The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.
And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid. The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.
Still, it's easy to tune that out — until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.- Summary from Goodreads
I'm not sure I am entirely a fan of Tally as a special. I think I actually dislike her more as a special than I did as an airhead pretty. I suppose that partial the point however, what bothered me the most was that Tally preferred being special. Even after she knew that they had messed with her mind again, Tally still fights against the cure. That bothered me. She became an entirely different person in this book and while I really enjoyed the book as a whole, Tally was bugging me.
Shay was almost completely unlikeable as well. She was ok in Uglies, mildly irritating in Pretties but I just couldn't stand her in this book. She's on a major power trip with a whole bunch of new and annoying slang and a bunch of followers who think cutting is oh so cool.
That's one more thing that bothered me, the glorification of cutting. They made it seem cool, like cutting was a way to free your mind. Awesome, what a fantastic message to place in a YA novel. Even near the end, Tally doesn't feel the need to do it anymore but there are never any consequences to it. I have nieces who have struggled with cutting and I don't feel it's responsible to almost glorify the practice when your audience consists of mostly teenage girls.
So, I've done a bunch of bashing which I'm sure makes it seem as though I hated the book. Oddly enough that's not true. I actually found it to be a satisfying conclusion to the series and I did enjoy it for the most part. I just had more issues with it that I did the first two books. I feel as though Westerfeld started on a really high with Uglies and neither Pretties nor Specials managed to live up to the first book.
I was planning to pick up Extras next and then I found out it's not centered around Tally or any of the characters I've gotten to know over the trilogy and my desire to pick it up waned. I'm sure I'll get around to reading it sooner than later but I'm in no hurry now.