Friday, January 23, 2009

Extras By Scott Westerfeld

Extras By Scott Westerfeld
Published: October 2007
Pages: 432
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse

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.

Being the oblivious person I am, I had NO idea this book wasn't from Tally's perspective until i started reading it. (Yeah, I was so dumb I didn't even read the inside cover.) So naturally when I started it I was pretty confused. Actually I was also a bit angry. I was convinced that the Uglies series was ruined because the book was written from the WRONG person.

Eventually I calmed down enough and decided that since I had the book in front of me that I had to finish it. Wow, am I glad I did. I love the perspective the book came from, and how a futuristic book showed the future of its original series. (If that makes sense.)

Aya is a powerful character in an interesting way. I was drawn to her because Westerfeld is amazing at making characters interesting and addictive. I love the way Aya is a pretty shy and normal girl (looking for popularity, self conscious, and jealous of her sibling) but yet, she is built into a character that is brave, strong and everything the opposite of how she feels inside. I felt like I could relate to everything she was going through (except diving hundreds of feet under the city in the pitch black on a hoverboard.)

I also love how the book is set in Japan. I have never been there, but this book views them in the only way I have ever seen them. They are constantly looking for crazy new ideas, popularity, and have crazy ideas. I absolutely love it!

When Tally came into the book, I was actually shocked. Her mindset seemed so much different than the other books. Before she seemed like your normal teen, trying to rebel against authority while finding herself. But in this book she seemed powerhungry and controlling. It bothered me at first, but then I thought more about it and came to the conclusion that is probably the only way she has been able to think since she has assumed the position of protector of the world. She probably doesn't have the time to second guess herself.

There are a few things that bother me though. I want to know if Tally and David will ever get together. I also wish there was more written about the sly girls, and how Jai, Kai, Lai, whatever her name is, changed her mind and what events happened to them while Aya was away.
Overall I loved the book, possibly the most out of the entire series, and wish that Westerfeld would write more from Aya's point of view.

I LOVED it! 5/5!

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