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Specials

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"Special Circumstances": 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 th "Special Circumstances": 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, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel 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: 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.


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"Special Circumstances": 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 th "Special Circumstances": 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, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel 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: 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.

30 review for Specials

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trin

    This disappointed me so much. I really loved Uglies and there was a lot to admire about Pretties, but I found this to be a highly unsatisfactory conclusion. I’m still trying to figure out why it so completely failed to work for me. I think mostly it’s a case of character development: Tally goes through a lot of mental and emotional changes in these books, which makes sense, because her brain is being fucked with. In the first two books, Westerfeld took the time to explore these transitions, an This disappointed me so much. I really loved Uglies and there was a lot to admire about Pretties, but I found this to be a highly unsatisfactory conclusion. I’m still trying to figure out why it so completely failed to work for me. I think mostly it’s a case of character development: Tally goes through a lot of mental and emotional changes in these books, which makes sense, because her brain is being fucked with. In the first two books, Westerfeld took the time to explore these transitions, and Tally’s growth was really interesting. However, by the time we get to book three and Tally’s brain has been reset AGAIN, it’s becoming frustrating and it doesn’t help that in this final book Westerfeld doesn’t take the time to explore what’s really going on with her. Add to that Shay’s many reversals—I kept expecting it to be revealed that she’s totally PSYCHOTIC, but apparently not—Zane’s quick dismissal, and the almost complete absence of David (after he was also barely in the last book) and you can’t help being disappointed with the conclusion to these characters’ stories, because they barely seem like the characters you started out with and that Westerfeld made you care about. Also, the dissolution of Dr. Cable’s system seemed waaaaay too easy, so I didn’t find this satisfying on a plot level, either. Sigh. Well, I guess I’ll just have to remind myself that 1) I really liked the first book and 2) the next two were nowhere near as bad as, say, the Matrix sequels.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Tally, do you ever suffer from sudden flashes of anger or euphoria, countersocial impulses, or feelings of superiority? Tally Youngblood lives in a society where they're given the "mandatory opportunity" to become pretty once they reach a certain age. Through their surgery they become absolutely drop-dead gorgeous (aka Pretty) but (and this is a big BUT), the doctors will implant a few lesions (i.e. "bubbles") in select regions of their brains. These lesions take away stronger emotions and critic Tally, do you ever suffer from sudden flashes of anger or euphoria, countersocial impulses, or feelings of superiority? Tally Youngblood lives in a society where they're given the "mandatory opportunity" to become pretty once they reach a certain age. Through their surgery they become absolutely drop-dead gorgeous (aka Pretty) but (and this is a big BUT), the doctors will implant a few lesions (i.e. "bubbles") in select regions of their brains. These lesions take away stronger emotions and critical thinking skills - thus the cities have a way to control the population. Tally was once a Pretty but through circumstance and skill, she managed to out think the lesions. She escapes to the ruins (where free-thinking humans have carved out an existence). Only, she was caught and made into a "Special" - complete with scary-beautiful facial features, incredible strength and hyped up emotions. Now that she's a Special, she's part of the city's police force and her latest task? Hunt down all of her old friends and return them to the city. I don't want to hurt you but I will if I have too And while she is strong, confident and ready to hurt those in her way, she begins to wonder, what if being Special is just another kind of Pretty? And if so, is there any way she could possibly escape the government's grasp? Even better than I remembered. I adored this one. The Uglies series was one of my first YA's back in the day and I'm really pleased that (upon re-reading it) that this series holds. There are a few areas that had me rolling my eyes but for the most part, I loved it. I do really like the growth in Tally and her friendship with Shay could have used a bit more screen time. I really commend Westerfield for taking this world and approaching it from three very distinct methods (i.e. as an Ugly, Pretty and Special). Each book had its own take on the city - with different fears, triumph and slang. They felt very different despite all having a (somewhat) similar plot. This was a truly excellent YA series. Keep challenging the gods. Audiobook Comments Narrated by Emily Tremaine - and she made this audio shine. A truly excellent listen! Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth A.

