Original Publication Date: 2007
Rating: 4 Stars
Seems that I don't write a lot of page-specific notes when I'm at my boyfriend's place (especially when I'm not on my Kindle). My youngest sister bought me this book because I'd read her copies of the first three novels in the series, Uglies, Pretties, and Specials but she had lost this one! I read those before I had this blog - see their review on my Goodreads Account.
I was very amused by the dedication of this novel: "To everyone who wrote to me to reveal the secret definition of the word 'trilogy'."
This takes place some years after Tally takes down society, and vows to protect the Earth.
Aya is 15 in what is today's Japan. Her parents won't allow her to start having surge until she is 16. Aya thinks they wish that it were still the Prettytime. Her rank in the city is far too low for her to afford any, anyway. Her feed is read by almost nobody, so her facerank is too low to receive merits for the writing in it. All she wants is to get famous and stop being a self-named-ugly. She found a story to kick in a secret clique that despises fame and wants to stay off of the city feeds. Her story about a secret clique turns into a story about city-killing missiles and the end of the world. Someone doesn't want her story to get out and Aya is forced to go on the run with the famous Tally Youngblood.
Basically, this is a city run by how many people follow your Twitter and Facebook feeds! Eek! I don't know about you, but that sounds terrifying. We self-rank ourselves enough because of these twisted social networks, we don't need economy based on it as well!
It seems a common review of this series that people liked it less and less as the novels went on. Somehow I found myself in the minority and enjoying these novels more and more. They were all four star books, but were I to rank them, I liked Extras more than Specials more than Pretties more than Uglies. I think that for me it was the widening world more than anything else that did it for me. While the stories were all fairly similar, it made me think of what each new division of the culture was doing in the previous book. What were the Specials up to in Pretties and Uglies? What were the Crims up to in Uglies? What have Tally and friends been doing since Specials? Yes, there's a formula, and yes, I can see how the books were predictable. But you know what? I thought they were fun to read. I found the issues they addressed to be important enough, that the predictability was forgivable. I found the writing flowed well enough that I simply didn't have time to be bored.