Extras by Scott Westerfeld
Posted by Caitie F on February 3, 2011
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Hardback: 417 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Year Published: 2007
Summary (from goodreads):
The world has become a different place since Tally Youngblood upset the Uglies, Pretties, Specials applecart. What it’s like? Well, visualize an all-day, everyday version of American Idol, where everybody’s a contestant and there are cameras everywhere. In this constant competition, teenager Aya Fuse ranks as a nobody; 451,369 to be exact. Of course, such obscurity has its small rewards, all of which have now become endangered by her friendship with the Sly Girls.
This review will contain spoilers, not really to this book, but to the previous few, so if you haven’t read those, you have been warned!
So Tally and her friends went through all that, but is the world even any better? There is a metal shortage, everyone is now obsessed with fame, and there may be strange alien creatures trying to destroy the world. It isn’t exactly a good place and I can see why Tally and David threatened that they would be watching because this is just what is happening in one city.
There is a new, great character with some of Tally’s flaws and some of her strengths named Aye. Aye is 15 and is just an extra – a no one in this culture of celebrity. She is on her way by kick stories, she is an investigative journalist just like her brother. She finds out about a group of girls who are riding a train at 300 mph. She thinks this kick will be what makes it big, but she discovers more than fast trains and fun.
Aye is smart, brave, and really thinks about what is going on in her world. She is great at seeing the problems and being the report together in a way that others much older than her have been able to do. Even if she is mainly doing it for the fame and only goes along with the rest (at first) just so she doesn’t die.
What this book showed me even more though is that Tally is really really flawed. She needed that operation to reverse the Special abilities and thoughts. Even though it has been three years, she still has relapses, and it seems like she has a lot of them. I thought it was a mistake before, but seeing her actions shows that it really was.
I thought this was a solid final (and extra) book in the series. The new society was believable and easy to see how it happened after the brain washing was over. It covered major themes that are relevant to our society: honesty and the rise of celebrities and fame. I loved the inclusion of the Radical Honesty clique where they cannot lie. It causes some problems and you see the necessity of white lies.
Like the rest of the series this book has hints of so many other issues and I love how Westerfeld can address issues teens are facing without being preachy.
I really loved this series and look forward to reading the rest of his writing!