    So I didn't like Tally as much in this book. Her personality has been altered by the "special" surgery, so she looks down on anyone who isn't "special" themselves. Part of the plot line is that she is supposed to overcome this, but I didn't feel she completely did. Other things that marred my enjoyment of this story... I hated the cutting aspect. Several times they talk about cutting, and how "Icy" it makes them feel. Eventually Tally quit, but only because it was repugnant to Zane, then because s So I didn't like Tally as much in this book. Her personality has been altered by the "special" surgery, so she looks down on anyone who isn't "special" themselves. Part of the plot line is that she is supposed to overcome this, but I didn't feel she completely did. Other things that marred my enjoyment of this story... I hated the cutting aspect. Several times they talk about cutting, and how "Icy" it makes them feel. Eventually Tally quit, but only because it was repugnant to Zane, then because she told him she wouldn't. Am I wrong to feel a responsible writer of books for teenage girls would include a discussion of how harmful cutting can be? This book is also accepting of behaviors I don't think are acceptable like underage drinking, and in the previous books, starving oneself and cohabitation at the age of sixteen. The people in these books seem to lack any sort of moral compass. The only issue where a strong "right or wrong" is expressed is the evil of war and damaging the environment. (view spoiler)[I also hated that she didn't get her brain repaired at the end. It was like choosing to live with mental illness when there is a medication/cure available. (hide spoiler)] So while the story was interesting, these issues distracted me enough that I just couldn't enjoy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can’t seem to write about this without giving away some plot elements from the first two books. So, warning: spoilers may arise. Well, Specials — the final volume in the Uglies trilogy — finally came up on my hold-list at the library! After finishing the novel I was in the middle of, I picked up Specials to wrap up all the loose ends I’d been wondering about since Pretties had ended. How would Tally fight her way out of being “special?” What new insights into our my own existence would I find? I can’t seem to write about this without giving away some plot elements from the first two books. So, warning: spoilers may arise. Well, Specials — the final volume in the Uglies trilogy — finally came up on my hold-list at the library! After finishing the novel I was in the middle of, I picked up Specials to wrap up all the loose ends I’d been wondering about since Pretties had ended. How would Tally fight her way out of being “special?” What new insights into our my own existence would I find? And, most importantly (I am such a girl), who would she end up with: David or Zane?? :lol: I started reading with zeal, but my pace soon turned to a plodding. Tally, the heroine from the first two novels, truly was the bad guy in this book, and it was suddenly really hard to identify with her. Nathan started reading Specials over my shoulder sometime around page 50. Turns out that the big action-sequence at the Armory (action — in movies or in books — can be hard for me to follow … I just don’t care about all the dumb details, I guess) was way more interesting to him than to me. I was content to let him finish the entire book last weekend while I wondered if I should just return it to the library when I was done, unread. Kind of says something about the book if I’m 800 pages invested in a series and I can't decide whether I care to finish. But I did finish, and I found the whole book to be a rather dissatisfying ending to the series. Like I mentioned, at the beginning, it was surprisingly difficult to care about with the main character — the problem, I guess, with the mind-altering surgeries performed between each of these novels is that the first chunk of each book is, like, from a totally new character’s point of view. It did pick up after awhile, but I still didn’t care for the ending — none of the questions I’d had from Pretties had been resolved, and the book seemed to end with a whimper, not a bang. Too many questions remained in my mind. (Of course, maybe I’m supposed to read the follow-up to the trilogy, Extras. But that’s not lookin’ too likely right now.) Not a bad book, but not at all the strong kind of ending I had anticipated after the first two in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    One thing I've noticed about Westerfeld's novels is how bittersweet the endings are. Although there is still a rainbow (or fireworks) to brighten the blow, there is still death, failure, destruction. Westerfeld knows life will never have a happy ending, just a bittersweet one. Specials is no exception. Although the novel starts off slow, it quickly builds up speed, carrying you along Tally's final journey. She's now a Cutter, a Special Circumstances pet project. Cutters are stronger -and more obn One thing I've noticed about Westerfeld's novels is how bittersweet the endings are. Although there is still a rainbow (or fireworks) to brighten the blow, there is still death, failure, destruction. Westerfeld knows life will never have a happy ending, just a bittersweet one. Specials is no exception. Although the novel starts off slow, it quickly builds up speed, carrying you along Tally's final journey. She's now a Cutter, a Special Circumstances pet project. Cutters are stronger -and more obnoxious- than anyone, built to bring an end to the New Smoke. Despite her new rank, though, Tally still feels amiss, and is determined to make Zane a cutter too. One of things I really enjoyed is how different Tally becomes in each book. From Ugly to Pretty to Special, her entire personality shifts and changes constantly as she undergoes not just plastic surgery, but mental surgery. It's terribly frustrating knowing she's been brainwashed, but she refuses to believe it. Perfect ending to the trilogy. Highly depressing, but enlightening also. The final chapter especially sent shivers down my spine, and made me think twice about the world we live in. And I'm still Team Zane :(

