SPECIALS by Scott Westerfeld | Review

Title: Specials

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Book #: 3 in the “Uglies” series

Publication: May 2006 by Simon Pulse

Pages: 384

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: acombine_images

“Special Circumstances”: 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.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“That Shay was in possession of hand grenades was a comforting thought showed what kind of night this had become.” 

Review

I honestly started reading this book without great expectations, because after reading the first few pages it felt like the story was going to be pretty repetitive. So, in the first book we have Tally basically trying to escape from becoming pretty, in the second she is trying to break through the pretties’ way of thinking and in the third book she is trying to break through the specials’ way of thinking. It’s the same story over and over again!

Not to mention that the first third of the book is actually quite boring. There’s not much going on, Zane is still trying to recover from his brain injury, Shay has turned into a complete bitch and Tally is quite unrecognizable. The story picks up after the first part, but it’s really the same story again! It’s quite predictable, to say the least.

The most disturbing part of the book was the whole “Cutters” group. They’re actually cutting themselves to become “bubbly” now! I mean not eating was one thing (although very close to anorexia), but causing self-injury without even thinking about it? That’s just too much!

All in all, I’m really disappointed by this book, because the series started out so promisingly, that it’s really sad to have a book like this! I’m going to read extras, since A I’ve already bought the book, B it’s set some years later with different characters, and C for the sake of finishing the series!

First Line

“The six hoverboards slipped among the trees with the lightning grace of playing cards thrown flat and spinning.”

Recommend it for…

  • People who have read the previous books and want to find out what’s going to happen.
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DRACULA by Bram Stoker | Review

Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Book #: Standalone

Publication: April 2012 by Penguin

Pages: 440

Rating: acombine_images

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master” —culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

Synopsis from Goodreads

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

There are so many vampire books out there, so I felt the need to read this book in order to find out what it was that started it all! The first vampire book with the original count Dracula myth! This is also the first classic I have ever managed to finish!

The whole book is written in the form of journals and diaries of several people involved in the story. The beginning of the book, was narrated by Jonathan Harker’s point of view as he visited Dracula’s castle in Romania. This was in my opinion the most interesting part of the book and I was immediately hooked. As I continued reading though, the point of view shifted from Mr Harker to his fiancé, Mina, in England and the story started growing slower and less interesting. This pace continued almost until the end of the book, sometimes becoming a bit faster, but in general pretty slow.

I did enjoy Mina’s character though. Keeping in mind that this book was written in the late 19th century, when a woman’s role was mainly to be a wife, Mina was much more independent and powerful. Even though women were considered and sometimes even expected to be weak, Mina was quite strong, making her own decisions and speaking up even in a room full of men! She was always freely saying her opinion which was taken into consideration and respected by everyone in this book.

What I felt missing from this book was the perspective of Count Dracula. He was supposedly the main character of the book and we only get to see him through the eyes of others. I would definitely like to learn his side of the story and also his thoughts, plans, motives and actions.

The movie is also nicely done and quite accurate to the book. Check it out at imdb.

All in all I did appreciate the book even though it wasn’t exactly my taste. If you want to find out what a real vampire is like and enjoy classics, definitely give this book a chance! On the other hand if you enjoy fast paced action/thriller books, this is not the book for you.

 
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