[pdf] ExtrasAuthor Scott Westerfeld – Albawater.co

Like the other books in the Uglies trilogy, Extras is fun and a very fast read I read this book in about 2 and 1 2 hours, pretty much non stop However, Extras raised the same prickly issues for me that the other books in the series did My years as a student steeped in cultural studies and gender theory make it pretty much impossible for me to read works of popular fiction without subjecting them to critical analysis, and Westerfeld s books certainly lend themselves to this sort of critique Especially if you are like me Like most dystopian science fiction, Westerfeld s books cast a critical eye on disturbing aspects of our present day society obsession with looks, fame, etc by taking those aspects to extremes and weaving them into the very fabric of the future society In Uglies Pretties, everyone is cured of ugliness through a mandatory operation that takes place when individuals turn 16 In Extras, people earn money, respect, and privilege through the reputation based economy, which rewards those who can make a name for themselves by publicizing and popularizing their thoughts, exploits, etc through the feeds read Internet If you think this is an interesting idea, you might want to check out Cory Doctorow s book Down Out in the Magic Kingdom which explores the same conceit but with skill and humor In all of these books, the main female character desperately wants to be pretty, special, popular, famous or whatever, but ends up questioning the values of her society when she meets outsiders who don t subscribe to those norms The problem I have with Westerfeld s books is that these critiques, which are intriguing and thought provoking, don t actually go far enough Although the main character openly questions and in some cases initially resists the societal mandate to become pretty, special, famous, etc, she ALWAYS eventually ends up becoming pretty or famous even if it is against her will Unlike all the other unenlightened pretty or famous folks who have never questioned their society s structure, however, she is well aware of the pitfalls She is now in fact doubly privileged as a pretty special famous person she has all the privileges that go along with being high status in her society, AND she also has a sophisticated understanding of the dark side of her society that others can t see, through ignorance or fear or whatever other blinders they have on So although Westerfeld is clearly trying to show the reader how screwed up the dystopian society s norms and by implication our own are, in the end, he simply reinforces them In Westerfeld s world, you can be hip to the ways in which our society s obsession with looks and celebrity oppress others and rail against the system, but you can still benefit from them at the same time There s no sacrifice to make And I guess that s why, as much as I enjoy Westerfeld s books, I can t help thinking that ultimately they re as shallow as the cultural norms they purport to critique. Honestly, this book was kind of a disappointment I liked how it was all accumulated around the Japanese society, but other than that, I was expecting much of this book In my opinion, Aya is a very whiny, self absorbed suck up I don t like the way Scott Westerfeld portrays Tally in this either because he renders her as a know it all b word, to say the least Which, I don t think Tally has ever been Her character is not put to justice in this book. I really struggled to finish this book, and I thought it was significantly worse than the others in the series A lot of the dialogue was agonizingly stilted The characters actually said things like Not good and uh, oh to react to approaching falling objects and other imminent bumps on the head AAAAAARGH Those lines drive me crazy enough in movies I was horrified to find them in a book At one point, characters from two different countries meet and have some communication difficulties After a few pages, the author seems to forget about the language barrier and the characters converse naturally, as if they re all speaking the same language Then, toward the end, things get awkward again SLOPPY Sloppy writing, I say.Thoughout the series, the characters were pretty one sided Tally the protagonist from the first three books entered this book about half way through, and I was surprised to find her totally changed whereas in the first three books she was a victim, thrown about by circumstances and surgeries, in this book she was suddenly a confident, rough and tumble leader I just didn t buy it I don t think Westerfeld wrote very well from a teenage girl s point of view Neither Aya nor Tally were very strong characters, and the ew, bugs and mud part of this book really annoyed me I was also confused by the fact that this story took place in a different country from the first three I wish that had been well established early on so that I didn t have to wonder what the location was for such a long time Wow, this review has gotten WAY longer than necessary To sum up There were some really good, interesting, creative ideas in the Uglies series, but they weren t good books. Ugh Finally done.This is how this book made me feel because it was such a disappointment and maybe a bit of this because it was so boring and also becausewell, it fucking sucked I ve noticed that I ve been rating these Uglies books in a pattern Uglies 5 StarsPretties 4 StarsSpecials 3 StarsExtras 2 StarsToo bad they don t have a fifth one If that had sucked as bad as this one, I would have loved to give that a one star, then the pattern would be complete. You know this book started out okay but it quickly went down hill I was actually annoyed to see Tally in this one and her attitude I mean this book was not about her so I don t understand why she HAD to be in it I didn t like how she was portrayed at all I also quickly got annoyed at Aya The Uglies series was my first exposure to Westerfeld and though I really liked Uglies and liked Pretties and pretty much liked Specials I gotta say i m noticing a pattern with his characters They all want something superficial and they strive like with Tally and are willing to sell out people to get it Grant it most of the times not with Extras though the characters realize that they were wrong in wanting the superficial But it s annoying And this book especially