Book Review


Specials by Scott Westerfeld

“It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.”

Here I go again ending another trilogy. Specials is the final installment of the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. I must admit that out of the three books, Specials is my favorite.

When we ended Pretties, Tally Youngblood is getting ready to be turned into a lethal Special. After the operation Tally is now a Cutter a branch of Special Circumstance that headed by Tally’s friend Shay. They are called cutters because unlike their pretty counterparts they have cunning speed, clarity, strength and focus, but sometimes in order to become even more in focus they inflict pain on their selves by cutting.

Their mission is to find the New Smoke and destroy it once and for all, but Tally can’t help but feel that there is something more to this mission.

Tally and Shay enlist Zane and a group of other Crims to run away to the New Smoke. Although Tally hates to feel the way she does, she can’t help but see Zane as weak and inferior. Zane and the other Crims have no desire to turn the New Smokes location over to Special Circumstances, but they may not have a choice with Tally and Shay following their every move.

When Tally finally makes it to the New Smoke, it isn’t what she was expecting at all. It isn’t like the Smoke at all. It is actually another city called Diego. But this city is nothing like the city she knows. Pretties and Uglies are interacting, there are variations to the pretties beauty that she has never seen, ranges in skin tone and hair color. They aren’t forced to have the operation, they get to choose, and they also get to choose what they want to look like.

Unfortunately events that Tally and Shay executed previously, leave Diego as a suspect for attacking an armory and Dr. Cable has started a war. Now Tally must clean up the mess she started, listen to what her heart is telling her, and save the New Smoke.

If you’ve read Uglies and Pretties, you will love Specials. Although if you haven’t read the two previous novels, you won’t understand much of what is happening in Specials. Specials was an exciting and provocative ending to the Uglies trilogy. It’s action-packed, full of suspense and awesome writing! Kudos to Scott Westerfeld for such an thought-provoking series!

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Book Review

The Sweet Far Thing

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

“Extraordinary in it’s scope, with thrilling prose and heroine unrivaled in contemporary historical fiction, Libba Bray’s The Sweet Far Thing concludes the trilogy that began with the bestsellers A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels. Pulled forward by fate, the destiny Gemma faces threatens to set chaos loose, not only in the realms, but also upon the rigid Victorian society whose rules Gemma has Both defied and followed. Where does Gamma belong? And will she, can she, survive”

I’ve finally finished the eight hundred some pages of The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. And I must say that in the last two days I have felt what I believe to be every possible emotion there is. I almost find myself at a loss for words in the shock that I still feel.

We once again join in the adventures of the girls of Spence that we have grown to love.

The story once is centered on the magic of the Realms and what Gemma must to with it now that she has bound it to herself. Although I rather enjoyed the underlying storyline of Gemma and Kartik, which is just one of many that concludes this tale.

It seems that everyone and everything are against Gemma. She can’t seem to open the portal since Christmas and she no longer feels the magic within herself. She fears that the magic has not chosen her to continue in the Order. The mysterious East Wing is being rebuilt and a masked ball is to be held in its wake. And Gemma has still not seen Kartik, and his whereabouts are also a constant strain on her thoughts.

When all else fails Gemma feels she will never return to the realms until a mysterious stone is found in the midst of the East Wing construction. Which turns out to be a secret door in which she has seen in her visions complements of a Miss Wilhelmina Wyatt, former Spence Lady and author of A History of Secret Societies.

Once back in the Realms, Gemma cannot deny the changes that are happening around her, but yet she is still not ready to share the power. Gemma must carry around the responsibility of the magic, figure out whom she can trust, try to help her friends and also work toward her debut season! No wonder it took eight hundred pages!

Bray does not disappoint in the final chapter of Gemma’s tale. The plot twists where plenty! Felicity was her brash self and Ann as insecure as ever, but in the end these girls surprised me for the better! The writing was detailed and painted vivid pictures even more so than the two previous books. I couldn’t put it down, and now that’s it over I fear I will miss these girls.


Book Review

The Opposite of Invisible

The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher

“What’s the difference between a
crush and love?
Between love and
Alice is about to find out.”

