Tonight's entry is a no brainer. I was wondering what I would do for an entry tonight when I realized that I was about to finish Extras by Scott Westerfeld. This is the fourth, and currently last, book of the Uglies series. I have enjoyed these books so much that I am actively seeking out the other things Scott has written, including his newest steam punk novel, Leviathan.
The first 3 books of this series followed Tally Youngblood as she discovers that her society, based on Uglies (unaltered children under 16) and Pretties (people over 16 who have had surgery to make them 'pretty'), has a major flaw or two in it. We followed Tally from a young 'tricky' Ugly, through her discovery of what a Pretty really is after surgery, and finally as a Special as she discovers the scary flaws behind her world and watch as she tries, in her own way, to make it better, and in the process changes her world completely.
The Fourth book, Extras, opens with a new set of characters, in a world that has been altered almost overnight. Each citystate is trying to find it's own way of dealing with the changes, and we enter the world of Aya. In her society, it's all about being famous, and Aya thinks that, if she can only raise herself up into the top face rank and quit being an Extra, she will finally be happy. The first half of the book is all about Aya chasing a story and finding more than she bargained for. Just as Aya becomes the famous story Kicker that she has always dreamed of, it all starts to go terribly wrong.
The second part of the book finds Aya discovering that the world is not always as it seems, and maybe, just maybe, there is more to the world than having a high face rank. With the appearance of one of the most famous 'Faces' in Aya's world, Tally Youngblood, Aya finds herself caught up in what she thinks is an effort to save the world, but turns out to not be quite what she thought it was.
I enjoyed all four books in this series and would recommend them to anyone, young or old. I'm also hoping that this won't be Scott's last foray into this fascinating world. If I had a teenager on my holiday list, this set of books would definitely make a great present.