Swarm – book review


They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.

These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.

But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.

Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.

Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?Read More »

Zeroes – book review

Zeroes book

Zeroes is the first instalment in a thrilling and addictive new series by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

Ethan aka Scam has a voice inside him that will say whatever people want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Sometimes it can be handy, but sometimes it’s not, like when the voice starts blabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help him are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly his best friends these days.

When Nate, aka Bellwether, gets Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind of dangerous encounters. At the core of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases. The only way these six teenagers are going to make it out unscathed is if they all learn to work together.Read More »

Extras – book review


Extras is the last book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.

A few years have passed since Tally Youngblood destroyed the formation of Uglies, Pretties and Extras. Now popularity rules the world. Each person is ranked on how much they are talked about. Popularity means power…

Aya Fuse is a fifteen year-old girl with a dull ‘face rank’ or popularity rating of 451,369. She’s an Extra: a person with no importance that most people don’t even know exist. But Aya is dead-set on becoming famous. Aya plans to ‘kick’, or spread the news of something that will make her famous. So Aya sets out to find the group that she’s seen surfing the super-fast mag-lev trains. Everyone would be interested in learning about this secretive group pulling these extreme stunts, therefore making Aya famous!

Then Aya actually meets the mysterious clique of girls who are pulling these wild and crazy tricks. But what Aya finds when surfing with her new friends will change her life forever. The fate of the Earth is resting in her hands. If Aya kicks this story, she’ll find herself propelled into a world of fame, celebrity… and danger. This is not what Aya was prepared for.

Once I finished Specials, I was like, ‘Oh, ok! Now things are kind of back to normal with Tally. That’s great! I wonder what she’ll do in the next book!’. I was really excited to read another book from Tally’s point of view. I was wrong. Little did I know, Extras wasn’t actually from Tally’s point of view. Extras is told from the point of view of someone we don’t actually know. When realising this, I was kind-of disappointed. There I was thinking I had a whole next book to spend time with my favourite character… and she’s not the main character! I guess once I got over that fact, I enjoyed reading Extras. I didn’t like it as much as the other books in the series. For me, it took a really long time to get into the story line. I liked the idea of the world running on the rankings of popularity, but I just wasn’t as connected with Aya as I was with Tally. I’m used to books grabbing me from the very beginning, and for me, this one didn’t. It took most of the first half of the book before it became interesting. And, hooray! Tally was actually in this book a bit! I must admit, I did like seeing how Aya and the people around her thought of Tally. After all, Tally had a face-rank of 1. She’s the most famous person on the planet. In the second half of the book, I did find plot-twists, which I liked. I’m glad I kept reading because the end was really worth reading. I also liked how I finally knew what happened to Tally and her friends and what she was going to do with the rest of her life. I feel like Extras really ended the Uglies series, and I liked how it did that. I also liked experiencing what it was like to have a face-rank and how that potentially creates problems in life. I felt more connected to Aya and her friends the more I kept reading. I liked Extras by Scott Westerfeld and I’d give it a score of 7.5 out of 10. It’s not the best in the series, but it’s worth a read!

Specials – book review


Specials is the book, written by Scott Westerfeld, that comes after Uglies and Pretties.

Tally is now a Special. But not just any Special. She’s a Cutter: a new branch of Special Circumstances where Tally’s friend Shay is the leader. Now Tally has become faster and more deadly than ever.

The Cutters know that people, Uglies and Pretties, have been smuggling in pills to distribute to the ‘bubblehead’ Pretties. These pills contain nanos that destroy the lesions in the brains of the Pretties that work to keep them calm and mellow. Tally and the other Cutters are put on a mission to stop these pills from passing into New Pretty Town and to find who is mass-producing this medication.

Tally, Shay and the other Cutters go on a wild chase to hunt down the people distributing these drugs. But will Tally and Shay survive bringing the Smokies down? And if they do, will Tally ever forgive herself for betraying her former friends?

I liked Specials. Although I enjoyed reading it, I found myself getting frustrated because again, Tally wasn’t herself, like at the start of Pretties. I much prefer Tally the way she was at the start of this series and when she cured herself from being a bubblehead. This book was really similar to Pretties in the way that Tally was different and she’s doing what she believes is right when she miraculously ‘cures’ herself to become ‘normal’ again. Admittedly, the plot line was different in this book, but the underlying story was very similar: Tally must discover herself and become normal by loving somebody. I also found this book much darker than the others. I was slightly disturbed that these Cutters needed to cut themselves to feel alive and ‘bubbly’. Every time the Cutters did this, it just made me cringe. Maybe it was good to include that part of the book, like when Zane said ‘What is it that you’re not feeling, that you have to do that?’ The fact that the Cutters did this just made this book so much darker and again, another reason it is different to Uglies. I liked seeing the world from a whole new perspective while Tally was a Special because her senses were so different to when she was an Ugly and a Pretty. I watched Tally come to terms with what she’s done and I liked how her opinions on everything changed as the book progressed. As for Shay… I really miss the Shay back in Uglies. Shay has changed so much from the beginning of the series. I was absorbed in the book from the very start. I always was curious to see how everything would work out for Tally and her friends and if Tally would ever become herself again. I liked reading Specials by Scott Westerfeld and I’d give it a score of 8 out of 10.