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenelle

    Oh Scott! I am so so proud of you! Only 2 'purchases' in the whole book! Such an improvement: like you can think for yourself, like youre curing yourself of bogus making writing! Bravo. Ok, as far as the series is concerned, this is where I'm abandoning ship. I held on this long in hope that somehow you would bring me around and show me how to like Tally, but it kind of went the opposite direction, you know? Anyway, I'm stopping here because youve given me no reason to continue. The fourth book, Oh Scott! I am so so proud of you! Only 2 'purchases' in the whole book! Such an improvement: like you can think for yourself, like youre curing yourself of bogus making writing! Bravo. Ok, as far as the series is concerned, this is where I'm abandoning ship. I held on this long in hope that somehow you would bring me around and show me how to like Tally, but it kind of went the opposite direction, you know? Anyway, I'm stopping here because youve given me no reason to continue. The fourth book, though an afterthought, is where you could have rectified yourself, but instead you came up with a whole new story like a lame, sure-to-fail spinoff show, with special guest appearances from the former cast who are contractually obliged to lend their star power to improve ratings. Also, I don't want this to be a repeat of Breaking Dawn or Mockingjay, where, as another reviewer pointed out, you can't 'unread' them but are left forever tainted. And those were series' I actually liked! Anyway, I'm not reading Extras. So why didn't I like yours? Well, it's pretty simple really--your characters were shallow. Not just morally shallow, which was kind of the point (though none of them ever got over that particular symptom) but they were just flat. Wait, I take that back...Shay is an exception, but I still didn't like her. Also, you left out half of the story. Too many things happened between books or 'offstage' so to speak. Major stuff too: like why she liked, no LOVED, Zane so much when there really wasnt very strong evidence. They were a couple after their first date and aside from the experience they went through together, there just isn't a lot of substance there. It seemed like a superficial relationship befitting their superficial looks. I expected that it would be awkward with David and take awhile to get them to reconnect, but I just couldn't figure out why she held the torch for Zane for so long. WAS it because he was pretty?--that was hinted at but you never told us definitively. Was it pity? That's even worse. Why did David still like her after everything? There wasn't much to go on there, either. Back in Uglies, it was a lot easier to see why they were together, but after that, it felt forced. And you know, for all your talk about gender equality, your male characters were pretty wimpy. David was doing good at first, but then, with little about him in the next books, he was weakened because he wasnt part of the action. He had been the rebel leader and then became a nobody. Same with Zane--former rebel, still has a dangerous vibe, but the emo thing was kind of pathetic. After that, he was just a constant liability. What amazingly un-masculine men, er, boys, you've concocted here. Even the villain is a woman. Considering its the females who do all the damage, maybe thats the real gender message here. Agreeing with Amy about all the cutting, thrill seeking, etc as inappropriate for a teen audience, but I think it would have been more acceptable if you just explained it better! Endorphins and all that. But very irresponsible that you didn't. And the alcohol, and anorexia, and constant surgeries were maybe even worse. No one had any respect for the human body, before or after being pretty. Even David, who should've been so repulsed that he had the same kind of reaction she had to his ugliness. So disgusted with all of them that he wouldn't want anything to do with them anymore. He should have said a lot more about the beauty of humanity, the fragility and the strength that is naturally programmed into us. YOU should have said it. Maybe you were trying to, in some satiric way, but it just ended up being demoralizing, not actually inspiring. Maybe you were just trying to tackle too much at once--someone else suggested that #4 is another idea you wanted to develop, and that may have been why the rest sucked so bad for me. I thought the pretty surgery as a cure to the breakdown of civilization was really far-fetched, and became even more so because it became such a catch-all. Rusties were too reliant on oil; Rusties destroyed nature; Rusties made war over nothing; Rusties destroyed themselves with their own technological genius---all because of looks? The line of reasoning is very thin, but you had some good points. The problem was, you lumped them all together instead of exploring a few at a time. The surgery revolution and the equality and the superhumans is a great idea, BY ITSELF. The ruins of civilization, the oil dependence, the super weed--another good idea--BY ITSELF. And the lesions and the anthropological guinea pigs, wow--could be super, but by itself. These concepts are what intrigued me in the beginning when the characters didn't, but instead of finding out how this society got from one point to another, how some people survived and prospered and others became savages, or how the cities were so absolutely isolated and disconnected but still largely the same-- it was all brushed-over and vague. Such a tremendous disappointment. Am I just too ugly and emotional? Is this written at a bubbly pretty reading level and I'm just over thinking it? Or am I simply not icy enough and i'm missing the message? Probably I'm just expecting too much from YA books. It's not like we're meant to do a critical analysis of Brave New World here, but that might actually be easier. Update 5/20/15- I finally discovered a series that makes up for everything the Uglies series lacks. It's Pure, by Julianna Baggott. I feel immense dystopian satisfaction and fulfillment now that I've read it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    What happened? It wasn't the greatest series I'd ever read but c'mon! Did they give him time? It was worse the the third movie sequel that shouldn't have had a second. Where do I begin with this train wreck? There wasn't one storyline that was wrapped up. The plot was thrown together so hastily and it left more holes (and was as deep as) an 80's John Hughes film. The ONE character I thought was interesting barely featured and fizzled out pathetically... so much potential! Also, the ending was th What happened? It wasn't the greatest series I'd ever read but c'mon! Did they give him time? It was worse the the third movie sequel that shouldn't have had a second. Where do I begin with this train wreck? There wasn't one storyline that was wrapped up. The plot was thrown together so hastily and it left more holes (and was as deep as) an 80's John Hughes film. The ONE character I thought was interesting barely featured and fizzled out pathetically... so much potential! Also, the ending was the WORST! I mean, it didn't have to be happy- dystopia and all- I would have settled for a suicide in hopeless despair or a reconditioning to the status quo, but no! I think it was supposed to leave the reader hopeful but it was just stupid and wrong on all levels and did not make sense to the purpose of the entire series! The writing became too contrived and redundant and self-defeating and preachy and contradictory and redundant (did I say that?) and amateur and BAD. So disappointing!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I have ambivalent feelings about this book. It's fatally flawed in my opinion, both in tone and content. The tone is adolescent hyper-drama.... which is okay I suppose since it's written for a teen audience. But, as an example of literature, it falls flat and since my interest in YA lit is exclusively how it might be used in the classroom or whether I can suggest the book for outside reading, I have to say, it's a problem. Soaking in a gossipy, soap opera loop of teenage angst and action adventu I have ambivalent feelings about this book. It's fatally flawed in my opinion, both in tone and content. The tone is adolescent hyper-drama.... which is okay I suppose since it's written for a teen audience. But, as an example of literature, it falls flat and since my interest in YA lit is exclusively how it might be used in the classroom or whether I can suggest the book for outside reading, I have to say, it's a problem. Soaking in a gossipy, soap opera loop of teenage angst and action adventure takes time away from the substance of the novel. I almost get the feeling that the writer was channeling its cgi potential and planning out some Dawson Creek/Buffy dialogue while writing it. None of this would keep me from wanting to use the book in a classroom, however. What is a deal breaker is in the content itself. The Special Specials (or mean girl police force of this society) are called Cutters. And they stay "icy" (translated: aware and outside of their programming) by cutting themselves with knives. This particular direction takes the book off the shelves for classroom use and I'm disappointed. Cutting as a means for becoming more "real" is such a bad choice on Westerfeld's part... Why suggest cutting as an experimental tool for enlightenment to an audience that is already so impressionable and self dramatizing? It's not essential to the story... although the entire book is suffused with cutting references, really it's just a plot conceit that could have been nearly anything else. He later illustrates a better way to become icy but it's too little too late. Then, of course, the next question is can I promote any of the books now? Can I teach one in my classroom if a later one in the series is objectionable. I don't know.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I have only commented on Goodreads on a couple of books I've read, but this one really bothered me. (I still liked it enough to not stop reading, hence the three stars.) By the time I finished all three, I felt I had been lectured to and virtually yelled at about how awful a people we currently are and how horrifying our lifestyle is. Even though I am more than twice the age of the target audience (:-), I think the target audience is well equipped to understand a more nuanced approach to the obv I have only commented on Goodreads on a couple of books I've read, but this one really bothered me. (I still liked it enough to not stop reading, hence the three stars.) By the time I finished all three, I felt I had been lectured to and virtually yelled at about how awful a people we currently are and how horrifying our lifestyle is. Even though I am more than twice the age of the target audience (:-), I think the target audience is well equipped to understand a more nuanced approach to the obvious message. I also think that even though the "cutters" eventually realized they didn't need to do that, there are many readers out there who will be intrigued enough about the concept to experiment and I find it irresponsible for a book aimed a teenagers to make this horrible (and real even in our day) practice look so enticing and power-granting. Thanks, I feel better now!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    WHAT A FANTASTIC FINALE! WOW! I read Uglies at the beginning of this year and really enjoyed it.. later on I read Pretties and was really disappointed. It took me a while to get around to Specials, but boy am I glad I did because I enjoyed it so much! It had all of the action, emotion, moral dilemma, character development, and great story-telling as the first one! I won't say too much more since I'm planning a review video, but I was so happy with this finale to the trilogy! YAY!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeanna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Finally I have finished this series (I have politely deleted the adjectives that I considered adding to describe "series"). And even though I only spent about two hours on this one, skipping entire pages and frequently entire chapters, part of me still thinks that it was an hour too long. If you are interested in this series, simply use the formula below and insert the suggested words into the blanks for each different book: 1. Tally doesn't like or feels out of place being ____. 2. Tally gets rop Finally I have finished this series (I have politely deleted the adjectives that I considered adding to describe "series"). And even though I only spent about two hours on this one, skipping entire pages and frequently entire chapters, part of me still thinks that it was an hour too long. If you are interested in this series, simply use the formula below and insert the suggested words into the blanks for each different book: 1. Tally doesn't like or feels out of place being ____. 2. Tally gets roped into being a mole to uncover _____. 3. Tally betrays _____. 4. Tally realizes she was really stupid and tries to fix it. 5. Tally gets capture (usually) and gets turned into a _____. (For Uglies, insert ugly, The Smoke, David, and pretty. For Pretties, insert pretty, The Smoke, David and Zane, and special. For Specials, insert special, The New Smoke, everyone, and environmentalist.) It's a bit of an oversimplification, but not much. Uglies was pretty interesting, but it was all downhill from there.

