Book Review: Extras

By Scott Westerfeld
417 pages
Finished 10-30-08


It’s a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. “Tech-heads” flaunt their latest gadgets, “kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it’s all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.

As if being fifteen doesn’t suck enough, Aya Fuse’s rank of 451,369 is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance to escape extra-land is to find a big story to kick–something wild and unexpected.

Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. But the Sly Girls are hiding something bigger–an explosive discovery that may change the face of the brave new world forever. If Aya kicks this story, she’ll be propelled into the world of fame, celebrity…and extreme danger. A world she’s not prepared for.

After finishing the last book of this trilogy, I had decided that I wasn’t going to read Extras. But, Joseph got it from the library recently, and since it was sitting here, I figured I might as well give it a shot. I will say that it’s not the worst of the books, but I didn’t love it. It had a lot more of the brain-missing language in it that drove me nuts in the other books. There were parts of the story line that worked nicely…the idea of Aya coming upon a big story to kick to up her face rank was a good premise….but I didn’t like what that story ended up being. A little too sci-fi for me. And when Tally came onto the scene, she irritated me in a big way. I didn’t have any problem picking this book up to read in the beginning, but by the time I got to the last 50 or so pages, it was really a chore to think about finishing it. I can’t say that I don’t recommend it, because I did encourage Joseph to read it (mainly just so I could get his opinion), and although it wasn’t the worst of the series, it didn’t live up to Uglies.

2008 Page Count: 8752


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