Alice has been best friends with Jewel for as long as she remembers. Jewel is her only friend. Alice doesn’t think there is anything special about herself. She doesn’t wear much make-up if any, likes to wear her hair in a pony tail and prefers jeans and a T-shirt. Even though she loves art and being creative, she doesn’t think she posses the abilities to be a good artist like Jewel is. So Alice easily blends into the background of her school population, which makes her feel invisible.

Alice talks to Jewel about everything, but she can’t find the courage to tell him about her crush on, popular and cute, Simon Murphy. At least she has her Dove Girl to confide in.

Unexpectedly Simon waves goodbye to her one day, and then he happens to be at the same concert, where he makes an effort to talk to her. Suddenly Alice doesn’t feel so invisible. Everything changes when Simon kisses her, because Jewel also happens to kiss her that very same day. Alice likes that she doesn’t feel invisible when she is with Simon, but she is worried that she will have to sacrifice her friendship with Jewel to stay that way.

I loved The Opposite of Invisible, because I remember feeling the same way! I mean not necessarily the whole guy thing, but the invisible thing, yes! Alice’s character seemed so real to me, like she could be someone that I know. She struggles with things that any teenager would, like love, friendship, and self discovery. The message in this novel is that sometimes you just need to be yourself, even though you might not have it figured out who you really are yet.

The Opposite of Invisible is a debut novel for author Liz Gallagher and I truly hope that it will not be her last. I encourage you to pick up your own copy on January 8th 2008.

*Also reviewed for Teens @ Random. http://www.randombuzzers.com


Book Review


Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

In Pretties, the second installment of Scott Westerfeld’s series, the infamous ugly Tally is now a pretty.

Everything is perfect in Tally’s pretty world. She is with her friends again, and she has nothing but fun. But then Tally’s perfect world takes a turn when she is contacted by one of the uglies, and then finds the letter that she had written to herself.

Tally and her new beau Zane find the cure, but Tally is to afraid to go it alone. So, Tally takes one pill and Zane takes the other. But the pill seems to have different effects on Zane and they must escape to find the new Smoke where Zane can get help.

In their escape they are separated and Tally makes yet another discovery in the Pretties not so perfect existence. When Tally finally reaches the Ruins it is David that she meets, and learns what has happened to Zane.

Once again the Specials are on Tally’s tail, but now she has a choice to make. Will it be David or Zane.

Pretties is even better than Uglies. Tally’s character is even more complex as well as the storyline. You never know what is going to happen next and that makes it that more interesting. I have to say I couldn’t put it down and the cliffhanger ending has me eager to read Specials.


Book Review

The Luxe

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Beautiful Elizabeth Holland, lovely, prim, proper and of course a lady. Too bad she is dead. The story opens to a dreary day in late 19th century New York at the funeral of Miss Elizabeth Holland, the exact day in which she was to be wed.

Then time flashes back and we are taken through the events that ultimately lead to the death of Elizabeth.

Sisters Elizabeth and Diana couldn’t be more different. Elizabeth, the oldest, has always had the most pressure put on her to be a proper lady, to watch everything she says, does, and even wears. Diana is of course the opposite. She is the romantic, and she is wonderfully eclectic and confident in her ways.

When Elizabeth learns that her family’s welfare is in jeopardy she agrees to wed Henry Schoonmaker, a well-known playboy and heartbreaker, even though she loves another. Henry himself agrees to marry Elizabeth only so he will not be disinherited of his father’s fortune. At the night of her engagement announcement, her “best friend” Penelope Hayes reveals that she, herself is in love with Henry. This is the start of Penelope’s jealousy and betrayal to take down her biggest and only rival. Not to mention, Diana, who finds herself smitten with the elusive Henry, as well. Henry of course finds himself falling in love, finally, but not with his betrothed. Elizabeth struggles with her own happiness and the welfare of her family.

Throw in a jealous maid that knows too much and you have yourself a full-blown scandal!

I loved The Luxe. It had everything a good story should. Mystery, humor, romance, and fun! I felt for Elizabeth and her constant struggle within herself, and having nowhere to turn. I loathed Penelope and only wished she had been the one to fall in the Hudson. The Luxe was enjoyable and entertaining. If you like Gossip Girls or even A Great and Terrible Beauty, I think that you would enjoy this book. Even more good news. It seems that Anna Godbersen will be releasing a sequel to The Luxe in the summer of 2008 entitled Rumors.

*Also reviewed for Book Divas. www.bookdivas.com

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