showed it s age group that was targeted It was really not a good book and I would not recommend it at all. Extras is the fourth book in Scott Westerfeld s critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling series originally it was a trilogy The first three books Uglies, Pretties, and Specials follow Tally Youngblood, a fifteen year old girl living in a futuristic world so dominated by plastic surgery that anyone who looks normal is ugly Extras is set three years after the events of the trilogy unfold, in a different city, with different main characters The trilogy, however, sets the framework for everything that happens in Extras so while the book is great on its own it definitely assumes you know the story of the trilogy.In this new world, where everything is changing, being pretty isn t enough to get by Now it s fame that matters The famous you are, the higher your face rank is A higher rank means currency in a world where celebrity is everything.Everyone is trying to get attention somehow tech heads are obsessed with gadgets, surge monkeys are hooked on the newest trends in plastic surgery, and kickers use feeds think blogs but techier and cooler because it s a Westerfeld idea to spread the word on all the gossip and trends worth mentioning But staying famous is a lot easier than getting famous Just ask Aya Fuse Fifteen year old Aya has had her own feed for a year, but her rank is still 451,369 so low that she s a definite nobody, someone her city calls an extra.Aya has a plan to up her rank though All she needs is a really big story to kick Aya finds the perfect story when she meets the Sly Girls, a clique pulling crazy tricks in utter obscurity As Aya follows her story she realizes it s much bigger than one clique maybe the biggest story since Tally Youngblood changed everything.Some sequels that bring in all new characters are annoying Not this one All of the new characters are original and, equally important, likable The story is also utterly original covering very different territory than the rest of the series It doesn t pick up right where the trilogy left off, but a lot of questions are answered by the end of this book.Like the other books in the series, this one moves fast The story has a lot of action and several twists and surprises some old characters even turn up The plot is never overly confusing though Westerfeld does a great job of creating and explaining the futuristic world he has created in these pages so that it truly comes to life on the page.At the same time, Extras is a very timely book In a world where everyone seems to have some kind of website and is trying to be popular or famous, it s fascinating to read about a city where everything literally depends on your reputation Westerfeld raises a lot of interesting questions as Aya deals with the ethics of kicking her new story and tries to decide if honesty really is important than fame.You can find this review and on my blog Miss Print Finishing a series always makes me feel like I m losing a friend I ve spent a good week or so reading these four books, absorbed in the pages and the characters and their lives, and now I just feel lonely Extras is set a few years after the huge finale of Specials, or the mind rain as they now call it It s also a bunch of new characters although Tally, Shay, David and Fausto make a reappearance which I m extremely happy about , a new city, and a spanking new economy known as the reputation economy Japan is all about face rank now, a little like a city sized YouTube, with everyone sporting a hovercam and a feed to broadcast whatever they think will boost their rank The higher your rank, the you re able to live in luxury Fifteen year old Aya is ranked around 400,000, making her a total extra, however she uncovers a secret clique, the Sly Girls, which she is certain will bump her to the top Of course, nothing is ever as simple as thatNeedless to say, although I enjoyed it immensely, Extras isn t as wonderful as its predecessors Perhaps because we ve grown so accustomed to Tally and her friends, that a new narrator instantly puts me a little on edge Aya irritates me than Tally ever did because all she ever cares about is being famous I adore Frizz Aya s love interest though Some of the funniest, literally laugh out loud moments contained him and Tally when they find out about his brain surge, Radical Honesty, which compells him to tell the truth He almost surpassed my love for Zane, and is probably the reason this book received four stars Speaking of Zane, though I WISH they d have said his name They always trailed off it was so depressing I think that was Westerfeld s aim though, so kudos But still sigh, Zane 3 A great ending, but like I first said now I just feel empty D A few years after rebel Tally Youngblood takes down the Specials regime, a cultural renaissance sweeps the world Tech heads flaunt their latest gadgets, kickers spread gossip and trends, and surge monkeys are hooked on extreme plastic surgery Popularity rules, and everyone craves fame.Fifteen year old Aya Fuse is no exception But Aya s face rank is so low, she s a total nobody An extra Her only chance at stardom is to kick a wild and unexpected story.Then she stumbles upon a big secret Aya knows she is on the cusp of celebrity But the information she is about to disclose will change both her fate and that of the brave new world I can t believe that I am finished with this series What to start on next, hmmm This was my least favorite of the series I really liked it for the first half I liked Aya Fuse cool name and her brother, Hiro, and his friend, Ren I liked the whole premise of popularity and fame being a commodity for living.I can t believe that I am saying this, but I didn t really like Tally in this book Once, she came on the scene, I thought the writing became very sloppy The whole second half of the story was flat for me.Westerfeld could have left in me in Aya Fuse s city and in her apartment in Shuffle Mansion with Moggle and I would have been much satisfied.I wish that the authors of popular series, would take a little thought about their story lines before they quickly release their sequels None of the books that came after Uglies was as well thought out and captivating.Have the audio version, too. When is it ever a good idea to add a fourth installment to a trilogy