Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Mind Rain

Edited by Scott Westerfeld
Start Date: 16 July 2011
End Date: 22 July 2011
Paperback, 236 pages
Published September 10th 2007

Essays by Linda Gerber, Charles Beaumont, Ted Chiang, Will Shetterly, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Delia Sherman , Lili Wilkinson, Robin Wasserman, Diana Peterfreund, Sara Beth Durst, Gail Sidonie Sobat, J. Fitzgerald Mccurdy, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Janette Rallison

Summary (from Goodreads):
Set in a future where cosmetic surgery is a requirement at age 16 and attractiveness is mandated, Scott Westerfeld's popular Uglies series has received critical acclaim from the press and public alike. Chock-full of action, adventure and teenage rebellion, theres no question why Uglies has attracted thousands of fans. In Mind- Rain, popular authors examine the series and delve into the underlying themes. What sort of critiques are Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras making about the real world? Is there more behind Tally, David and Shay?

My Review:

Note: Minor Spoilers for the Uglies series, although you might be a little lost anyway if you haven't read Uglies.

I loved reading this book. Like The Girl Who Was On Fire (click for my review), Mind Rain presents a new way to look at a fantastic YA series - in this case, the Uglies series, by Scott Westerfeld. The essays were insightful, eye-opening, and often funny as well. Each essay took the series to a completely new place, addressing such issues as the role of beauty in our society (and how that is reflected in Tally's), how propaganda is used to prolong the values set by Dr. Cable and the Specials to attempt to prevent an uprising, why Shay is the true hero of the series, and of course, whether David or Zane is the better choice for Tally. To quote Sarah Beth Durst in the essay Two Princes, "I think one of the most awesome things about Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series is that it's not obvious which guy is best for Tally. Okay, yeah, in the end Tally's best choice is the not-dead guy, but ignoring that tiny detail..." (Westerfeld 56).

In addition, two short stories, The Beautiful People and Liking What You See: A Documentary are included. Both inspired Westerfeld when he wrote Uglies, and when they are combined with the Uglies books and the other essays in Mind Rain, they are amazing to read. More than two weeks later, I still can't get them out of my head.

Overall, this book is definitely worth the time of anyone who has read Uglies. And if you haven't read Uglies, you should. Scott Westerfeld is a genius.

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