Tag Archives: Scott Westerfeld

Even Stevens’s CBR-III review #46: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood is approaching her 16th birthday and can hardly wait. On her birthday she will receive the operation that all citizens of her city receive: she will become a pretty – symmetrical, attractive, and perfect in every way. Tally’s friend, Shay, is not as enthusiastic about the operation and talks about running away to the Smoke, a place where people choose to live in secret – and stay ugly, a concept that baffles and horrifies Tally. As the day of her operation nears, Shay runs away and Tally’s dream is ripped away from her as the Special Circumstances section informs Tally that she must find her friend and turn her in, or remain ugly forever. Tally must decide between betraying a friend and fulfilling her dream, all the while learning that becoming a pretty may have more serious implications than she could have imagined.

I really enjoyed this book. Westerfeld creates a balanced, detailed world with fleshed out characters that feel real and a plot that is tightly paced and moves at just the right pace. Tally is very likeable and it’s easy to root for her, no matter what situation she is in. Westerfeld does a great job of creating a strong friendship between Tally and Shay, as well as illustrating Tally’s longing to be a pretty, so that when the time comes for Tally to choose, I sympathized with Tally’s plight completely. I thought he did a good job of letting the story flow at its own pace. That is, nothing ever felt rushed or forced, as some authors feel the need to do with these types of stories. All around, this story is balanced and well-crafted.

This is the first of four books (all have been published) and Westerfeld offers some resolution to the first part of the story, while setting up some very intriguing situations and conflicts to carry into the next books. The revealing of the seedy underbelly of the government is particularly well done. I highly recommend this book, and not only will I be reading the next ones, I already have ‘em downloaded on my Kindle Fire and ready to go. If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, this is a great read.

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leedock’s CBR-III Review #37-“Goliath” – Scott Westerfeld

In a world where a perspicacious loris has it all figured out and the bowler hat is seemingly the international accessory for scientists, the Leviathan trilogy reigns. The conclusion to Westerfeld’s trilogy (see Leviathan and Behemoth), is an inventive spin on the First World War and a Shakespearean love story looking through the rose-colored goggles of steam punk.

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leedock’s CBR-III Review #27-“Behemoth” – Scott Westerfeld

Westerfeld’s follow-up to “Leviathan“, doesn’t disappoint. Mechanical golem, revolutionary Armenians, voice recording toads and acid oozing barnacles are just some of the fun this time around.

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #59-#61: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

CBR III Review #59: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I hated this series so I’ll keep the reviews short and to the point.  I’ve reviewed more than few dystopian YA novels on this site, but I’ve never encountered a writer that I have hated more than Westerfeld.  I was really intrigued by the premise but the premise ended up being just that a premise. The premise is that everyone at the age of 16  under goes a surgery to become “pretty”. Pretty is an agreed upon standardized version of beautiful formed by the government.

The Ugly series follows Tally Youngblood a mischievous teenage who is about to turn 16.  Tally as she becomes closer to the surgery date is torn between wanting to become a  pretty and join her best friend who has all ready gone through the surgery or following her new friend Shay to “the smoke” a place that supposedly exist where everyone ::gasp:: stays ugly forever! Cue dramatic music.  Who would want to stay ugly?  Is it because the people who live in “the smoke” know something sinister about the pretty surgeries.  You’ve read enough novels to answer that yourself, or course there is.

Out of the series Uglies was probably my favorite out of them. This explains why I attempted to keep going.  Uglies, however, is by no means a stellar contribution to dystopian YA.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 625 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (May 10, 2006)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000GCFY0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  

CBR III Review #60: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood is now a pretty but her brain keeps trying to tell her something is wrong will she listen to it? I can’t believe I read another book in the series.  Yes this is my entire review of the second book in the series. I’m technically passed my #54 novels so I’m taking a mulligan. Maybe I’m just too old to enjoy this series.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Original edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001L5BUPM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars

CBR III Review #61: Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood is now a Special.  A special is part secret police part government. I’ll be honest I stopped reading this novel about half way through.  Maybe that means I shouldn’t count it but it pissed me off so much I decided I should get the credit for agony.  Westerfeld picks out his favorite words and uses them over and over and over again.  Seriously I want to track him down and loan him my thesaurus.  If you really enjoyed the first two novels then go ahead and  finish up the series but if you were like me and was always two seconds away from giving up on the series then don’t even try to finish up the series out of some convoluted notion of completing something you have started.  It’s not worth the headache.

My main point of grievance with the series is the reader never find out what lead to these mandatory surgeries.  The reader never has a complete picture of what happened to society that destroyed it many many years back.  The reader also never truly understand how job functions are taught and how the society manages to function with what seems to be no blue collar workers.  One of things I enjoy most with dystopian fiction is learning how the government has rebuilt itself after some great disaster.  This never attempts to describe the society past or present and it makes the novels feel incomplete.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 20, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001LFDAIC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars

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leedock’s CBR-III Review #5 “Leviathan” – Scott Westerfeld

I recently realized that I have been reading quite a few books that fall into a genre that I never knew existed. I have since crawled partially out of the cardboard box I moved into, after having a kid and circling middle age, to find out that genre is Steampunk.  Who knew? Apparently everyone.

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