Sunday, July 31, 2011


I sped my way through the first two books in the series, then started the third, Specials, with some expectations.  I'll preface that I loved the first two books (see my brief reviews of Uglies and Pretties), and again warn you to proceed with caution if you haven't read them.

After the first several chapters of Specials I was surprised by the direction the book was taking and throughout the book was waiting for something that never really happened. I felt cheated, and frustrated. I had come to expect a certain set of reactions and interaction with the main character, Tally, that I don't think ever materialized and left me wanting something more from the book. Furthermore, about three-quarters through the book my little bubble of hope for Tally's future was popped, causing me to stay up way too late to finishing the book (instead of just the chapter).

I decided to wait a few days to write my reactions to the book because I thought some perspective would help, and it has. I think I understand, now, why the author, Scott Westerfeld, chose to change Tally's personality and makeup, but, it doesn't mean I agree with it. I would argue that the world could have come to a very similar situation at the end of the book while maintaining some of the hope that I soaked up in the first two books. Maybe that's what makes it such an appealing ending for so many people, that bad things happen, and keep happening, and Tally survives it all, even as she is forever changed by it.

Maybe it is because I'm now a parent, or maybe it is because I'm a hopeless romantic and too optimistic for my own good, but I wanted life to turn out differently for Tally. I wanted her to find love and happiness. Instead she found purpose. Perhaps that is better, but it left me feeling conflicted about this book and unsure of whether to read the fourth novel, Extras. Of course, I'm halfway through Extras now, so look for my thoughts on that to come.

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