” as they state in the book.

imagine a world full of barbie dolls being slowly destroyed by barbie’s cyber-punk kid sister that has been kept in the closet for years.

i was sad to come to the end of this series, but glad to know that i will have at least one more book to close it all up in the near future.

anyone who is interested should note that all three of the first books can be bought in a boxed set for under 20 bucks.. this is how i got sucked into them.. a really good price for a nice story line idea turned into one of the best purchases i have made on books in a while. now, i just have to hope that hollywood has not gotten their hands on the thought of movies. these would be thoroughly ruined and not done justice.. read them before someone fucks them up for you… thats all i have to say on the matter.
( )
  JasonBrownPDX | Jun 12, 2017 |
So I am not too sure why I am even giving this a 3 stars. It is probably like a 2.5 to me but interesting enough that I wanted to finish the book. I thought this was the last book in the trilogy but recently found out there was one more sooo Maybe I will get the conclusion that I need.. ( )
  Angel.Carter | Aug 11, 2016 |
A good finish to a great series. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jul 4, 2016 |
I liked this book much better than Pretties, although it was quite disturbing that some of the characters felt the need to cut themselves in order to think clearly. Overall, it was a very entertaining read. ( )
  BuffyBarber | Jun 5, 2016 |
Looking around I think I may be in the minority in thinking that this may be the best of the trilogy. I really enjoyed Uglies and, overall, it's probably a more consistent book, but the ending for Specials is very different from what I thought would come from the series. It's hard to describe (without spoiling anything) other than to say that it isn't exactly happy, but it was immensely satisfying.

A big improvement for me over Pretties, which felt too much like a rehash of Uglies. ( )
  thomnottom | Apr 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
Specials is part parable of life as an adolescent struggling to define your identity in a conformist world; part dark and unflinching look at the very real mental disorders that this impossible circumstance visits upon many young people.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (May 8, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Westerfeldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Montbertrand, CarineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Part I: Being Special

By plucking her petals you do

not gather the beauty of the flower.

- Rabindranath Tagore, "Stray Birds"
Dedication
To all the fans who've written me about this series. Thanks for telling me what was right, what was wrong, and which bits made you throw the book across the room. (You know who you are.)
First words
The six hoverboards slipped among the trees with the lightning grace of playing cards thrown flat and spinning.
Quotations
Part II: Tracking Zane

When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty,

There arises the recognition of ugliness.

When they all know the good as good,

There arises the recognition of evil.

- Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching
Part III: Unmaking War

One faces the future with one's past.

- Pearl S. Buck
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689865406, Hardcover)

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. When she is turned into a super-modelesque super-fighting machine, Tally, a former ugly, is ordered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid in a carefully engineered world of perfection where she refuses to play by the rules.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious Ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor, frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary Pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary and now she's been turned into one of them. A superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the Uglies down and the Pretties stupid. The strength, the speed, the clarity and focus of her thinking feels better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more. Still, it's easy to tune that out until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice to listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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