The Uglies Series - Bonus Other Books

By Scott Westerfield
Published March 2012
Published by Del Rey Books
Source: Borrowed
Uglies told Tally Youngblood’s version of life in Uglyville and the budding rebellion against the Specials. Now comes an exciting graphic novel revealing new adventures in the Uglies world—as seen through the eyes of Shay, Tally’s rebellious best friend who’s not afraid to break the rules, no matter the cost.

A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Shay eagerly awaits her turn to become a Pretty—a rite-of-passage operation called “the Surge” that transforms ordinary Uglies into paragons of beauty. Yet after befriending the Crims, a group of fellow teens who refuse to take anything in society at face value, Shay starts to question the whole concept. And as the Crims explore beyond the monitored borders of Uglyville into the forbidden, ungoverned wild, Shay must choose between the perks of being Pretty and the rewards of being real.

Presumably, you read books, and because you read books, you understand what an awesome amazing wonderful resource the Library is. Man, I love libraries. Mostly because I'm a broke college student. Though I do like libraries less when the library editions of books smell weird. Not like Someone Has Defiled This Book Weird, but like idk, the glue they use in the binding or something? New library books give me a headache is basically what I'm saying here.

Now, since I've spent a bit of time talking about the library, you can guess how I feel about the three books contained in this review.

That's right, boy am I glad I didn't have to pay for them.

So first of all, the art. Now, there was this period in high school that I refuse to be ashamed up when I read a lot of manga. A lot. The mark of a good manga artist is that they can make their characters look different enough in black and white that you don't say, get confused about who's talking. I had to stare at pages way too long to figure out who anyone but the MC was. And there was functionally no difference between the "uglies" and the "pretties" stylistically. Everyone in this book is friggen pretty. Even David's scar seemed to last only for one panel before it disappeared again. What happened to it? Did it go on little scar adventures without us?

There wasn't much substance to this book, and nobody should be surprised. Scott Westerfield put a lot of effort into Tally's story and when he apparently decided to tell Shay's it really seemed like he didn't care. There were two good things about this book. One, it was over quickly. Two, at least now I know what a hoverboard friggen looks like. I was having a heck of a time imagining what was going on there in the books.

By Scott Westerfield
Published December 2012
Published by Del Rey Books
Source: Borrowed
The second novel in the Uglies Manga series, featuring Shay's point of view and set in the world of Uglies.

Experience the riveting, dystopian Uglies series seen as never before—through the eyes of Shay, Tally Youngblood’s closest and bravest friend, who refuses to take anything about society at face value.

“From the moment we are born, we are considered threats in need of ‘special’ management. We are watched and shaped and exploited by a force most of us never see. . . . All to keep us safe. . . . Do you feel safe?! Or do you feel like you’re in a cage?”—Shay

In Pretties, Tally Youngblood and her daring best friend, Shay, both underwent the operation that turned them from ordinary Uglies into stunning beauties. Now this thrilling new graphic novel reveals Shay’s perspective on living in New Pretty Town . . . and the way she sees it, there’s more to this so-called paradise than meets the eye.

With the endless parties and custom-made clothes, life as a Pretty should be perfect. Yet Shay doesn’t feel quite right. She has little to no memory of her past; it’s as if something in her brain has inexplicably changed. When she reunites with Tally and the Crims—her rebellious group of friends from Uglyville—she begins to recall their last departure to the wild, and the headstrong leader she used to be. And as she remembers the truth about what doomed their escape, Shay decides to fight back—against the status quo, against the mysterious Special Circumstances, even against her own best friend.

The complaints about the art still stand, as do the complaints about the pacing, but the author does seem to care a bit more about what's going on in this book than he did the first one. Not a lot, a little. It's like Shay didn't have a story worth telling until Tally came along and that story is basically reduced to "girl stole my man" by the manga when the book made it seem way more complex than that. Ugh. Can we not with this? Please. I'm so sick of that plot device.

Beyond that, Scott Westerfield's apparent fetishization of Japanese culture continues in this edition of Why Did I Waste My Time? In the second and third books of the actual series, it was a bit more subtle. By the third book in the series it exploded all over the place and now here we are with a couple books that uh...really aren't that good. There's no real storytelling here. Everything is predicated on having read the series before you touch Shay's stuff. Why would you advertise something as someone else's story when it barely adds much of anything? Oh right, money. Speaking of blatant money grabs...

By Scott Westerfield
Published October 2008
Published by Simon Pulse
Source: Borrowed
THE WORLD OF UGLIES, SET IN OUR NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE,is a complex place filled with bubbly technology and lingo, yet bogus rules about status and appearance. That's why a guide to the world of uglies has been requisitioned from the hole in the wall. Inside you'll find:

A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys

The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space

How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits...

PLUS an exclusive look at Scott Westerfeld's first draft of Extras -- starring Hiro, not Aya.

And so much more, it's mind-wrecking.

You guys. This book is the most useless piece of supplementary material I have ever read and I have read a lot of useless supplementary material. All the cool trivia promised in this book? A complete history? All that. See the above blurb? Almost every single piece of information there can be learned by this novel concept called Reading The Books.

I wouldn't be surprised if half this stuff was lifted directly out of the books themselves. The one thing I learned that wasn't in the books from this Eurocentric piece of trash please give the author more money because he would obviously like to make this into a movie or TV show or something with as much merchandising attached to it as possible? The approximate global population after everything went up in smoke. And even then I had to triple check the math on that to make sure that there were enough human beings left to ensure the survival of the species here since I had a number now but that number was apparently spread out all over the place and 200m people over the entire globe many of which would've had to be in pretty remote areas to survive all that jazz means there's a lot of inbreeding going on at the very least. I don't buy this world, guys. I don't. I wish I could, but I can no longer willingly suspend my disbelief here. Beyond that, why is the cover model hiding in the most useless pine tree garland thing ever? That's not hair. That's pretending you're a cat hunting the glittery balls and the people while looking mildly constipated. What was the reasoning behind the art direction here? The cover brings up more questions than the book answers. How is this possible?

This book is not okay. None of these three books are okay. The only okay thing was that my library had them and I didn't spend a dime on it save for whatever percentage of my tax dollars go to support my library...which I'm totally for, because again: libraries are awesome.

I've had this author's other series Leviathan recced to me for a long time, but based on what's going on here and my already megh mergle blergh feeling about Steampunk, I'm absolutely not going to waste my time on that. Also the books probably have that weird heavy duty library glue and we've already discussed how it makes me feel weird in my sinus places. Seriously, does anyone else find themselves sensitive to that? Do you guys even smell the smell? There's a smell. I swear. It makes me kinda dizzy. I don't like it. Someone please tell me I'm not alone here.

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