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Uglies

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Author: Scott Westerfeld

Published: February 8th 2005 by Simon Pulse

Format: Paperback , 425 pages

Isbn: 9780689865381

Language: English


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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 who 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....

30 review for Uglies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Holley

    I need to never run into Scott Westerfeld down a dark alley, or during a Civil War reenactment, or at Charlton Heston's house, or wherever. My deep desire not to be arrested for murder would have an epic battle with my need to reach for a weapon when I see his stupid face. In all fairness, as you see, I coughed up three stars for this book, so I will clarify that my empty threatening is really directed toward Pretties and Specials (books two and three in this series). I'm posting this review on I need to never run into Scott Westerfeld down a dark alley, or during a Civil War reenactment, or at Charlton Heston's house, or wherever. My deep desire not to be arrested for murder would have an epic battle with my need to reach for a weapon when I see his stupid face. In all fairness, as you see, I coughed up three stars for this book, so I will clarify that my empty threatening is really directed toward Pretties and Specials (books two and three in this series). I'm posting this review on the link for the first book in the hopes that it will inspire people to put this book on their list of books never to read. If you read this book there is the danger that you may want to continue with the series, but trust me, you really don't. In listing what I don't like about this series, I'll start with EVERYTHING from the characters to the plot to the worldview that I imagine would inspire a story of this kind of depth and breadth of ambivalence. The premise of Uglies is that in the future when kids reach puberty, they all have mandatory plastic surgery to turn their bodies into a perfect standard of beauty based on human brain reactions to visual stimulus. Unfortunately (and this is a slight spoiler, so my apologies, but it really is an element that is pretty obvious from page one, though not clearly stated until later), when the kids are having the surgeries to make them pretty, the surgeons change their brains, too, to determine their decision-making abilities, capacity for independent thought, and even sense response. Basically, the pretty surgery makes most people stupid, unless the occupation that the government determines for them requires intelligence. So far so good - it's your basic government-takeover dystopia. Yes, kids, if you let the government give you free health care checkups, it's only a small step to the day they start chopping up your brain. Luckily, said ugly teens (particularly our protagonist, Tally, through her bff, Shay) discover that if they flee to the wilderness, they will be able to live a life of freedom and romance. Oh, what's that? Did I say "romance"? Thanks again Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, et al. Sometimes when characters go out into the wilderness . . . I don't even know. Does the phrase "it's been done" even begin to cover my feelings on that topic? Thus begins the cat-fight between Tally and Shay that is the uniting thread of this entire series. You see, there is a wilderness boy (imagine my surprise), who is quite a catch even though he's "ugly", and there's some jealousy and betrayal and kick-ass hoverboarding. You get the idea. Let me clarify the problems I have listed so far: 1. Suspicion of the city, using a retreat to the wild as the solution to social ills. It's a tired premise. 2. Cattiness of the female protagonist and portraying the central female character as mostly driven by her current crush and competition with other women. That is a huge pet peeve of mine. Those, however, are small, forgivable wrongs compared to the basic disingenuousness of the moral arguments Westerfeld makes. While he on one level criticizes the idea of basing society on a hierarchy of physical looks, the characters repeatedly interact within that hierarchy, calling each other "pretty" and "ugly" at every turn and defining "pretty" people very specifically. Even the repetition of the words "ugly" and "pretty" undercuts any message Westerfeld might have against pigeonholing people. I found myself seeing people in the grocery store and evaluating whether they met the "evolutionary definition" of pretty as according to this series. It's creepy and annoying. Westerfeld can be as showy as he wants about how it is limiting to judge people based on their appearance, but I argue that he is actually encouraging that same shallow judgment if only by instruction and repetition. For example, it's like saying, "kids, don't shoplift, but here's how to shoplift if you ever want to do it. And here's a catchy shoplifting song to sing with your group of friends, who really should have a name. Hey, we could call you guys the 'shoplifting gang'! Don't shoplift, though." What's the real message there? Ultimately, the arguments of the government that requires the pretty surgeries, also, make a lot of sense in the stories. The surgeries solve anorexia, bring world peace, and save the environment. Plastic surgery sounds fun, too, and Westerfeld literally makes no compelling arguments against body alteration. At the same time, I'm left feeling that Westerfeld thinks it is a bad idea, though he is not convincing. If Westerfeld's discussion of body image wasn't enough of a travesty, the point in this series where this backwards arguing makes me want to wipe him off the face of the planet is when he introduces cutting. By "cutting" I'm not talking about skipping school. If you are not familiar with cutting, it is a form of self-mutilation that has been growing in popularity with teenagers over the past few years (I'm going to go ahead and say it's been growing in popularity since 2006, when the book Specials was published). In Specials, our catty female protagonist and her buddies discover that by slicing up their arms, they experience a particularly satisfying high, and all of their senses are strengthened. Ultimately, they randomly decide that this is a bad idea, but Westerfeld only implies their reasoning for that decision, and again I'm left with the feeling that probably everyone should be a cutter because in the context of the story it's pretty badass. I think that was the point where I started yelling and throwing things around my house. Unfortunately, some parts of these stories are actually engaging (not seriously engaging, but passably), and for a while I wanted to find out what happened to everyone, even while I wanted to burn the author's house down. The truly unforgivable wrongs are his wolf-in-sheep's-clothing discussions of teen body image and self-mutilation issues. His characters never develop deep self-respect or intelligent motivation for their actions, and even when their decisions seem healthy, Westerfeld makes a better argument for the unhealthy decisions. Now I realize that I didn't even talk about the uber-annoying slang language he develops for the Pretties and Specials. I'll just say that these books are not "bubbly" and leave it at that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    So my wife and I occasionally swap books which may seem a little kooky. However, you have to keep things spicy when you’ve been married as long as we have and since nipple showers with hot candle wax make me break out into shouts of “FUCKARELLA THAT HURTS” we needed some alternative sizzle. So she hooks me up with this little philly of a novel while I matched her with The Lies of Locke Lamora. Well…my wife loved the book I set her up with….as I knew she would because it is all over awesome. Of c So my wife and I occasionally swap books which may seem a little kooky. However, you have to keep things spicy when you’ve been married as long as we have and since nipple showers with hot candle wax make me break out into shouts of “FUCKARELLA THAT HURTS” we needed some alternative sizzle. So she hooks me up with this little philly of a novel while I matched her with The Lies of Locke Lamora. Well…my wife loved the book I set her up with….as I knew she would because it is all over awesome. Of course, I will admit I was a tick jealous when I would look over and she her lying on the bed heart throbbing on Locke Lamora with a wistful smile on her face. That used to be me...I miss you Locke. As for me, I didn’t find a love connection with this book. Don’t get me wrong, I think the story has some wonderful qualities that I can respect it but there wasn’t going to be a “let’s do this again sometime” in our future. However, even though I didn’t go all Lamar and Chloe on this book, I do still owe my wife a HUGE debt of gratitude. Why you ask? Because if she wanted to be a nasty ms she could have chosen for me to read Twilight which would have caused me all kinds of trauma. Honey….you are just too good to me. Anyway, there have been so many other excellent reviews of this book that detail the plot that I will just give a brief synop before telling you what I think. The story involves a future dystopia in which everyone, at age 16, is radically transformed using extreme plastic surgery to become “pretty”…..kinda like The OC. The theory is that by removing all distinctions based on physical appearance, you will also remove the jealousy and bias from society and make everyone sunny and sexy. I thought for the most part that it was an excellent way to exploring themes of youthful angst about fitting in and larger issues social conformity. While not as good as other YAs I’ve read, I thought that the world envisioned by the story was fresh and promising and fit within the framework of the novel. In other words…I thought it worked. I also thought that as the story unfolded and we learned more about the TRUTH behind the society and the real purpose for the transformative surgery, the story became a lot more interesting. That said, there are two main reasons why I couldn’t rate this higher than I did. First, the pace was much too turtle-like for me and events seemed to take way too long to wrap up. It just made it impossible for me to slip into the story. However, the biggest chunky in the punch bowl for me was the main character, Tally, who I found annoying. She drove me completely cranky for most of the book and it is tough to find win if the main biddy is giving you a case of the grumps. However, to her credit, Tally did begin to redeem her image towards the tail of the book and there are preliminary indications that she may upgrade into a more compelling protag in the subsequent novels. However, in this one, she was lugging around a minus sign more often than not. So, overall, excellent back-story and interesting world building give me some reason to think that the sequels might be worth a gander at some point. I just pray to George Burns that Tally can grow out of her “bugging me phase” and that the pace could hit the accelerator in subsequent installments. On final comment that probably affected my feelings about this book. I recently read an incredibly powerful short story called Ponies: A Tor.Com Original that covered many of the themes in this book. That story was only TWO PAGES long and yet conveyed a MUCH MORE POWERFUL message. Just my opine. 