I was deeply engaged in this trilogy-plus-one. It asked profound questions about the nature of, well, nature, and human's relationship to what we objectify as "nature," as well as how we relate to our bodies and whether or not we can be trusted to make sound judgements for ourselves.
Who would you recommend this reading to and why?
I would recommend everyone read this! But if you like sci-fi, social/cultural discourse, or thrilling adventure tales, you'll dig this.
Consider the setting.
The setting is mysterious. It takes several books to firmly establish the setting as a future earth. The fourth and final book, Extras, is clearly set in future-Japan.
Consider the story/plot.
The plot is incredible! Full of twists and shocks and power. The story examines this questions: what if everyone had an operation when they were 16 to make them "pretty" and what if some people didn't want to have the operation?
Extras, the fourth book, examines this: what if the economy (is this a what-if?) functioned via reputation? I.E. the more popular you are, the more your name is mentioned within city limits, the more money you have. It's a facebook economy. And it's deeply disturbing.
Consider character development.
The main character, Tally, is fantastic because she doesn't start out as noble, ferocious, and independent. She starts out as shallow and scared. All she wants is to be pretty. Throughout the tale, Tally gets tired of being other peoples' pawns and begins to fashion herself from the scars left by government experiments. She becomes a guardian for the aspects of nature most at risk from human greed and development. And she learns the hard way what it means to Know Thyself.
What was the message/purpose of the writing?
The message is deep and is mostly a huge question: what do you think? Is it possible for humans to act in harmony with nature? Is it human nature to destroy? Can we trust ourselves? If not, who has the right to make decisions for us? What is the future of our modern culture? Are we headed for mnd control and facebook economy?
Compare and contrast reading with other book types
I would suggest this book was inspired by books such as The Giver by Lois Lowry, with fresh perspective on the sharpness and complexity of being a teenager.
What did you think of this review?