  12. 4 out of 5

    MissBecka

    Ugh. I hate Tally soooo much. Words ruined in this book: Icy and crumbly. Alright I just have one more book to get through. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤

    Alright, let's get this over with. ******Spoilers ahead****** Soooooooo, we catch up with Tally who we know has been carted away back to New Pretty Town after Special Circumstances raids The Smoke - again. Tally wakes up and is now...... wait for it...... wait for it...... A SPECIAL!!! I know!!! I was in utter shock too!!! sarcasm Tally is an extra speshul Special with the Special Circumstances agency. Try saying that three times fast. She has a super dooper new skeleton, super strong muscular muskles Alright, let's get this over with. ******Spoilers ahead****** Soooooooo, we catch up with Tally who we know has been carted away back to New Pretty Town after Special Circumstances raids The Smoke - again. Tally wakes up and is now...... wait for it...... wait for it...... A SPECIAL!!! I know!!! I was in utter shock too!!! sarcasm Tally is an extra speshul Special with the Special Circumstances agency. Try saying that three times fast. She has a super dooper new skeleton, super strong muscular muskles, and triangular super speshul teeth. Her mind is now again under some sort of mind control, of the Special sort. She is a mean lean fighting machine, and still a total bitch. Tally is part of a speshul Special group called The Cutters. Guess what they do? Cut themselves to sharpen their minds. Yeh, I didn't get it either. Anywhooo, poor Zane has some brain damage and wasn't able to become a Special like Tally. Tally does not approve. Tally wants what Tally wants, as usual, and she will do anything to get it. In the meantime, The Smokies have become more daring. Spreading their brain cure, infiltrating New Pretty Town, and generally irking the Specials. Zane is in contact with The Smokies and helping them. Shay and Tally decide to use him to help raid The Smoke for the gazillionth time. Tally of course justifies this betrayal at every turn. To make another long boring story short, Tally follows Zane in the wild as he makes his way to The Smoke's new location. They have one brief interaction where Tally actually feels like throwing up after kissing him. WHAT?? I'm supposed to feel something for this girl? To her, he is weak and undesirable now. What. A. BITCH. Her brainwashing does not give her an excuse for being an absolute horrendous person for 3 fucking books. Characters should grow, not be stagnant. They find the Smokies new hideout which is now in a huge city the same size as New Pretty Town. Some shit happens, Zane dies. Tally goes off the deep end. She runs off to destroy Special Circumstances on her own. At this point the last fuck I gave flew away. Want to know the bestest part? Dear Tally brings Special Circumstances to it's knees, everyone gets the cure and all seems to be going peachy for the world. This isn't enough for Tally. She figures that one day humans will fuck up again. She is going to make sure this doesn't happen. Um, ooooookay there, Super Tally. "Yeah." Tally nodded. "Its kind of this plan... to save the world." Of course, David shows up like the good little doormat puppy that he is and decides to help her. They live out in the wilds happily ever after. I am silently hoping she got eaten by a giant python. Hey, a girl can dream. 1 Ninja-Bunneh-Thanking-Fuck-It's-Over

  14. 5 out of 5

    Phoenix2

    So, Tally was ugly, became bubbly and now she's icy. We found her as special this time around, working with the Cutters, a special unit of the SC, with Shay as the leader. Okay, the plot wasn't that good. I mean, the main idea was to make Zane special, and so he had to prove that he worth being special. But for me, and I don't know if it was something that the book tried to pass through as well, it was more about Tally finding Tally again. And, to be honest, I like David more than Zane, but that So, Tally was ugly, became bubbly and now she's icy. We found her as special this time around, working with the Cutters, a special unit of the SC, with Shay as the leader. Okay, the plot wasn't that good. I mean, the main idea was to make Zane special, and so he had to prove that he worth being special. But for me, and I don't know if it was something that the book tried to pass through as well, it was more about Tally finding Tally again. And, to be honest, I like David more than Zane, but that's just me. I did like, though, the first part of the book, and Tally's jounrey through the wild. But the ending ruined the rest of the book. It was too rushed, and then the final chapter... Where did that come from? When did Tally started carring for those matters? I can't get into it, though, because there are too many spoilers. Bottom line is, that although the writing was brilliant, and Tally's character well structured and balanced, for all the changes she had to go though, the idea didn't help the book reach it's full potentials.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    this series of books caught my interest when i read a review by another goodreads member who seemed to have tastes similar to my own. so i was a little surprised when i realized it was young adult fiction but seeing as i am always looking for what may be the next great dystopian work i decided to give it a go. for the record i started out with the first in the series, uglies, but a week or so later i had torn thru the first three which seem to be the trilogy. there is another in the series but this series of books caught my interest when i read a review by another goodreads member who seemed to have tastes similar to my own. so i was a little surprised when i realized it was young adult fiction but seeing as i am always looking for what may be the next great dystopian work i decided to give it a go. for the record i started out with the first in the series, uglies, but a week or so later i had torn thru the first three which seem to be the trilogy. there is another in the series but the characters don't seem to be the same so westerfeld perhaps decided milk the world he came up with for another round, glad he did, i'll read it soon. seeing as this is saposed to be a review i must say first that these books really got my attention and held it. the story progresses in a simple linear fashion but some twist and turns to keep it interesting. the setting is well described and seems almost believable even though it's got a little sci-fi jetsons feel to it. It reminded me of cory doctrow's work, with a little of john christoper's 'the tripods' mixed in (although it was a long time ago when i read that) basic premise is a girl about to turn 16 lives in a futurisic, post apocoliptic, every one is happy but clueless, totalitarian city. she ends up mixed up with another girl her age who is able to give her a glimpse outside the matrix. this basicly leads to some unexpexted consequences. the series follows our main character thrue several very dramatic transformations that by the end left me wanting more, like a good book should. like i said these books were written for a younger audience but i think they still paint an interesting setting and are just fun to read. if your looking for a quick easy read, a book you want to share with a younger person that you will also find interesting, or just ran out of alternate future world books to read, then try it out, i think you'll like it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Olivera