2.0 to 2.5 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    “In a world of extreme beauty, anyone normal is ugly.” In Tally Youngblood's society, everyone obtains absolute physical perfection - the perfect skin, hair, eyes, literally everything. At least, after you turn sixteen and undergo the right operations. Tally, at age 15, is an Ugly right now but after her birthday, she will get to become Pretty. She can then move out of the Ugly Dorms and into New Pretty Town. It's all she wants. After all, who in their right mind would choose to remain Ugly? A “In a world of extreme beauty, anyone normal is ugly.” In Tally Youngblood's society, everyone obtains absolute physical perfection - the perfect skin, hair, eyes, literally everything. At least, after you turn sixteen and undergo the right operations. Tally, at age 15, is an Ugly right now but after her birthday, she will get to become Pretty. She can then move out of the Ugly Dorms and into New Pretty Town. It's all she wants. After all, who in their right mind would choose to remain Ugly? All she has to do is wait to turn 16. With all of Tally's friends already Pretty and living in New Pretty Town, it's shaping up to be a very long, boring summer. Enter Shay, another Ugly, who Tally meets during one particularly wicked trick (Tally grabbed a bungee vest and dived off a Pretty building). Shay has the same birthday as Tally and for a while the two of them spend all of their time together. “...I want those perfect eyes and lips, and for everyone to look at me and gasp. And for everyone who sees me to think Who's that? and want to get to know me, and listen to what I say." "I'd rather have something to say.” Then, Shay comes to Tally with a wild story. There are people, "Smokies," who live outside of their city and would rather remain Ugly than turn Pretty. It's absolutely insane (by Tally's standards). A few days before their birthday, Shay takes off to find the Smokies, leaving Tally to go through the operation along. Only, on the day of the operation...Tally finds herself barred. She must lead the Specials (aka Special Circumstances, aka the police task force) to the Smokies or she will never turn Pretty. So, armed with nothing but dehydrated food, water purifier, hover board and a sleeping bag - she sets off to become the Judas Goat. She's waited all her life to become Pretty - there's no way she wants to be stuck with her Ugliness forever. Only, along the way she finds friends in unexpected places, she learns things about herself that she never thought possible and discovers something far more horrifying about the Pretties than she could ever have imagined. Your personality - the real you inside - was the price of beauty And the overconfident Specials are going to get more than they bargained for. “Maybe they didn't want you to realize that every civilization has its weakness. There's always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away all that's left is some story in a history class.” Rereading this one as an adult really made this one pop in my mind. It definitely passed the test of time. The only thing that bugged me was that this one did manifest one of my pet peeves. Namely, the tension is motivated and maintained by people keeping secrets. It's just - why can't they communicate??? (Oh yeah, it's cause then there wouldn't be anything to drive the plot anymore.) Audiobook Comments Well-read by Emma Tremaine. The guy voices sounded a bit weak but it was still a great one to listen to! YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads Happy Reading!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I’ve only seen one episode of The Twilight Zone. In this episode, a woman undergoes a battery of surgeries to look normal. At the end of the episode, viewers learn that this latest surgery has failed: the woman is still hideous. Except that to the audience she is beautiful. Online research led me to another episode where teenagers are surgically altered to live longer and conform to a unified standard of beauty (based on a limited number of acceptable “models”). “Uglies,” Scott Westerfeld’s dyst I’ve only seen one episode of The Twilight Zone. In this episode, a woman undergoes a battery of surgeries to look normal. At the end of the episode, viewers learn that this latest surgery has failed: the woman is still hideous. Except that to the audience she is beautiful. Online research led me to another episode where teenagers are surgically altered to live longer and conform to a unified standard of beauty (based on a limited number of acceptable “models”). “Uglies,” Scott Westerfeld’s dystopic novel, plays similar games of perception. The novel starts with Tally Youngblood a fifteen-year-old girl desperately waiting for her sixteenth birthday when she will be reunited with her best friend and, more importantly, when she will finally be pretty. “Uglies” is set in the distant future after a mysterious global catastrophe precipitated changes to the foundations of what readers would call modern society. Fearful of war and violence cities now operate as independent states (think Renaissance Italy as opposed to contemporary Italy). Isolated and self-sufficient, the cities have agreed to certain standards for the greater good. New technology ensures that citizens never want for food or luxury items, weapons of any kind are largely illegal, and at the age of sixteen everyone undergoes a series of extreme surgeries to better conform to societal standards of beauty. The logic being that, since humans are preconditioned to respond to certain visual cues in each other already (big eyes are non-threatening, a clear complexion and good teeth indicate that a person is healthy), applying these beauty standards will reduce conflict and create a more harmonious society. But in a world where everyone is movie-star-gorgeous (oldies like Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo are considered “natural pretties”), normal people are so not pretty. In short, they’re ugly. Things change for Tally when she meets Shay, another Ugly girl, who wants to run away before the operation to a place called The Smoke where people can live like “Rusties” (that would be us basically) in the wilderness without any surgery. As the novel progresses, and Special Circumstances (a government agency) coerces Tally into finding The Smoke for them, Tally is forced to choose what means more: friendship or beauty? As the plot might suggest, this is a science fiction novel. Just to be clear, the real difference between sci-fi and fantasy is that the technology in science fiction novels could conceivably work if someone ever built it (dragons, most likely, are never going to be genetically engineered so they’re a good indicator of a fantasy novel). At times this leads to more explanation of, say, hoverboard mechanics in the novel than is strictly necessary to the plot but the rest of the book makes up for this small shortcoming. What makes "Uglies" great, besides how it looks at cultural values, is Westerfeld’s use of language. The novel is not pretentious or brash. Instead, Westerfeld creates a narrative voice that is really unique—especially for a sweeping sci-fi saga like the Uglies trilogy. The novel opens with Tally observing that “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.” That is not, it is fair to say, a typical opening for any novel. Yet Westerfeld moves from that observation seamlessly into the story. This book is the first in the Uglies trilogy (followed by “Pretties” and “Specials”) which focuses on Tally and her city. The scope of each book can largely stand alone, but to get the full story it’s best to read the entire trilogy. Additionally, Westerfeld released a companion book to the trilogy last year called “Extras” which is set a few years after the trilogy with different main characters. “Uglies” is simultaneously funny and frightening, showing how overvalued beauty can be while illustrating how Tally’s world has been conditioned to believe there’s no other way to live. The sections where Westerfeld describes the Rusty Ruins and the end of that era are particularly haunting (and eerily reminiscent of the History Channel’s recent documentary “Life After People”). Sci-fi book discussions often bring up a writer’s “world building” in reference to how well a writer creates their alternate universe. Westerfeld’s world is built really well. The cities have their own culture, the characters their own slang, but Westerfeld manages to bring in enough references to our own contemporary culture that it’s easy for readers to believe Tally’s world is built on the ruins of our own. You can find this review and more on my blog Miss Print

