Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies (Uglies, #1)Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 425
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 stars

From GoodreadsTally 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.

I've heard about this novel for a long time and I finally decided it was time to read it.  The premise behind this book is so interesting.  Once a person turns sixteen they get this operation that makes them pretty, and of course everyone can't wait. 

But there is this mysterious group of people, who realize that by becoming pretty you essentially lose everything that's special about you.  Since they are opposing the natural order of things they live in hiding and Tally's friend runs off to join them.  Now Tally's stuck between betraying her friend, and telling the authorities where her friend went, to become pretty or keeping her promise and staying ugly forever.

At first I was really sad when I was reading this novel because this future scared me.  I almost felt offended and like I was being called an Ugly because I didn't have plastic surgery to correct all the things that made me unique.  I got that the point of the book was to over exploit these thoughts of beauty but the mindset of the people in this novel is just plan scary.

I really enjoyed this novel and came to love these characters.  They are people I care about and I didn't want to see their individuality taken away.  Tally was a strong individual who had to make a difficult choice.  I loved how she grew throughout the novel and came into her own confidence.  

As much as I liked the novel, I'm still a bit shaken by it.  People are obsessed with beauty and it is easy to imagine this world someday becoming ours.  Sometimes these dystopian novels hit a little too close to home.   

What about you?  Would you risk all your individuality to become "pretty?" 


  1. wow this sounds like it has a great moral behind it! I think being pretty is a very subjective thing, but I guess it's completely objectified in this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, a really thoughtful review.

  2. Thanks for the review Lisa .. As I love dystopian novels I'm planning to read this one soon !!

  3. i loved the first book in this trilogy, be warned though, you will (maby) not like the rest, i know i didnt.

    give up my individguality? no way! i like me most days =)

  4. I love this book. I also like the second one. I am waiting for the next book.

    I wonder how if this book made into movie. I'd love to see how beautiful and handsome they are

  5. I really liked Uglies. I think it may be the strongest of the series because everything was so new and interesting (at least to me). Great review. :)

  6. I loved this set of books! I think Scott Westerfeld is a masterful writer and I think this book is all the more terrifying, because it's a future I can almost believe in. Our current society is so obsessed with being beautiful, that we lose sight of a lot of more important things. Tally is one of my favorite female YA characters. Have you read the rest of the series yet? It just keeps getting better.

  7. Great review. I think Uglies forms an important contrast to all of the YA books out there that are also about girls trying to become pretty - albeit in a slightly less surgery-necessary fashion!

    PS: If you'd like to promote your review, please feel free to link to it on my own review of Uglies, here :)


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