    So, first of all, here is a quick review: Plot- it was rather interesting and there were some really action packed parts. On the other hand, I did not support some decisions made by Tally (even though I did understand them). It could have been much better. 3/5 Characters- Tally has a totally new personality (which is always cool reading about), Shay is super crazy once again, David is a bae (even though there were AGAIN only few scenes featuring him) 4/5 Romance- I guess the romance was there? We So, first of all, here is a quick review: Plot- it was rather interesting and there were some really action packed parts. On the other hand, I did not support some decisions made by Tally (even though I did understand them). It could have been much better. 3/5 Characters- Tally has a totally new personality (which is always cool reading about), Shay is super crazy once again, David is a bae (even though there were AGAIN only few scenes featuring him) 4/5 Romance- I guess the romance was there? Well, it certainly wasn't the main theme of the book and it didn't really go the way I thought it will. 3/5 Writing- amazing once again (even with the annoying pretty talk.) 5/5 The ending- as the final book in the series (I am not counting Extras into this), the end was more or less satisfying. 3,5/5 I do believe that I don't have to go into details here because I said almost everything. But, I would like to give my opinion about Tally's decision to (view spoiler)[ stay a special. As I earlier mentioned, I did understand why she wanted to do that. She was sick of people messing with her brain for the third time now, but I really believed that she would want to return to her old self and to her old looks. She was cured, she got control over her brain back, but I think that she didn't understand that being an ugly isn't ugly. That it's human and that there is really nothing wrong with that. But did the message of this story get through to her? I didn't get the feeling like it did and that for sure is my main issue with this book. (hide spoiler)] That's it people. Thanks for reading!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Faith (BookSelf ~ You Are What You Read)

    Me at every YA protagonist ever: "I thought if you could see the world clearly, you'd think about yourself a little less. It wouldn't just be you and your latest boyfriend; I thought you might let something else matter every once in a while." The Writing and Worldbuilding The world really expanded in this one, and even gave me a clearer geographic idea of where the previous books took place. I'm guessing Tally's city is in Oregon or Washington, and that makes me happy because yay! A local! I liked Me at every YA protagonist ever: "I thought if you could see the world clearly, you'd think about yourself a little less. It wouldn't just be you and your latest boyfriend; I thought you might let something else matter every once in a while." The Writing and Worldbuilding The world really expanded in this one, and even gave me a clearer geographic idea of where the previous books took place. I'm guessing Tally's city is in Oregon or Washington, and that makes me happy because yay! A local! I liked how the cliches of this series were actually questioned, like Tally's selfishness, and how she's constantly being caught and upgraded. "I'm not sure what I am anymore, Zane. Sometimes I think I'm nothing but what other people have done to me—a big collection of brainwashing, surgeries, and cures." Overall, I liked this book, but I wasn't really on the edge of my seat the whole time; I wasn't bored either though, as Westerfeld's writing style is very easy and quick, and the action was fast and well-paced. The Characters Tally: My sister warned me last book about Pretty Tally, but honestly Special Tally was more annoying, going on borderline-Speshul Tally. Shay: I like how Shay continued to call out Tally on all her BS. It was really needed. Zane and David: There really wasn't as much of a love triangle element in this as there was in the last book (I mean, technically there was, but it wasn't as obvious or important) and so these guys were pretty okay. Conclusion Honestly, writing this review, I feel like there's not much to say about this book. It was good, and I liked it more in some ways than the others, but I just don't have much to say for some reason. Any way, I'm glad that Westerfeld wrote Extras and is going to write three more books set in the Uglies world, starting with Imposters, because I really like the world and I'm excited to delve deeper into it, hopefully with less Speshul Tally and more new characters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Violet

    COUNT AS TWO BOOKS! Tally has been transformed into a strong, mean person like the specials she saw when she was an ugly and pretty.Everything is perfect, Shay and Tally are friends, the privileges of being a special type of special (a cutter), and she can have any crazy surgery she wants.When she helps Special Circumstances bring the Smoke down, her life as a pretty and ugly clash with her current life, making her decide if she should follow orders or fight for the places and people that bring COUNT AS TWO BOOKS! Tally has been transformed into a strong, mean person like the specials she saw when she was an ugly and pretty.Everything is perfect, Shay and Tally are friends, the privileges of being a special type of special (a cutter), and she can have any crazy surgery she wants.When she helps Special Circumstances bring the Smoke down, her life as a pretty and ugly clash with her current life, making her decide if she should follow orders or fight for the places and people that bring back all her memories. I have to admit when I was first starting to read Specials I was dreading it!It's not a significant piece of writing from this series, following the same old plot as Uglies and Pretties.The characters from the other books seem unchanged and into their old bad habits while the writing tends to get repetitive like a skipping cd.First it begins with a party at which something life changing takes place that leads to lots of drama that then has a big finally.It would be more worthwhile watching grass grow than reading this book. You may think that from my criticism of this book that I wouldn't suggest the reading of the last book (Extras), but I am.It is much more intense than some of the other books.In the book Tally becomes famous for her rebellious acts throughout the world even technological Japan (where Aya Fuse lives).When Aya finds a machine with potential to destroy an entire country ,she doesn't stay quiet about it, making the group behind it track her down.The new Japanese characters' interaction with the Americans from the previous books is hillarious.So if you felt unsatisfied with Specials you should know that reading extras is a pleasurable experience.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ★ Jess