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kurukka

    Nope, couldn’t finish it. Sigh. I thought I was going to like this one. It started off fine and all. And then everything fell apart. Yes, that dramatic. Am I the only one who was deeply offended by this piece of crap ? This book is wrong, wrong, wrong. The writing itself isn’t particularly… well, isn’t anything really. But this is supposed to be a book about beauty with a big B and the writing doesn’t do justice to the theme. I’d even call it Ugly. The characters are stereotyped. Tally is a brainw Nope, couldn’t finish it. Sigh. I thought I was going to like this one. It started off fine and all. And then everything fell apart. Yes, that dramatic. Am I the only one who was deeply offended by this piece of crap ? This book is wrong, wrong, wrong. The writing itself isn’t particularly… well, isn’t anything really. But this is supposed to be a book about beauty with a big B and the writing doesn’t do justice to the theme. I’d even call it Ugly. The characters are stereotyped. Tally is a brainwashed moron. Okay, she was raised to believe the ideology of her country but she cannot think by herself. She wonders whether to betray the Smoke, the rebellious uglies, and you know what helps her make the right decision? A boy. Woohoo, thank God he was there, with his adorable crooked smile, his sweet kisses, and his handmade leather shoes, otherwise I really would have thought that she was an immoral bitch. This also means that the fate of an entire city depends of the hormonal state of our young hero. DUDE! The boy himself is… phew, of course he thinks Tally is beautiful, special, strong, smart, unlike anyone else when she is, in fact, so flat that I could surf on her back. In fact, she’s “the only one who truly understands”. Pleaaaaaase. He was raised to be a very careful, and independent thinker, but he falls for the first pair of boobs he encounters and turns out to be a spy. Good job. Shay was the best character until Westerfeld reduced her to some stupid, vapid girl. She, who expressed interesting and deep (as much deep as this book can be) thoughts became a giggling, naïve, brainless chick whose only interest is, of course, the boy with the handmade leather shoes. Anyway, let’s move on to the real problem. The content has almost nothing to do with the premise. The book is full of ecologist propaganda. Westerfeld keeps telling us how bad, bad, BAD things we, humans, are. He calls our generation the Rusties. Isn’t that nice? He criticizes everything we do. Oh, wait, no, he praises the invention of the Roller Coaster! We’re bad because we use metal, we’re bad because we’re savages who eat animals and because we “killed every living thing”. Well apparently not, because there are a lot of forests and flowers despite our destructive frenzy. I was going to quote some passages but the words are so offensive I just can’t. We’re freaks, we’re ugly, and we’re wrong. This must not be the message intended but it’s all I got from this book. It’s like Westerfeld wants us to go back to some primitive way of life. He doesn’t criticize our mistakes, he condemns progress. He’s not warning us, he’s trying to shove his dogma down our throats. He’s telling us “I’m right, you should believe me, because I detain the truth.” I deeply love nature and also fear for its future, but I want to believe that mankind has an equal capacity for creation and destruction, for beauty and ugliness, for right and wrong. It’s depressing to read about how hopeless we are. Westerfeld lacks delicacy, neutrality. He’s not objective. “Nature, at least, didn’t need an operation to be beautiful. It just was.” How about us? Aren’t we part of nature? Aren’t we beautiful, then, the way we are? For Westerfeld, this is Nature versus Mankind. He takes us apart from it, he draws a line between the Earth and our species. I believe that everything that lives on Earth is connected, that we’re a part of a whole. If you really want to write about nature and man, you shouldn’t make them opposite. Instead, look for what makes us part of the earth, what connects us to the rest of the world, the plants, the animals. We are a part of this planet, we are nature and culture. I believe that it is where lies the true beauty of our condition. I want to believe that some of us can see that, that we will realize how important nature is, not because it just feeds us or that flowers are pretty, but because we are one with it. The plot itself is weak. I don’t understand what the real issue of the book is. The government doesn’t look threatening. I didn’t feel the pressure I felt in The Hunger Games, for example. I I don’t understand what the Smokies are doing, what is their purpose, I have no empathy for them or any of the characters. Everything is very confusing. Westerfeld wants to talk about free thinking, nature, man, beauty, but he doesn’t do it well. Also, I may not be an expert about economics but it seems to me that without a financial system, a country cannot work. In the Pretties society, no one pays for anything, and Tally is shocked when she learns that at the Smoke, people have to give to receive. So, yeah, it made me frown.

