Review: Extras by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Extras
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Rating: ★★
 (3/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 432 Pages
Published May 2013

Book #4 in the Uglies Series

I'm a little bit disappointed in this book, because I found the rest of the Uglies series to be so gripping and thrilling--and this book seemed to throw it off for me. It honestly wasn't my favorite. I think that it should have just stayed a trilogy.

For everyone who doesn't know, here's what the book's about:

"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."

The book overall wasn't that bad--Westerfeld is a great writer, but there were a couple of things about this book that threw me off:

1. They don't mention the book's setting until you're already 3/4 of the way through reading. In complete honesty, for a majority of the book, I thought that Aya lived in Tally's city, spoke English, etc. It sounded exactly the same. It was never mentioned (or at least, I never found it--which is a problem anyway, because details should always be clear to the reader) in the book that Aya lived in Japan and spoke Japanese!!!! Only when she met Tally and started talking to her did they mention that they had to keep switching from Japanese to English. (?????????????????????)

2. Tally's character isn't portrayed well in this book. I wasn't the only reader who apparently caught on to this, because a couple of Goodreads reviews mentioned that Westerfeld portrayed Tally has hard, bitter, and very snappy. In Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, Tally was never like that. She had her moments, but in this book she was just portrayed as...mean.

3. This book should have just stayed a trilogy. I already mentioned this earlier in the review, and I still believe it. I understand that maybe after writing the trilogy, Westerfeld wanted to give readers a glimpse into the "new world" that Tally and David fixed. It should have been done in an epilogue, not a whole new novel. A quick chapter explaining all of the new changes in the world would've been ten times better than dragging it all out for everyone.

Even though I listed a few complaints about the book, Westerfeld still has an excellent writing ability and I can say that now that I'm finished with the Uglies series (*sniffle), I'm satisfied overall with all four books.
Well, that's all for today. Check back soon for more reviews!

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