    Note: I am considering this book the finale of a trilogy, because Extras was an un-planned addition. It is finally time for me to deal with Specials, the final book in the trilogy that began with Uglies. I have put off this review for a couple of days, because I honestly dont know how I feel about this one. I think the main problem for me, is the fact that Specials is the conclussion to a trilogy, yet it certainly did not seem that way when I was reading it. Allow me to explain: The Hunger Game Note: I am considering this book the finale of a trilogy, because Extras was an un-planned addition. It is finally time for me to deal with Specials, the final book in the trilogy that began with Uglies. I have put off this review for a couple of days, because I honestly dont know how I feel about this one. I think the main problem for me, is the fact that Specials is the conclussion to a trilogy, yet it certainly did not seem that way when I was reading it. Allow me to explain: The Hunger Games Trilogy: In both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Collins builds up the intensity, making it clear from the first moment who the good guys and bad guys are. She keeps us in suspence, and ends Catching Fire on such a note we are desperate get Mockingjay-eager to find out weather Katniss or The Capitol prevails, to find out how everything concludes. If she chooses Gale or Peeta? The point is, the first two books set up for an epic finale. Chaos Walking Trilogy: Much the same, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer build up our excitement, desperate to see which side wins. Again, we know that Monsters of Men will finish everything in a breathtaking manner. This comes to my problem with Specials. It does not seem like a grand finale to the trilogy, but more like any ordinary book. There was a beginning, a middle and an end. The major plot twist came half way through, as oppose to the previously mentioned finale's, when the beginning is book one, middle is book two and the end is book three. We know what to expect from #3, and know that so much is at stake. Maybe this is the fault of Uglies and Pretties. Whilst very, very good, those two books did not build up our excitement enough, and the vibe of an exciting,fast conclusion is missing, and is instead replaced by a normal plot. That is how I saw it anyway. I hope that makes sense. It does, at least in my mind. Anyway, it was an enjoyable book, just not what I expected. I found the major action scene in the armory a little hard to follow, and there were many paragraphs through out the book that I had to re-read, just to make sense of. However, the last half of this book was excellent. It certainly had the trilogy-epic-finale feel about it. The action was great, as was the descriptions and emotion. Especially, involving the death scene of a certain-character. In my opinion, the finale of all trilogies/series must have the death of an important character. Westerfield wrote that particular scene very well, and it felt very real-the characters reactions were amazingly believable. Also, the final showdown with Dr. Cable was great. Very visual and well written. The action in this scene was fast-yet very clear. Infact, the second half of this novel was wonderful. Brilliantly paced and highly addictive. I stayed up until 3AM to finish it. Oh, and I really, really liked Shay in this book for some reason. Its not as good as Uglies, though its better then Pretties. Final mark: 3.5 stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)

