Specials – the last in the trilogy of the Uglies series – a chronicle of Tally Youngblood’s adventures. I’m glad I read it – it did finish the story of Tally and her adventures as an Ugly to a Pretty then as a Special, a member of an elite group who deal with Special Circumstances in New Pretty Town. However, I was a little disappointed at the many many reminders of incidents that happened in the first two books. I’ve always believed that a reader should be able to pick up a book, in the middle of a trilogy and be able to follow it without needing to go back and read the previous books AND that a reader of the series did not have to relive incidents that they’ve already experienced (read). I have to admit that I found the repetition tedious at times.
I did however enjoy the series and especially enjoyed the underlying theme of the series, becoming an individual, thinking for yourself, developing your own unique look and personality. I think there is a lot teens could take away from this series. The second underlying theme, the environment is something that I thought was done very thoughtfully and ended the series very nicely.
In Specials, Tally and Shay are upgraded to the Special Circumstances group and are tasked with hunting down the New Smoke and destroying it. Along the way, Tally reunites with her boyfriend, Zane, but with her new features, finds that she struggles with her feelings and the Special features she now possesses. Can Tally overcome her upgrades and find her true self again or will she succumb to the Special Circumstances and their demands?
I guess I would recommend is as a continuation of the series – it was tough for me not to read it – as I thought I would be missing something. I would also recommend not reading it in a public area if you tend to be very emotional… Let’s just say in my case, I was glad the airport terminal was very quiet at the time I read it and that I had long sleeves and kleenex near by….
There are 2 more books written by Scott Westerfeld that extend this series: the “Extras” and “Bogus to Bubbly”. I may look at these at a later date.
Ages: 13 and up
Westerfeld, Scott (2007). Specials. Toronto, ON: Simon Pulse.
Author’s website: http://www.scottwesterfeld.com/author/books.htm