Extras (Uglies #4) by Scott Westerfeld 417 pages Published October 2nd 2007 Buy at Amazon
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. But Aya doesn’t care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.
Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity… and extreme danger. A world she’s not prepared for.
As if Tally’s story wasn’t enough, we’re introduced to Aya, a young Japanese girl, who lives in, well, Japan. Aya is looking for a good story to ‘kick’ in order to get her face rank up and stumbles upon something bigger than she could ever imagine.
I’ll say it right now: I wasn’t impressed. Aya in particular was unrelatable and whiny. Frizz, a manga-head pretty, was even worse with his “radical honesty” surge. The two of them combined made one head-aching story. I honestly didn’t buy their relationship, at all. The story started off pretty good…until it just started to drift away in pieces. This is one of those books where a certain event is built up and you think something major is about to happen only to be let down with the sunshine and rainbows. It really killed me that the plot was so long and drawn out and in the end nothing happened.
Our Special, Tally (plus Shay and Fausto), makes a surprise appearance, and I really, really hate to say it, but everything after she appears is just bogus. I love Tally to death, but she made the book go downhill. Imagine the language barrier. Aya can barely speak English. Her brother can say a few words and his best friend is no better. But, for some odd reason, toward to the end of the book everyone is having a conversation…in English. Their chatting happily with Tally and I’m left wondering what happened.
I’m sorry, it just didn’t work for me.
I can’t say Extras was absolutely terrible, the Sly Girls were pretty awesome and Moggie is pretty cool, but everything else? Not so much. It was just alright and it felt it was like an ‘extra’ in the series. I recommend borrowing or checking Extras out at the library before committing to a buy.