  6. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    ive read this book/series a handful of times over the past decade or so and have somehow never written a review for it. time to fix that. although some of my feelings have changed as ive gotten older, its impossible to get rid of the strong feeling of nostalgia this evokes each time i pick up the book. what drew me to this story when i was a teenager still remains as an adult. i love how this personifies the notion that true beauty is who you are as a person, not what you look like. yes, this is ive read this book/series a handful of times over the past decade or so and have somehow never written a review for it. time to fix that. although some of my feelings have changed as ive gotten older, its impossible to get rid of the strong feeling of nostalgia this evokes each time i pick up the book. what drew me to this story when i was a teenager still remains as an adult. i love how this personifies the notion that true beauty is who you are as a person, not what you look like. yes, this is done superficially with classic early 2000s dystopian drama, but the idea still stands. i think this is an important topic in YA culture - one i definitely needed back than and still does good now. so the 5 stars remain, if for sentimentality alone. ↠ 4.5 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Uglies (Uglies, #1), 2005, Scott Westerfeld Uglies is a 2005 science fiction novel by Scott Westerfeld. It is set in a future post scarcity dystopian world in which everyone is considered an "ugly", but then turned "Pretty" by extreme cosmetic surgery when they reach the age 16. It tells the story of teenager Tally Young blood who rebels against society's enforced conformity, after her newfound friends Shay and David show her the downsides to becoming a "Pretty". تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ما Uglies (Uglies, #1), 2005, Scott Westerfeld Uglies is a 2005 science fiction novel by Scott Westerfeld. It is set in a future post scarcity dystopian world in which everyone is considered an "ugly", but then turned "Pretty" by extreme cosmetic surgery when they reach the age 16. It tells the story of teenager Tally Young blood who rebels against society's enforced conformity, after her newfound friends Shay and David show her the downsides to becoming a "Pretty". تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2016 میلادی عنوان: زشتها کتاب اول از چهارگانه؛ نویسنده: اسکات وسترفیلد؛ مترجم: نوشین هنرپیشه؛ ویراستار: نیما کهندانی؛ تهران، آذرباد، 1393، در دو جلد؛ شابک: جلد اول: 97860062255555؛ جلد دوم: 9786006225562؛ در 448 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 21 م تالی به زودی شانزده‌ ساله می‌شود، او نمی‌تواند صبر کند. تا چند هفته‌ ی دیگر عمل جراحی ای را انجام خواهد داد، که او را از یک زشت نفرت‌ انگیز، به زیبارویی خیره‌ کننده، تبدیل خواهد کرد؛ و پس از زیباشدن، در بهشتی با فن‌آوری پیشرفته، زندگی خواهد کرد؛ که تنها کار او در آنجا، خوش‌ گذراندن است. اما دوست جدید تالی، «شِی»، مطمئن نیست که می‌خواهد زیبا شود، یا نه. پس از فرار شِی، تالی، بُعد تازه‌ ای از زندگی زیباروها را، کشف می‌کند... و بُعد چندان زیبایی نیست. مقامات دولتی، گزینشی پیش روی تالی می‌گذراند؛ میخواهند دوستش را پیدا کند، و تحویل دهد، یا هیچ وقت زیبا نخواهد شد. انتخاب تالی دنیای او را برای همیشه تغییر خواهد داد... کتاب حاضر نخستین قسمت از مجموعه‌ ی چهار قسمتی زشت‌ها است. ا. شربیانی

  8. 5 out of 5

    María

    Do you know that feeling, when you really want to punch a character in the face? Well, Tally Youngblood, you must be grateful that I can't see your face. Now I should stop the rant... the book itself was a quick read, but I don't get the hype. Enjoyable, yes. Good, not that much. I'm not really sure if I'll ever finish this series. Maybe one day if I'm actually bored. Do you know that feeling, when you really want to punch a character in the face? Well, Tally Youngblood, you must be grateful that I can't see your face. Now I should stop the rant... the book itself was a quick read, but I don't get the hype. Enjoyable, yes. Good, not that much. I'm not really sure if I'll ever finish this series. Maybe one day if I'm actually bored.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Reed

    I remember my initial disappointment when Scott Westerfeld switched from adult sf to YA fiction. How could he do this to me? I liked his books, but I don't wanna read a dopey YA novel! I'd read in an interview that it was mostly a financial decision--the YA market has exploded, and that's where the money is right now. How can you fault a guy for trying to make a living? As a junior high Language Arts teacher, it's impossible not to notice that Westerfeld's first YA series has done extremely well. I remember my initial disappointment when Scott Westerfeld switched from adult sf to YA fiction. How could he do this to me? I liked his books, but I don't wanna read a dopey YA novel! I'd read in an interview that it was mostly a financial decision--the YA market has exploded, and that's where the money is right now. How can you fault a guy for trying to make a living? As a junior high Language Arts teacher, it's impossible not to notice that Westerfeld's first YA series has done extremely well. I guess it's time I checked it out for myself. Well, after the first section of the novel, I can understand why Uglies has been a hit with the YA crowd--it's a fun, easy read. While Westerfeld hasn't completely dumbed down his writing, it is certainly much more accessible than his adult novels. Tally is a likeable teenager that the readers will identify with, and her plights are standard ones, considering the world she inhabits. Yes, it takes some suspension of disbelief to accept the premise that all people are given massive plastic surgery and made "pretty" at the age of 16. But if you are willing to accept the premise, the rest of the world makes sense. Tally wants to be pretty, as do all teens in this world. But she's a mischievous girl and loves to play pranks and pull tricks. When she meets up with Shay, a fellow prankster, her world is turned upside down. Shay introduces her to a world where people don't consider being pretty the ultimate goal, and when Shay runs away, choosing NOT to be made pretty, Tally is led down a road that will completely alter how she sees herself and the world around her. Westerfeld has created a good old-fashioned coming of age tale in a sf world. Sure it's a YA novel, but that's ok. We need to create another generation of sf readers. It might be a bit of an easy read for a more sophisticated (ie. old) reader like myself, but it was still enjoyable. The book is in fact the first of a trilogy, but it is possible to read the first novel by itself. Sure, the story continues, but Westerfeld does give the first book a sense of closure. I think the YA market is lucky to have Westerfeld. I hope he continues to have great success. And maybe someday, he'll write adult novels for his growing legion of YA fans.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    Three hundred years after an apocalyptic-sized disaster that reshaped the world, Tally is about to turn 16 and pretty. In her contained, isolated, self-sufficient city - just like all the other contained, isolated, self-sufficient cities - the operation to make her pretty will be intensive, extreme and, as far as she and everyone else alive is concerned, absolutely worth it. Once she's pretty, she'll go to live across the river in New Pretty Town and party the nights away, loved by all. It's a sh Three hundred years after an apocalyptic-sized disaster that reshaped the world, Tally is about to turn 16 and pretty. In her contained, isolated, self-sufficient city - just like all the other contained, isolated, self-sufficient cities - the operation to make her pretty will be intensive, extreme and, as far as she and everyone else alive is concerned, absolutely worth it. Once she's pretty, she'll go to live across the river in New Pretty Town and party the nights away, loved by all. It's a shock to her, then, to find that her friend Shay doesn't want to be pretty, and doesn't think she's ugly now. Of course she's ugly - everyone's ugly before the operation. But Shay runs away to the mysterious, secretive Smoke where her friend David awaits, leaving Tally a set of cryptic directions in case she changes her mind and decides to go too. But Tally has no intention of running away: turning pretty is all she wants, so she can be with her friend Peris again across the river, and be noticed and listened to because beautiful people cannot be ignored. But on the day of her own operation, she is taken instead to Special Circumstances, where cruel pretties with lethal reflexes bring her to Dr. Cable. They want to know about Shay and the Smoke and where it is located, but Tally keeps her promise not to tell. Even when Dr. Cable tells her she won't get the operation and be turned pretty until she does what they ask, she does not yield. Not until Peris unexpectedly visits her in Uglyville, and reminds her of the promise she made him, that she would be with him again, a promise that predates the one she made Shay. Latching onto this ray of hope - for she doesn't want to stay ugly the rest of her life - Tally is sent to spy for Special Circumstances and give them the location of the Smoke by sending a transmission via a heart pendant given her by Dr. Cable. When she arrives, though, it's not that simple. Yes, the people are all ugly, and that takes a while to get used to. But there's something else about them, something sharp and clear at odds with the vacuousness of all the pretties she's ever known, including her own parents. And then there's David, who was born in the Smoke and is definitely not pretty ... but who teaches her that she's beautiful because of who she is, not what she looks like. I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a lot of Isobelle Carmody's books, her heroines especially, and also Ellie from John Marsden's Tomorrow series, and a host of others. She's a quick thinker, afraid yet brave, resourceful and caring, faced with a choice no one at sixteen would want to have to make. The writing style is clear and descriptive without wasting a word, the characters deftly portrayed. While the themes and messages of the book may not be subtle - nor are they meant to be, since we're talking about the structure of their world here - there are depths to the concept, and nothing's black-and-white. There are also little digs about our own lifestyle (we are the "Rusties" in the book - because what's left of our cities are just rusty ruins), about how we clear-fell forests and waste resources and genetically modify plants. The entire concept could have fallen flat on its face for being too contrived and as superficial as the operation itself, but Westerfeld holds it all together with a great heroine in Tally, a dark sci-fi underworld beneath the glitter and party fun, and an examination into what price we really want to pay for the things we hold most dear.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ivana - Diary of Difference

    Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest #1 Uglies - ★★★★★ #2 Pretties - ★★★★★ #3 Specials - Not read yet A world where you are an ugly until your sixteenth birthday. And then, you undergo a surgery and you become pretty. And life is perfect. Except, maybe it isn’t. This is one of those books where you visualise a world in so many details, and feel like you’ve lived there all your life. Also a book that captures society for what really is. A very pleasant and enjoyable read. I received t Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest #1 Uglies - ★★★★★ #2 Pretties - ★★★★★ #3 Specials - Not read yet A world where you are an ugly until your sixteenth birthday. And then, you undergo a surgery and you become pretty. And life is perfect. Except, maybe it isn’t. This is one of those books where you visualise a world in so many details, and feel like you’ve lived there all your life. Also a book that captures society for what really is. A very pleasant and enjoyable read. I received this book as a birthday gift. Have a look at my birthday book haul on my blog. Uglies is the first book from the series by Scott Westerfeld. A dystopian world about ”uglies” and ”pretties”. A world in which society is split between beauty. A place where the ”uglies” are separated from the real world until they do a surgery and become pretties. Then, they grow up and join the world of pretties, where they are allowed to do everything they weren’t allowed before. They attend parties and have fun, and they don’t worry about anything. Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait to become pretty. All her friends have already turned pretty before her, and she is excited to join them in this marvellous world. But just weeks before her birthday, she becomes friends with Shay, who is not so sure whether she wants to become a pretty. When her friend runs away and escapes the operation, Tally has a choice: find Shay and bring her back, or never turn pretty at all. And when Tally goes after Shay, she discovers that the world she believed in, might not be the real one… I absolutely loved this book with all my heart. A beautiful world forming, an interesting scenario, great plot and interesting characters. I enjoyed reading about the world, how the author put the society together, and how it all worked out. The characters were not as engaging as I would hope them to be. Even though you felt for them, you couldn’t connect a lot. Just a little bit, enough to make you wonder what will happen next. It was enough for me to keep turning page after page in the middle of the night. The world the author created and the way the society works in this book is incredible. The ”uglies” and ”pretties” subject will always be matter of a discussion. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if your face has imperfections. It doesn’t matter how you look like. People love other people for who they are inside out, for the friendships, for the moments spent together, and for how they make them feel. Another thing I loved was the subject of protecting the nature. I loved the little moments and theories of destroying a certain plant for a better tomorrow for all the rest of the plants. ‘’Nature, at least, didn’t need an operation to be beautiful. It just was.’’ An amazing book, a world where you can visualise every single detail, even though you’ve never been there. A dystopian society and a battle between brains and beauty. I enjoyed it so much and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I strongly recommend it to all of you, my friends! A question for you all – Would you do the pretty surgery or not?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kalyn Nicholson

    Parts of it I'm obsessed with, other parts I think I'm a little too old for. That said, here I am picking up another teen-fiction. I am in denial. I'll be 60 and still reading teen fictions.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    Things become quite one-sided (or one-dimensional) in this YA dystopian yarn that imagines stuff in a... half-assed kind of way (repressive governing scientists: too uninteresting an antagonist, a teenaged character with absolutely zero references to the parental unit, scant description/character development...) presenting tropes for the new young'uns (and hopeful lifelong readers) to gawk at but offering nothing much too pleasant for the reader that's more enthralled by the complexities of that Things become quite one-sided (or one-dimensional) in this YA dystopian yarn that imagines stuff in a... half-assed kind of way (repressive governing scientists: too uninteresting an antagonist, a teenaged character with absolutely zero references to the parental unit, scant description/character development...) presenting tropes for the new young'uns (and hopeful lifelong readers) to gawk at but offering nothing much too pleasant for the reader that's more enthralled by the complexities of that OTHER YA epic, "Hunger Games," if at all. I mean, why does pretty=superficial, ugly=raw? Why can't pretty people also be good (thanks for corrupting my brain, Disney!)... It's... Its just too... vapid. Yeah. And it really doesn't quite pick up til the third act (page 270 or about). And it doesn't stand on its own, but requires for the rest to follow to be read (I'd rather go... run outside!) to assemble something even somewhat, ya know, SOMEthing... Eh. Sigh. My exploration unto this terrain seems to be at its ultimate, most dissatisfied conclusion....