    What a negative book! I truly disliked the Special Tally, because not only was she an asshole but because I really liked her in the previous books. I know it wasn't her fault she got turned Special but still... The plot was full of intrigue and action, but the parts that disappointed me most were when Tally was a bitch to all her old friends, not to mention what she did to Zane... I found it even more annoying when she (view spoiler)[on more than one occasion, refused the cure to being Special-min What a negative book! I truly disliked the Special Tally, because not only was she an asshole but because I really liked her in the previous books. I know it wasn't her fault she got turned Special but still... The plot was full of intrigue and action, but the parts that disappointed me most were when Tally was a bitch to all her old friends, not to mention what she did to Zane... I found it even more annoying when she (view spoiler)[on more than one occasion, refused the cure to being Special-minded in other words the cure that would enable her to think like herself again. (hide spoiler)] . The ending was... I dunno, it was weird I mean Tally does change sides and all but that speech she made about the Wilds was supposed to be powerful wasn't it? Even though I didn't quite understand Tally's final speech I liked these lines, "You see freedom has a way of destroying things". That's right in many ways today. When I really think about it, her words remind me of all the imperfections of human nature starting with greed. I thought of how Diego was (in the story) expanding into the Wild. Because the people of Diego weren't controlled by lesions they became more like us "Rusties" in a way, greedy and not really thinking of the bigger picture like the animals of the Wild. So I think Tally (view spoiler)[is saying she's going to protect the wilds at any cost and make sure the people of her world don't go down the same path as us Rusties (hide spoiler)] . Which leaves me wondering, is it possible to have a society that has equality and pain free happiness AS WELL as freedom of speech? Or is altering everyone's brains the only way to have a peaceful and un-destructive lifestyle? Oh gosh, I went on a little rant there! That's just what I THINK her final speech was all about...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked the first book, and I liked the second book a little (although it seemed repetitive), but I was disappointed with this one. I have a hard time knowing how to rate it! On the one hand, the story is very creative. It was fascinating to read from a 'super human' point of view with Tally scaling walls and jumping up trees. However, she is no longer someone you can relate to - or even like! You pity her because all of her choices lead to more heartache and disaster (for her and everyon I really liked the first book, and I liked the second book a little (although it seemed repetitive), but I was disappointed with this one. I have a hard time knowing how to rate it! On the one hand, the story is very creative. It was fascinating to read from a 'super human' point of view with Tally scaling walls and jumping up trees. However, she is no longer someone you can relate to - or even like! You pity her because all of her choices lead to more heartache and disaster (for her and everyone around her). I was hoping that in the end you would see how her choices actually made the world a better place, but I was disappointed in that as well. I wish David and Zane had been more important characters. Maybe one of them could have helped her 'overcome' her brainwashing without medication or something. Ending up with David was a cop out because she no longer even likes him. I didn't actually like the end at all. Tally doesn't seem to overcome her brainwashing at all. She still sees herself as above everyone. Throughout the series, the goal of the characters is to break free from mind control. Instead Tally puts a different kind of enforced control over them. The end was too preachy. I consider myself an environmentalist, but it was too much. While reading the first book, I thought Scott Westerfeld was able to incorporate a lot of good discussion points (the environment, judging people by their looks, agency, etc). This one seems to be all about the environment. It had the potential of Tally learning to love someone even though her body was 'better', but he missed that altogether. My last complaint - why cutting? How sick is that? Kissing worked better anyway! :) I'm giving it 3 stars because, even with all my criticisms, it was hard to put down and I'm glad I read it (I cannot stand leaving any series unfinished!)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    Listened to via Audiobook, series review to come.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Specials is the conclusion of a trilogy; the Uglies series technically extends to a fourth novel, Extras, but the story follows a new girl and not Tally Youngblood, the perspective character of the first three books. However, there was no satisfying conclusion to be found in Specials, as it seemed like the same story recycled for the third time. That's not to say there weren't enjoyable parts. Westerfeld knows how to write action sequences, and despite my frustration with the story, I could occas Specials is the conclusion of a trilogy; the Uglies series technically extends to a fourth novel, Extras, but the story follows a new girl and not Tally Youngblood, the perspective character of the first three books. However, there was no satisfying conclusion to be found in Specials, as it seemed like the same story recycled for the third time. That's not to say there weren't enjoyable parts. Westerfeld knows how to write action sequences, and despite my frustration with the story, I could occasionally pause to enjoy chases or escapes, even if the Armory seemed to drag for far too long. Also, many elements that needed to be resolved were to some degree: different cities, Tally's interactions with Dr. Cable, and even the wilder people established in Pretties (although it wasn't quite resolved enough). However, much of the story fell flat. Zane's death was particularly unmoving for me, which is not the way a romantic relationship over two books should end, especially when death is involved. And as I mentioned in the beginning, the formula of Tally being forced into a change and having to overcome it really got old. I read the first two books quickly, even with my misgivings, but getting through Specials was a slog, to say the least. What I missed the most was the strong descriptions of the wild and the city as presented in Uglies and Pretties. The Rusty Ruins and New Pretty Town were amazing in my head; I'm a sucker for interesting world-building. I was so busy trying to get through Specials that I couldn't enjoy any of the description, so I can't really say whether or not it was the failing of the author or just that I didn't read carefully enough. The fake slang was also really starting to wear on me, since it seemed forced. My initial reaction to Uglies was to not read the rest of the series, since I didn't get enough out of it to justify reading more of the same. I should have listened to that reaction, but now that I'm this far, I'm going to try to get through Extras.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I've been in geek denial lately when it comes to my reading habits but I'll go ahead and say it...I like YA sci-fi! Ok?! Not high-fantasy space and other worlds stuff, but near-future dystopian sci-fi. "The Adoration of Jenna Fox", "Unwind", "The Hunger Games"...all stuff that I've read lately and enjoyed. So naturally I figured it was time to finally read the popular Uglies trilogy. A lot of the teen readers in my library are into it, so I gave it a try. Ok, so this is totally nerdy, but I'd co I've been in geek denial lately when it comes to my reading habits but I'll go ahead and say it...I like YA sci-fi! Ok?! Not high-fantasy space and other worlds stuff, but near-future dystopian sci-fi. "The Adoration of Jenna Fox", "Unwind", "The Hunger Games"...all stuff that I've read lately and enjoyed. So naturally I figured it was time to finally read the popular Uglies trilogy. A lot of the teen readers in my library are into it, so I gave it a try. Ok, so this is totally nerdy, but I'd compare my feelings while reading this to my feelings when I watched the Matrix trilogy years ago. The first one was corny yet offered a fascinating-enough underlying concept, and it compelled me enough to seek out the next one. The second one started to show the tell-tale signs of trainwreck, but the action rose just enough for me to wonder how it would all end. And then the third one just crashed and burned. Ugh. After getting through the first two books, I was invested enough to slog through the "Specials" audiobook while driving to work, but I found myself royally disappointed. Tally proved herself to be unlikeable to me through and through, and I didn't find anything redeeming or gratifying about her in the end. If anything, she proves how a person can lose themselves completely and become a maleable ball of clay, physically and emotionally manipulated by others, but was that really what we were supposed to get out of this? Wasn't she supposed to be some kinda heroine or something? Bleh. I know this trilogy took on a lot...Not only was it a futuristic world where all of the parameters had to be defined throughout the story, but then Westerfeld goes and changes it all up. But I felt like there were so many other potentially-interesting avenues that were left unexplored in the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ariana Mcmillan

    Personally I think “Specials” was a great book, the only thing I did not enjoy was the ending. The book’s ending made me a bit angry, I understand Westerfeld’s style, his endings tend to leave you with a few questions which urge you to read more, but this book being the last of the trilogy I was very disappointed. I’m not the type of reader that loves cliffhangers and I would have prefered a much more explained ending. I hope in his next book “Extras” he tells a bit about Tally and David’s futur Personally I think “Specials” was a great book, the only thing I did not enjoy was the ending. The book’s ending made me a bit angry, I understand Westerfeld’s style, his endings tend to leave you with a few questions which urge you to read more, but this book being the last of the trilogy I was very disappointed. I’m not the type of reader that loves cliffhangers and I would have prefered a much more explained ending. I hope in his next book “Extras” he tells a bit about Tally and David’s future even though the next book is about a new generation in the new cities that Tally and the new smoke had created. Besides the ending this book was a great read, the imagery and just the allover style of Scott Westerfeld is captivating. So far I am not at all disappointed by any of the books in this trilogy(besides the third book’s ending). His realistic details just jump out of the text and I feel as if I am being transported into the new world of Tally and being a Special - a super-human fighting machine built to keep the pretties stupid and the uglies out of the way. Although it was sort of difficult to fully understand how Tally and her new group of Specials, known as the “Cutters”, see the world, Westerfeld did an amazing job explaining it with the best amount of detail that he could. I would definitely recommend this book and also the trilogy “Uglies” to anyone who enjoys a more futuristic sci-fi type of book. This trilogy I feel is more directed towards a teen audience, it deals with more of a rebellious adolescents that I think teens would relate much more with.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sami

