Scott Westerfield

Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Division, 2006, 2011

The third book in the ‘trilogy plus one’ is the culmination of Tally Youngblood’s exploits and transformations. In this book she is transformed yet again, this time from a Pretty into a Special and her new goal is to bring down the Smoke in whatever way possible. This transformation is at the behest of her former best friend Shay who has formed her own separate Specials group called Cutters. (Specials outside the norm and who cut themselves with knives or burn themselves to feel extra “icy.”)

Main characters –
• Tally, a sixteen year old Special with a guilt complex
• Shay, another sixteen year old Special and creator of the off – shoot group Cutters and who has an axe to grind
• David, a Smokie whom Tally fell in love with in the first book
• Zane, a Pretty and a Crim whom Tally fell in love with in the second book and who suffers from severe brain damage after taking one half of the ‘cure’ for bubbleheadedness.

So I had a really hard time finishing this book. It really didn’t call out to me the way the first two did. I think it had to do with Tally being a Special and so radically different than she was in the other two books. Of course that is the point, but for me, she wasn’t a sympathetic character – or at least enough to make me want to sit and read the book through at one sitting. Too often in these series it seems the author loses steam or the direction or the heart of the story, character or both. And that’s the way it seems to me. The ending sort of fizzled. In the end, Tally ‘thinks herself’ out of being a Special (the way she did being a Pretty) and everything works out. She takes a final stand against Society but it was like the last gasp of a deflating balloon.

The continued use of nicknames drove me crazy in this book as much as it did in the last book “Shay-la”, “Tally-wa”, “Zane-la” – I mean what is the point in that? Also the terms “bubbly” and “icy” used to describe different states of lucidity got on my nerves. I mean, enough is enough; I realize those words are a part of the “Uglies” lexicon, but it really was annoying after reading it over and over and over again.

Rating: 2 Paws for Specials, 2 paws for the whole series because the enchantment of Tally was not sustained throughout all three books. These books are destined for the donation pile.


laura pawlaura paw

laura close up 2 Reviewer: Laura

Tally as Ugly, Pretty, and Special

fan art by Unknown from Scott Westerfield Forum

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