Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse, February 8, 2005
Pages: Paperback, 425
Series: Uglies #1
Book Synopsis (from Goodreads): Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever….
This was a fun and quick read for me. The future world that Scott Westerfeld created was very intriguing and described so well that I felt I could imagine it perfectly in my head. There was clearly a contrast between Uglyville (dull, boring, etc.) and New Pretty Town (fun, colorful, exciting).
The premise of Uglies is very sad: Tally spends her whole life pining for the time when she turns 16 so she can be “pretty” and go live in New Pretty Town to finally have fun. It’s a representation of the importance society puts on looks, but it also reflects the feelings of teens who just want to fit in. Tally doesn’t want to be the prettiest girl after her surgery, she just wants to look like the rest of the popular kids who live in New Pretty Town. Sameness is desired while uniqueness is seen as ugly with no exceptions.
I think Scott Westerfeld did a good job making his point though I wish there was a little more explanation of the world Tally lives in. For instance, I’m not sure what the deal is with the adults in this world. Her parents and teachers seem to be just as clueless as Tally. Apparently that’s just the way life is in this world, but I’m still wondering why?
A great idea for a book, this story just needs a little more fine tuning for me.