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ****MANY SPOILERS!***** This is one of my favorites out of the whole trilogy! I found it really hard to make it through without getting teary-eyed when Zane died ecspecially since I could almost feel Tally's pain the way Westerfeld wrote about it and since Zane had had the surgery so Tally wouldn't be disgusted with her anymore. I found it interesting when Maddy found a cure for being special but Tally once again fought her way out of it. It was a big shocker to me when the person saving Tally fr ****MANY SPOILERS!***** This is one of my favorites out of the whole trilogy! I found it really hard to make it through without getting teary-eyed when Zane died ecspecially since I could almost feel Tally's pain the way Westerfeld wrote about it and since Zane had had the surgery so Tally wouldn't be disgusted with her anymore. I found it interesting when Maddy found a cure for being special but Tally once again fought her way out of it. It was a big shocker to me when the person saving Tally from being de-specialized was Doctor Cable but once it was explained, I understood. She didn't want her best work to go away forever or in other words, her special specials.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nigham

    The second and third books are far much better than the first one with more Twists, Turns and Tricks!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I honestly have no idea how I feel about this series yet. Maybe it's because of the society that they all live in .. or maybe I'm just weird. Who knows. Specials is the third book of the Uglies series. Tally is a bit better in this book than she was in the previous one. Mostly because I think she's finally starting to come into her own person. She doesn't necessarily take people's shit anymore and she's starting to stand up for herself more. However, I just can fully get behind her still. I feel I honestly have no idea how I feel about this series yet. Maybe it's because of the society that they all live in .. or maybe I'm just weird. Who knows. Specials is the third book of the Uglies series. Tally is a bit better in this book than she was in the previous one. Mostly because I think she's finally starting to come into her own person. She doesn't necessarily take people's shit anymore and she's starting to stand up for herself more. However, I just can fully get behind her still. I feel like she's missing something or maybe I am (ALSO WHO KNEW I WAS SO PICKY WITH CHARACTERS LATELY) but yeah, I'm hoping I will find it at some point in this series. Other than that, I know I had problems with characters in the other book.. but for some reason characters in this series reach a point where they just don't belong anymore. I don't know what it is.. but Shay and David were just so pointless to me this time around. I found myself just getting frustrated with everything and anything when it came to them. Maybe I needed wine but I can't change the past. I totally get that people like the romance of these books but it just makes me cringe at times. It's so freaking weird and now I'm just like, "Nope, go away please!" I'm honestly quite worried about the next book because I don't want to end up hating anything or anyone anymore.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Briana

    Original/full review here: http://thebookpixie.blogspot.com/2009... Review Scott Westerfeld concludes his remarkable trilogy with his final installment, Specials. (Yes, I said TRILOGY. In my opinion, Extras was merely an after thought.) With Tally now a Special, she has even more power to change the course of events in her life and in the world. And she does. Specials was even better than its two predecessors, Uglies and Pretties, though they too, were great. Westerfeld continues to do an excellent Original/full review here: http://thebookpixie.blogspot.com/2009... Review Scott Westerfeld concludes his remarkable trilogy with his final installment, Specials. (Yes, I said TRILOGY. In my opinion, Extras was merely an after thought.) With Tally now a Special, she has even more power to change the course of events in her life and in the world. And she does. Specials was even better than its two predecessors, Uglies and Pretties, though they too, were great. Westerfeld continues to do an excellent job developing his characters. Specials was action-packed and a thrilling book to read. You really start to understand why Special Circumstances do what they do. They really did start out with good intentions, but ended up getting carried away. Specials even made me cry, and if you have read it before, then I'm sure you know which part. Throughout the series, you grow to love and sympathize with Tally, as it is hard not to when presented with such a realistic and genuine character. Towards the end, there was a certain something that I wish hadn't happened, but I later realized was somewhat necessary. We can't all have a fairy tale ending. The last chapter tied everything together nicely and was the perfect ending to a phenomenal trilogy. Anyone who takes the time to read between the lines of these books will realize that Westerfeld has delivered a very important and meaningful message to, we, the readers, and not just another entertaining story. I can't be sure if that was his intention or not, though I like to believe it was. I already understood the message, which is why I loved the ending so much, but I believe it is something you should be left to discover and understand on your own. Once you figure it out, it'll make you love his books even more. Or atleast it did with me. So, you'll just have to take my word and go read these books. Believe me, if you haven't read them yet, you are truly missing out on something great.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Series review (of the first three books anyway): This series wasn't my favorite. The books were fun in places and the concept was certainly good and brought up interesting topics and issues, but I really didn't care for the main character, which kind of ruined it for me. The ending was also quite unexciting. The writing style was very unsubtle and not the best, IMO (although it did improve slightly over the course of the three books). They might be fun books to just breeze through and enjoy witho Series review (of the first three books anyway): This series wasn't my favorite. The books were fun in places and the concept was certainly good and brought up interesting topics and issues, but I really didn't care for the main character, which kind of ruined it for me. The ending was also quite unexciting. The writing style was very unsubtle and not the best, IMO (although it did improve slightly over the course of the three books). They might be fun books to just breeze through and enjoy without thinking about too much, but I read them as buddy reads, which made me more critical. Also, be warned- in the second and third books some of the characters practice self-harm, and I definitely thought it was not dealt with well. The first book was a 2.5 stars rounded up for me, the second like a 2.75 stars because I liked the love interest introduced in that one, and the third got bumped down to 2 stars because of the way the cutting was handled and the disappointing ending.

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