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wren (fablesandwren)

    I loved this book for what it is: a reminder of my childhood and a beautiful story about accepting yourself for who you are. RTC. - - - THIS JUST IN: SCOTT WESTERFELD IS WRITING FOUR NEW NOVELS IN THE UGLIES WORLD AND IT IS LIKE MY CHILDHOOD HAS BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. IT IS GOING TO BE CALLED IMPOSTORS AND COMES OUT SEPTEMBER 11TH AND MY LITTLE HIGH SCHOOL HEART IS BEATING AGAIN I REPEAT BEATING AGAIN. REREADING THIS NOW AND THEN I WILL TELL YOU GUYS HOW MUCH I STILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. SLDFJ I loved this book for what it is: a reminder of my childhood and a beautiful story about accepting yourself for who you are. RTC. - - - THIS JUST IN: SCOTT WESTERFELD IS WRITING FOUR NEW NOVELS IN THE UGLIES WORLD AND IT IS LIKE MY CHILDHOOD HAS BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. IT IS GOING TO BE CALLED IMPOSTORS AND COMES OUT SEPTEMBER 11TH AND MY LITTLE HIGH SCHOOL HEART IS BEATING AGAIN I REPEAT BEATING AGAIN. REREADING THIS NOW AND THEN I WILL TELL YOU GUYS HOW MUCH I STILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. SLDFJEROIGHNWSFCMJGNHEAJFSFAJSDFHG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WrensReads | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    Seeing this book always popping up every time I searched for best YA novels, I knew I just HAD to read this. I've been actually saving this trilogy for a special reading occasion because I am really into dystopians and discovering this series was written even before the Hunger Games, I expected that I will be more than impressed. Sad to say, the book did not meet my expectation. Sure, the concept is cute- every one at the age of 16 gets operated on to become pretty while every body else is consi Seeing this book always popping up every time I searched for best YA novels, I knew I just HAD to read this. I've been actually saving this trilogy for a special reading occasion because I am really into dystopians and discovering this series was written even before the Hunger Games, I expected that I will be more than impressed. Sad to say, the book did not meet my expectation. Sure, the concept is cute- every one at the age of 16 gets operated on to become pretty while every body else is considered ugly, that's something to look forward to. Unfortunately, the plotting of the story is too linear with the introduction taking up most of content. My, I've already read 200 pages and I still felt like I was still reading unnecessary backgrounds and introductions. The slight bumps of the story only take place when it's almost finished and I'm sure any dystopian novel written that way cannot be properly appreciated. For me, any dystopian novel should start and end with an explosion- something captivating that will hook the readers up from beginning till finale. I'm afraid that even if I want to know what happens to Tally and David in the story, I think I'm going to just have to rely on online summaries of the succeeding books because I wouldn't want to go through another agony of reading so many pages mostly wasted on unnecessary details. I’ll give a merit to this book though. I think the hoverboards are cool. They make me imagine of green goblin’s ride. :)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    "Uglies" is about Tally Youngblood, who is about to turn sixteen, much to her liking. This is a futuristic novel, and when you turn sixteen you get an operation to make you "pretty". What being pretty means is that you have all your bones taken and ground, your skin re-sized and your whole entire body is basically re-done. Like a huge surgery. The thing is, during her wait to turn sixteen (Tally was the youngest in her group of friends) she meets a girl named Shay, who doesn't want to get the op "Uglies" is about Tally Youngblood, who is about to turn sixteen, much to her liking. This is a futuristic novel, and when you turn sixteen you get an operation to make you "pretty". What being pretty means is that you have all your bones taken and ground, your skin re-sized and your whole entire body is basically re-done. Like a huge surgery. The thing is, during her wait to turn sixteen (Tally was the youngest in her group of friends) she meets a girl named Shay, who doesn't want to get the operation. This doesn't make sense to Tally, because ever since she was little she has been told that she was ugly and she herself has accepted it. Shay leaves in the end to go to the Smoke, a place where runaway Uglies stay, and here's the initiating event in the book. Although Tally doesn't go with Shay, the city's Specials, who are like the police offers that keep thing in check, tell Tally that unless she brings Shay back to the city, then she won't get the operation. I read this book last year and wanted to review it earlier, but was afraid I wouldn't remember everything and not get it done right. What a good thing that I got to read it in school. This was definitely one of the better books that school has provided me with, and reading it the second time was just as great as reading it the first time. Scott Westerfeld describes everything so vividly without going overboard, and the entire theme and message of the book really connected with me, especially in the society we live in today. You must read this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bea

    2.5/5 stars. Great idea, poor execution. I was listening to the audiobook so I don’t know if the reading experience is any different but I found certain chapters in this fairly boring to get through. Story was creative, main character really annoying and the writing okay. Won’t be reading the next one anytime soon.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tan Markovic

