Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world - and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure how I feel about Uglies. I’m not really a fan, though.
I think my biggest problem with this book was that it seemed a bit all over the place. There’s this issue and then there’s this and how about another issue - hey wait we have to get back to the first one, now on to a fifth. That might be a little dramatic. But Uglies didn’t seem very well thought-out to me.
For one thing, we get to the beef of the problem halfway through the book. There are plenty of storylines where you don’t find out just how bad things are until later in the book - and most of them I’m fine with. The only reason I have a problem with it in Uglies is because without that detail, it doesn’t make much sense. I don’t agree with a society where normal people are ugly and people call each other Squint or Fatty - but I also don’t see a huge problem with making people prettier. If it’s done against people’s will, then there’s a problem, but it seems like most everyone in Tally’s world wants to be pretty.
It’s not until much later in the book that we find out being pretty is much more than having big eyes. And the creepy government people don’t really get explained until later, either.
I still liked Uglies - I’m glad I read it - but it just didn’t make me very excited. I didn’t really get drawn in, and it took me forever to finish reading it; it wasn’t a page-turner. I feel like there are a lot of stories out there with the same basic plotline that are executed much better. But feel free to disagree with me.
Once Upon a Time...
As a longtime lover of stories and a believer in the power and magic of books, I've spent my life seeking out the best reads. This blog is dedicated to reviewing the books I read - good, bad, or magnificent - to help other readers find their next favorite books.