Dystopian, Fiction, Young Adult

Uglies

Uglies book cover
Image from In The Next Room

Title: Uglies (Uglies #1)

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Dystopian

In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a gorgeous pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where you only job is to have fun. Tally will turn sixteen in just a few weeks, and she can’t wait to turn pretty. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to turn pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world. The authorities give her the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

I had planned on reading Uglies at some point, but I cannot figure out why I picked it up now, when I have a shelf and a half backlog of books to read.

But whyever I decided to read it, I’m glad I did.

Tally was completely indoctrinated in the world’s pretties/uglies divide. I liked that it gave an insight into most of the uglies’ mindset. I could relate to the desire to be pretty. But I wasn’t a huge fan of Tally until about a third of the way through the book.

I wasn’t the hugest fan of Shay at the beginning, either. Her rebel attitude contrasted so much with Tally’s belief in the system that it almost didn’t seem believable. It was explained later and made perfect sense, though,and I liked her much better after that.

There was a whole bunch more to the plot than I expected. After reading the back cover, I thought it would be about Tally trying to find Shay. Not so much. The biggest plot point, the Smoke, wasn’t even mentioned on the back cover. I won’t say too much, to avoid spoilers, but expect to be surprised.

And after that ending, I have to read more!

One thing I just have to mention is the world. It’s brilliantly thought-out, with fascinating technology and social systems…and, well, everything. If there wasn’t a corrupt government in control (isn’t there always in dystopian?) it’d be a cool futuristic world to live in.

I loved Uglies. I’m kicking myself for starting a new series with so many books to read yet. Because now I have to go find the next book in the series, Pretties, as soon as I can.

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