Monday, April 15, 2013

Specials-Scott Westerfeld

This was supposed to be the third and final book to the Uglies Trilogy. But then he wrote another one: Extras (which I haven't read yet). And I'm kinda glad he wrote another one, because I'm the kind of person who likes my series no matter how small or large to be pretty well wrapped up with very few lingering questions. Like Harry Potter. Now THAT'S how you end a series and keep satisfied readers. Of course you always want MORE, but it was a great ending. This one's ending was a bit too open. So we'll see how things wrap up in Extra's.

So Tally once again finds herself at the cutting knife of the society she has repeatedly tried to leave. This time, though, she has been surgically created to be a Special. High performance body enhancements such as ceramic bones and ultra fast healing abilities and a definite feeling of superiority because of her superior body. Shay is the leader of a group called the Cutters. Shay figured out how to be bubbly at the end of Pretties and it was by cutting-and she created a huge following. Special Circumstance snatched them up and made them into Special Specials. They have very few rules to follow, but Shay is definitely the boss. And their job is to find the New Smoke. There is a cure for being pretty and it's being distributed all over the city. So it's off to find the New Smoke and preferably take them down once and for all.

The biggest glitch is that Zane still wants to live in the New Smoke forever. And the other problem is that when he and Tally split the cure (two pills that were meant to be taken together) Zane took the part that ate the lesions and Tally ate the one that stopped the nanos from eating more. So Zane has some physical handicaps left over from that. The cure is no longer dangerous, as it was determined by Tally's ability to overcome without, instead of eliminating the lesions, they stimulate the brain around the lesions to create new pathways in spite of the lesions. But Tally doesn't know this, so she is still upset about what the cure has done to Zane. And a whole new adventure ensues.

One thing I like about this one is David. Originally from the Smoke-born and raised in the Smoke, actually, is always "10,000 years ahead of evolution" as Tally thinks. He doesn't need everyone to be physically perfect to think they are beautiful. He can see through the physical mask-ANY physical mask they put on Tally down to her true self. The society has brain washed everyone to believe that the operation is a way of bringing EVERYONE up to speed with evolution since we are all basely programmed to like only a certain type. And we see how hard it is for Tally to think any differently. This reminds me of mainstream advertising today. Girls everywhere think there is only one mold to beauty because they have it repeatedly shoved in their face. And boys are not immune. They see supermodels in suggestive clothing and poses and are told "this is beauty" and then associate those images. Now, this doesn't happen to EVERYONE, of course, but it's a pretty loud threat coming out to everyone and if we're not careful to help dispel these images and beliefs, then we're feeding into what Tally's society felt they had to do-so that no one would be killed because of skin color, no one would have eating disorders trying to become a certain size, etc. We have to beat what our base society says is beautiful and teach all those around us what beauty really is. It's not a skin type, a certain height, weight, hair or eye coloring. Beauty is being confident as who you are and who you are trying to become inside. Beauty is looking past the outer shell and seeing ones true self and then helping reflect it back so they can see it too.

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