Pretties – book review


Pretties is the second book in the amazing dystopian series by Scott Westerfeld.

Tally Youngblood is has now been transformed into a flawless ‘pretty’. She lives in New Pretty Town and parties all night long. Tally couldn’t be happier. Her only concern right now is to be included in the clique ‘The Crims’. Shay and Peris, Tally’s best friends, are a part of The Crims and Tally wants more than anything to be in the ‘in’ group with her friends. In order to be included in this group, she needs to prove her rebellious and ‘bubbly’ side to the group’s leader, Zane. While trying to be accepted by the pretties, she captures the attention of the intriguing Zane.

As Zane and Tally start spending more time together when Tally is accepted into The Crims, she begins to remember jumbled things about her past. When Zane explains to Tally how to keep your mind ‘bubbly’, the fog begins to clear and she can remember more about her past life as an ‘ugly’. In between falling for Zane and learning more about how to keep her mind clear, Tally receives two pills. Attached to the pills is a letter addressed to herself… from herself. Will Tally put her faith in the letter and trust that the pills won’t kill her? Most importantly, will Tally put faith in herself?

Amidst all the mayhem, Tally finds herself falling in love with Zane and together they fight to keep their minds… their souls, alive…

I really enjoyed reading Pretties. I found that this book was so different to Uglies because Tally was completely changed by becoming a pretty. I can’t imagine what it must be like to become pretty and forget about what mattered most to you. What Tally decided at the end of Uglies would have been such a huge thing to decide. After choosing to become pretty and knowing what will happen to you… I just can’t image how hard that must have been for Tally. But I still really liked Tally as a character because she was so interesting to follow, even though she was a ‘bubblehead’ at the start of the book. I absolutely fell in love with Zane. The way he taught Tally so much and helped her remember her past was just so touching. I feel that Tally and Zane connected a lot better than Tally and David did. I liked this book a lot because I loved seeing Tally slowly begin to remember her past and what she used to be like. It was interesting to watch the transformations of Zane and Tally when they began to reclaim their minds and their souls. I found this book so interesting, deep and beautifully written. I also liked how Scott Westerfeld kind of created a new language for New Pretty Town because it made me feel like this was a new world compared to Uglyville. Overall, I loved reading Pretties by Scott Westerfeld and I’d give it a score of 9 out of 10. Wonderful!

Uglies – book review


Uglies is the thrilling first book in its series by Scott Westerfeld.

In the future, society has come to believe that in order for everyone to be treated equally, they all need to look the same. These people believe that people looking different for each other started all wars in the past. So now, everyone gets an operation upon turning sixteen that transforms them into a stunningly beautiful ‘pretty’. Until then, everyone is considered a repulsive ‘ugly’.

Fifteen year-old Tally has looked forward to the day she turns sixteen all her life. She can’t wait to be transformed from a hideous ugly into a stunning pretty. She will finally be able to move out of Uglyville and into New Pretty Town, where their only job is to have fun. She will be thrown into one big, never-ending party and will be able to do everything and go everywhere she desires.

But when Tally befriends a girl names Shay, who isn’t sure she wants to become pretty, her life and her future is changed forever.

When Shay runs away, Tally is faced with an impossible choice – find her friend and turn her in, or never become pretty at all…

I completely, 100% loved Uglies. The way that Scott Westerfeld wrote about this futuristic society gave me shivers. Their society was so incredibly thought out to every last detail, and I think that in the future, perhaps we will in fact have interface rings and hoverboards. Just everything about Uglyville and New Pretty Town was so believable. It made me feel like I was actually living there with Tally and was experiencing everything she was doing. But this future was really creepy in the way that everyone was controlled and so closely watched – it’s like nobody had any privacy. I loved the characters in this book. I admired Tally for her courage and bravery. I liked how Tally was not dependant on anyone or anything for help. I also enjoyed watching how her opinions about the world she lived in were completely changed by the end of the book. Another character that I really liked was Shay. I loved the way she was so different to everyone else in the book. She was so independent and determined to live her own life and not to be pressured or made to become pretty. This book really made me wonder, if I grew up in that world, would I want to be pretty too? I guess if I grew up in that type of society, everyone else would have become pretty or were waiting to have their operation, so I wouldn’t have questioned the system. But after finding out the huge secret behind the operation, no way would I want to be a pretty. This book was just so thought provoking and there wasn’t a dull moment. I was constantly wondering what would happen next. I can’t wait to read Pretties! I loved Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and I’d give it a score of 9 out of 10.