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28. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

January 27, 2009
Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
ISBN-10: 0-689-86538-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-689-86538-1
Paperback: 425 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2005

The world is very different from the one we know now. Cities are smaller, and very compact. Everything is done with the aid of technology - including walls that absorb discarded items and recycles them. And where you wait until your sixteenth birthday, eagerly anticipating the process that will make you a Pretty. Because, duh, you're just an Ugly till then.

Tally Youngblood is one of those anxiously waiting for her sixteenth birthday. She's the last of her friends to turn Pretty, and she can't wait. She meets Shay, another Ugly, who shares the same birthday. Shay takes Tally adventuring beyond the city limits, telling her that there are people, Uglies, who live "outside," in the Smokes, where they don't have to become Pretty.

Then Shay runs away. And Tally is told that in order to be Pretty, she'll have to track Shay down and lead the Specials (for Special Circumstances) to the Smokes. And even though Tally doesn't want to betray her friend, she has to do this, because she just has to be Pretty. Because what would life be, if you're not Pretty?

Uglies is a captivating story where the main character has her eyes opened to the reality of the world she lives in. One where normal is biologically unacceptable, and everyone goes under the knife to achieve perfection. It is the story of her need to conform, followed by her understanding that there can be a different view of life - one where you don't have to be what you're told, and can be who you want. And as understanding and realization grow, the need to be Pretty doesn't seem so pressing anymore.

I've now got Pretties on my library queue. I cannot wait to read what happens next to Tally...

3 comments:

Lenore said...

Love this book! It's the first one I reviewed on my blog so it also has a special place in my heart just for that.

Dar said...

GReat review. Well it certainly does sound good. Maybe I'll have it be my next YA selection.

drey said...

I don't usually read YA, so I was a little hesitant to pick this up, even though I'd bought it & it's been waiting so patiently on my TBR pile... I finally read it, & I'm glad I did. Now I'm waiting for Pretties to show up, & I've already got Specials and Extras... Can you tell that I become completely absorbed? LOL!

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