    Reviews can be found at: www.booknerdtan.wordpress.com 3.5 I absolutely love diving into dystopian worlds and this is a YA series I have been meaning to start for years just never got round to it - so happy I finally have! Tally has grown up in a society where you are made to believe that you're ugly. As soon as you turn 16, however, you're given the rights to an operation to turn you from an 'ugly' to a 'pretty' and Tally cannot wait for this day. Things take a slight turn when Tally's friend Shay Reviews can be found at: www.booknerdtan.wordpress.com 3.5 I absolutely love diving into dystopian worlds and this is a YA series I have been meaning to start for years just never got round to it - so happy I finally have! Tally has grown up in a society where you are made to believe that you're ugly. As soon as you turn 16, however, you're given the rights to an operation to turn you from an 'ugly' to a 'pretty' and Tally cannot wait for this day. Things take a slight turn when Tally's friend Shay doesn't want to become pretty and runs away to The Smoke. Tally is faced with a difficult decision which only becomes harder as she gets to know the people in The Smoke and her views about becoming pretty are questioned. I got sucked into this world pretty quick and managed to finish it in no time. I loved the way Westerfeld described the world; descriptive and vivid, but not too descriptive that you get bored and I loved the parallels of our society that were incorporated in the story. The writing, and Tally, can get a bit tiresome during the first half of the book; there's only so much of her repeating that she can't wait to become 'pretty' without it starting to grate on you. There's only so much you can read about a teenage girl wanting to become 'pretty' because that's when you have all the fun without wanting to slap her. Having said that thought, despite Tally being the most suggestable character ever (annoying) at least towards the last half of the book you can see her character developing for the better which leaves me with hope for the rest of the series. The only other thing that slightly let the story down for me was the romance that developed - it kind of left a bitter tast. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for a strong female friendship to develop and Tally kinda throws in her friendship with her best friend extremely quickly. Meh. Overall though this book had me hooked and I wanna jump back into the world asap. I bought the following books in the series immediately after finishing and I can't wait to find how Tally and the story progess.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    I go a little crazy if I read more than one Margaret Atwood novel a year. I hope I'm not alone in this. I get the feeling that Atwood's sharp, but her writing is filed to a finer edge. I realized a while ago that one book per year was enough. I have a similar reaction to Stephen King, though I'm not sure why. I really loved The Stand, but when it was over I knew that I wasn't going to read another of his works for a while. At first, I thought this meant that I didn't like Stephen King and Margaret I go a little crazy if I read more than one Margaret Atwood novel a year. I hope I'm not alone in this. I get the feeling that Atwood's sharp, but her writing is filed to a finer edge. I realized a while ago that one book per year was enough. I have a similar reaction to Stephen King, though I'm not sure why. I really loved The Stand, but when it was over I knew that I wasn't going to read another of his works for a while. At first, I thought this meant that I didn't like Stephen King and Margaret Atwood. Over time, I've come to realize and accept that I really like reading them, and there's no contradiction in needing to read other authors in between. I am going through a similar process with young adult novels. I've read quite a few lately. Additionally, I feel like I shouldn't like young adult literature anyway. For one thing, I'm too old. Undeniably, I often find the characters annoying. And everything is clearly explained to the reader.* As a teacher, I have perfectly satisfactory excuses for reading young adult fiction, but I suppose I should stop kidding myself. I just like a lot of these young adult novels. Right now, young adult writers are very free to do what they want. I worry sometimes that too many authors stress over being derivative or unoriginal. Most of the best stories are stolen, and many great writers seem to excel at making people forget the source text. With young adult writers, they don't seem to be setting out to top their template stories. Instead, everything is an homage, an introduction, or a gateway for children to learn about those older templates. Since it's all for a good cause, it's not necessary to pretend like no one else wrote the story before. (Or maybe the sorts of stories that I like to read are not marketing as well with mainstream writers. I don't know.) In The Uglies, Scott Westerfield has fun introducing dystopian themes, weighing in on conformity and control. Here's the premise: In the future, everything is provided for. Life is broken up into the following stages: cute littlies, awkward uglies (teens), gorgeous pretties, authoritative middle pretties, and late pretties. Thanks to a new surgical procedure, everyone gets to give up their ugly features when they turn 16. The result is a paradise, so everyone has to become pretty. Although it means they'll always be ugly, some people choose to walk away from Omelas... Not bad, eh? Unfortunately, the breakthrough surgical procedure reminded me too strongly of Unwind and the love triangle reminded me too much of Mockingjay. Westerfield resists the urge to use a first-person voice, and that was refreshing. I've recently read quite a few dystopian young adult novels so I didn't enjoy The Uglies as much as I would have if I'd read it in 2011. It's my own fault, really. Still, I've learned something about myself, which is good. Unashamed, I think the next young adult read for me will either be The Book Thief or City of Ember. But I'm going to wait a couple months first. *Gene Wolfe is the anti-coddler, in my opinion. He doesn't write young adult fiction, but I can't think of any writers that give their readers as much credit as Wolfe does.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. At an unspecificied time in the future everyone turning sixteen is given surgery to become "pretty." Tally Youngblood is young woman, counting down the days to the procdure which despite being extremely intensive is considered worth it for a life of luxury and decadence among her peers. She's waiting to be reunited with her best friend and enjoy the life of being pretty together. That is until she meets Shay. The two bond over having lost all their friends to the surgery and waiting to join them. At an unspecificied time in the future everyone turning sixteen is given surgery to become "pretty." Tally Youngblood is young woman, counting down the days to the procdure which despite being extremely intensive is considered worth it for a life of luxury and decadence among her peers. She's waiting to be reunited with her best friend and enjoy the life of being pretty together. That is until she meets Shay. The two bond over having lost all their friends to the surgery and waiting to join them. They sneak out of the city to the wasteland and Tally discovers that not only does Shay not consider herself "ugly" but she has no intention of having the surgerys. Instead she wants to run off with a mysterious boy named David to a secret group of insurgents who refuse to have the surgery. She invites Tally to come with her, but Tally refuses. Shay runs away, leaving details on how Tally can find the group if she desires. On the day of her surgery, Tally is taken aside by Special Circumstances and told unless she finds Shay and betrays her to them, she (Tally) will be ugly for life. Tally agrees and sets out on her quest to find the rebels. If that were all the story was, it might just be merely interesting. And though the story does follow a fairly predictable character arc for Tally (she finds the group, fits in better than Shay and decides to stay), the secret behind the surgery that Scott Westerfield reveals mid-way through the novel is far more fascinating. And it also goes a long way to explaining some of the behavoir by post-surgery characters in the novel. Tally finds out that the surgery creates a specific kind of brain damage among all receipients. This twist explains why certain characters are so vapid and hedonistic in the story. Not only are the people being made to all be the same externally, they're being made to think the same way, to no longer question anything and to live only for the pleasure of the moment. The process is reversible (theoretically) and all of these various storylines lead to one massive cliffhanger that had me curious to see where things go next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    So it took me five days to read this book but it felt like I was reading it for about two weeks. It was so slow and so painful. This book is very overrated, I just don't understand how it's so popular. It never grabbed me and so I just wasn't interested. I'm giving it 2 stars because I'm feeling generous. What I liked: - The type of world Scott Westerfeld created. At first I thought it was a silly premise but as the story progressed and I found out more about the world Tally was living in, I und So it took me five days to read this book but it felt like I was reading it for about two weeks. It was so slow and so painful. This book is very overrated, I just don't understand how it's so popular. It never grabbed me and so I just wasn't interested. I'm giving it 2 stars because I'm feeling generous. What I liked: - The type of world Scott Westerfeld created. At first I thought it was a silly premise but as the story progressed and I found out more about the world Tally was living in, I understood why this kind of a world would seem ideal. I liked how Scott Westerfeld talked trash about us (or as he called us - "Rusties"). - Hoverboards. Very cool. What I did not like: - Tally. Sweet Baby Jesus, she was so irritating. I know she was 15/16 but I didn't like her. - David. Why did everyone love him? I just didn't see the appeal of his character. - The rest of the characters. They were weak characters. The words boring, clichéd and one-dimensional spring to mind. - The "romance". It was so weak. I didn't see any connection between Tally and David. Their insta-love and angst was annoying. - The pace. SCOTT, MY GOD MAN, PICK UP THE PACE. This book was quite possibly the slowest book I've ever read in my life. - The writing. I just didn't like it. I knew from the first chapter where Tally was explaining the vomit-coloured sky that I wouldn't like the writing and I was right. - The Special Circumstances people. They didn't seem like consistent characters. Lightening fast reflexes, superhuman senses etc and yet two teenagers outsmarted them? Not buying it. - How predictable it was. It was so predictable and the godawful slow pace just made the book so much worse. I wouldn't recommend this book. You won't miss out on anything if you skip this book. Do I want to read the sequel? No. Will I read the sequel? Probably. I wish I was someone who could have put this book down as a DNF (I really really wanted to) or someone who could skip reading the sequel because Uglies was a poor book but unfortunately I am not. Who knows, maybe the next book will be better but I'm not going to hold my breath.