This is the first Scott Westerfeld book I ever picked up. I read Uglies over two years ago, and I remember being pretty impressed with it. I loved the messages in this book, particularly about how true beauty comes from within.
Scott Westerfeld is a pretty good author, as evidenced by the start of all his standalone novels, or the first books in all his series. His stories are creative and original. He's pretty good at world-building too. But then once I'm invested in one of his stories something happens. It's like he loses control of his characters and the plot goes completely off track, and all the worthwhile messages one could take away from the book/series are contradicted/totally not there anymore. And all of a sudden I'm reading a completely different book/series, thinking WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, the rest of this series is pretty heinous (or should I say, angry-making). I really think Scott Westerfeld should have stopped while he was ahead, or, you know, not taken this series in the direction he chose to take it.
So. I highly recommend this book but I don't endorse the rest of the series. So if you choose to pick up Pretties, Specials and even *shudder* Extras, don't say I didn't warn you.
P.S. I'm currently reading Leviathan, another one of Scott Westerfeld's novels, but I've been told it's really good. Here's to hoping that's true.