This fourth entry in the Uglies series will keep Westerfeld’s “face rank,” to borrow his own invented slang, significantly above anonymous. Several years after the massive paradigm shift of Specials (2005), 15-year-old Asa Fuse investigates an urgent news story in hopes of boosting her public name recognition—of crucial importance in the celebrity-based system that has replaced Prettytime’s cult of boring, brainless beauty. Asa draws the attention of the story’s possibly dangerous subjects as well as that of Tally Youngblood, now a legendary figure. As usual, Westerfeld excels at creating a futuristic pop culture that feels thrillingly plausible; for instance, the “reputation economy” of Asa’s Japanese city, based on citizens’ blog traffic, cleverly pulls in real-world phenomena from Google rankings to reality TV’s populist celebrities. Too many subsidiary characters and difficult-to-follow action sequences plague the plot’s resolution, but such problems are unlikely to faze followers of this hot-ticket series, who will expect smart world building and rich themes—and will find both in spades. Grades 7-10. --Jennifer Mattson
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
‘s other teen books include the Midnighters series, Peeps
, So Yesterday
, and The Last Days
. He divides his summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City.