Parents' Guide to

Extras: Uglies Quartet, Book 4

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

A great way to discuss fame and tech obsessions with teens.

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Kids say (8):

For an extra book in what was supposed to be a trilogy, this doesn't feel like a cheap add-on. EXTRAS presents readers with another city within Westerfeld's futuristic world, after everyone's minds are freed, to see what can happen. Crazy body modifications, cliques, cults, and a fascinating "reputation economy" happen. A form of blogging on hovercams happens. And there's the main character's boyfriend Frizz who altered his brain so he can never lie. Frizz and the off-the-grid Sly Girls help keep Aya in line. And Aya seems like what would happen to many of us in this society: recognition will get us that amazing apartment and all the tech toys we could dream of, so it's fame at all costs.

Unfortunately once readers are all caught up in this fun tech-y world it seems like the author suddenly remembers he's supposed to end the series here. Extras' heated conspiracy theory fizzles out and everything wraps up way too neatly. Even though fans will wish for a better series send-off, there's plenty to capture their attention -- and to think about later.

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