Saturday, October 2, 2010


I just finished Extras, the fourth and final book in the Uglies series, and I'm now even reading Bogus to Bubbly, "An Insider's Guide to the World of the Uglies," which I got out of the public library by mistake (I thought it was one of Scott Westerfeld's other novels).

This series plus the insider's guide made me so happy.

Hah! I'm loving all the fake history in Bogus to Bubbly. For example, from "another document uncovered by the Awesome Librarians clique": "In cities like Diego, the pretties with the greatest resistance to social programming and brain surge [the operation to make us all dumber, fun-loving-er, and less likely to challenge our current society] often became teachers and librarians." God I wish that's how it was. Except that is sort of how it is. But I wish it was more like that.

As I posted on Facebook this morning, "I just finished the last book in the Uglies series, Extras--when do you ever finish a series so happy about the final book? It ends PERFECTLY." How brilliant, to have the final book show us how Tally's rebellion played out around the world--the final book takes place about three years after the third one, and the main character is a post-ugly (what else should I call her, really? A fifteen-year-old? She does observe, very early on, that "It still pretty much sucked, being fifteen." Some things just won't ever change.) in JAPAN! Aya lives in a city ruled by a Reputation Economy.

I also love the quotations Scott Westerfeld opens each section of each book with. He talks a lot about beauty, understandably, and the epigraph for part 2 of the first book, Uglies, is from Francis Bacon: "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion." He discusses this further in Bogus to Bubbly when he goes into all the research he did on neoteny, the halo effect, and the other hypotheses he used in researching and creating the Uglies series.

Also why I love Bogus to Bubbly: Westerfeld can explain each of the devices in his series by saying things like, "...bungee jackets allow my heroes to jump off tall things and not die, which is very useful for an author." He also observes that "It's cool how inventions that start out just for fun often wind up as part of the plot." CREATIVE WRITING TEACHERS! TAKE NOTE!

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