Extras by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Dystopian Sci-Fi
#4 in the UGLIES series
"It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. 'Tech-heads' flaunt their latest gadgets, 'kickers' spread gossip and trends, and 'surge monkeys' are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol.Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.
As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance to escape extra-land is to find a big story to kick-something wild and unexpected.
Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. But the Sly Girls are hiding something bigger-an explosive that may change the face of the brave new world forever. If Aya kicks this story, she'll be propelled into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for."
Fame. Danger. Surge-Monkeys. How cool does that sound? And this is a great read. It took me a while to get into, possibly because the main character, Aya, was obnoxious at first. But she realized her flaws and tried to change, and once I was half-way, whoosh! I couldn't and didn't want to put the book down.
Extras has some great plot twists and excitement, and continues to address deep issues like the other novels in the series do. I didn't like this novel as well as Uglies, Pretties, Specials, but I still enjoyed this novel. I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 and recommend it for older middle-schoolers and up.
What I learned: Sometimes you have to lie to find out the truth. Fame isn't always (usually) as good as it sounds/looks.