Book Review: Specials

Written by Scott Westerfeld

In the third book of the Uglies series, Tally Youngblood has become a superhuman fighting to keep “Smokies” out of the city. Smokies are a group who want to allow people to keep their individuality. The very people she used to fight, the “Specials,” have become Tally’s friends and peers. The Specials, although they are superhuman, want everyone to look and think alike. Though these characters are imaginary and the book’s plot takes place in the distant future, its pages are filled with relatable emotions and struggles.

The tale begins when Tally is at a party of “Uglies,” with her team the “Cutters.” The Cutters are the “special Specials,” and they are there to capture the Smokies. In pursuit of the Smokies, Tally runs into her ex-boyfriend David.

Tally and the Cutters sneak around and realize that there must be a group of Smokies nearby. Although the Cutters have special gear, they fall into an ambush. Shay, the leader of the Cutters and Tally's best friend, jumps on David’s hoverboard. But David has shock-sticks. As soon as they touch Shay, she falls unconscious. The weight is too much for the hoverboard, and Shay eventually falls. Thankfully, Tally is quick enough to save her friend.

Next, Tally and Shay go to visit Tally’s boyfriend Zane. Zane is crippled and he has been harmed by a brain surgery. Because of this, Tally now deems him inferior. They decide to let Zane escape so they can track him: they think he might lead them to the Smokies.

Once Tally is in Diego, the name of the city that the Smokies live in, she gets caught. The group that catches her tells her that her Special weapons are illegal. They are about to “de-specialize” her when...well, you'll just have to read the book to find out!

I really enjoyed this book, although there were very frustrating and sad moments. My favorite part was the end because it revealed answers to some of the plot’s many mysteries. I recommend this book to fifth graders and middle schoolers who live drama, action, and adventure.