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    After finishing 425 pages that I couldn't put down, I'm finding myself needing to buy the next in the series as soon as possible. No wonder editors are getting copy-cat novels similar to this from aspiring writers. Uglies tells the story of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where everyone gets a surgery at age 16 to make them "pretty" with a perfect body, perfect face, and diminished personality. This surgery is supposed to prevent people from having an unfair advantage in the workplace because of the After finishing 425 pages that I couldn't put down, I'm finding myself needing to buy the next in the series as soon as possible. No wonder editors are getting copy-cat novels similar to this from aspiring writers. Uglies tells the story of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where everyone gets a surgery at age 16 to make them "pretty" with a perfect body, perfect face, and diminished personality. This surgery is supposed to prevent people from having an unfair advantage in the workplace because of the way they look and to prevent conflicts because of the color of people's skin. And when you become a "pretty" there's nothing but party after party every night. However, from the age of 12-15, you have to move to Ugly Town to live with all the other "uglies" until your operation. However, over the years, many of the uglies have escaped beyond the city to live off the land rather than to become a pretty. The author has created a different world with different rules. The city has a grid up metal under it which magnetic hoverboards and hovercrafts use to zip around the city. People look different and have different initiation rites for growing older. One of the characters spends a great deal of time following a riddle another ugly has left behind for her to get from the city to the secret world of the uglies who refused to turn pretty. These uglies have created a place called The Smoke where they have attempted to keep vestiges of the past alive with a library of books and magazines from the time before everyone's eventual fate was to become a pretty. If the other books in this series are as good as the first, I know what I'm going to be spending too much money on in the next few days or weeks.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I'd heard of this book before, but I didn't realize it was futuristic. The story line is one you've all heard before--in the future, everyone is forced into some nutso plastic surgery which makes you gorgeous, and of course, the post ops spend all day living it up and having a grand ol' time because they're brainwashed and beautiful. It sounds kinda like an ok life, but there are some folks who are like, "Hellz no, you ain't cuttin' me, beyotch!" So these folks have to become renegades, and that I'd heard of this book before, but I didn't realize it was futuristic. The story line is one you've all heard before--in the future, everyone is forced into some nutso plastic surgery which makes you gorgeous, and of course, the post ops spend all day living it up and having a grand ol' time because they're brainwashed and beautiful. It sounds kinda like an ok life, but there are some folks who are like, "Hellz no, you ain't cuttin' me, beyotch!" So these folks have to become renegades, and that's what this story is about. Renegades living on a commune. Some shit goes down and they get busted and have to go on a rescue mission to get their peeps back. Though I liked this book just fine, I would not say this book is amazing. It was a decent way to pass the time. My biggest criticism: I wish the main character was a bit more likable--she's a traitor, and I think we're supposed to forgive her, but I don't really want to. And I think she's supposed to be really really smart, too, but... Nah. My biggest "wowie" moment: The technology is pretty cool. And except for the brainwashing, I guess it might be sorta fun to live in that kind of a society--everything is recycled and solar powered, and I don't think anyone needs money to buy stuff. It's just, ask and you shall receive. The lazy man's person's ultimate fantasy. There are two more books in the series. I'll read the next two if fate dictates it, but I'm not likely to go out tomorrow and buy the box set.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    WELL THAT WAS GREAT. WOW. WOW. 4.4 STARS. WOOOOO IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I got this book over a year ago, I received it for Christmas 2011, and had specifically asked for it because I had heard such great hype around it. I tried picking it up around the Christmas period and only got a few pages in and giving up because I was just not in the mood. A couple of days ago though, I have no idea why, I just felt it. Something from above said "You feel like reading Uglies!" And boy, was it just what I neede WELL THAT WAS GREAT. WOW. WOW. 4.4 STARS. WOOOOO IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I got this book over a year ago, I received it for Christmas 2011, and had specifically asked for it because I had heard such great hype around it. I tried picking it up around the Christmas period and only got a few pages in and giving up because I was just not in the mood. A couple of days ago though, I have no idea why, I just felt it. Something from above said "You feel like reading Uglies!" And boy, was it just what I needed. Let's talk pros, and the mention the little cons. PROS: My love for this book comes from four directions. Firstly, the world. The entire concept is intricate and well played out. I can tell that Scott Westerfeld had late nights thinking up how this world would work in all it's small details. The world building is great, absolutely unlike anything I've thought of or read before. Secondly, the actual exciting plot. We have this great and fascinating world, where every new idea is really fascinating, but you also have a great story happening in the world. I was constantly excited, and a few times I found myself, either internally or vocally, saying "NOOOO!" because I was just so into what was going on! It's FUN to read a FUN story. Thirdly, character development. There were a few characters in this novel and they all had pretty decent development. I understood their actions and could appreciate when they thought new things and changed. Fourthly, the theme. The theme in this book is super simple: Your appearance does not define you; as an individual or a society. Even though it was so simple, so obvious, it was great. The times where I was reading and it really hit me, or when the characters were discussing it, I felt great about it. Honestly, I started feeling like a more beautiful human. That might sound cliche, but having these characters not understand that their appearance does not define them made ME appreciate it. CONS: Although I super duper enjoyed this, I had one problem. But it was kind of a big problem, and that was the writing. I really did not enjoy the writing in this. It was very distracting and very confusing. Often during exciting action scenes I didn't ACTUALLY understand what was going on because it wasn't explained clearly. I would understand "Oh, okay, she's escaping on a hoverboard.. sort of," but I would get so confused by the actions of the board or the way she was moving or what was going on around her because it all felt so muddles. Also, and maybe most importantly, I don't know how he managed it, but I felt like Scott Westerfeld's writing actually ruined exciting moments. Something huge would happen, a big revelation or big plot twist, and while I'd be shocked I'd also be confused that the excitement of the story was not matching the excitement of the writing. I felt like Westerfeld either wasn't excited at all, or REALLY didn't know how to write excitement. It was actually really upsetting because some of the shocking revelations would be pushed down a bit by the unexcited delivery. It's like someone really depressingly says "Yeah, whatever, you aced the test." And you're confused.. yay you did good? What? Why is this person not happy about it?! Overall though, I obviously really liked this. It was super exciting and wonderfully intricate. I ABSOLUTELY want to pick up the next book to see what happens next. I won't be doing a solitary review for this book: I'll mention it in a round up, but I will be doing a review of this series when I finish it! (Which prolly wont be for a while so don't get too excited yet!) ** Note on the cliffhanger: I might be doing a video about this, which is why I won't be going to in depth about it, but basically I hate cliff hangers. I feel that their a cheat and a trick: the author/publishing house is trying to trick me into buying the next book in a series. If you're going to write a series or trilogy, in my opinion, each book should be able to stand on it's own. Obviously you would have to read the first book before enjoying the second book, but you should be able to read the second book and be satisfied. It's really important to me to be able to say "I feel like I finished something," when I finish a book. BASICALLY, before I drift too much, I felt like this was a great cliffhanger. It was exciting and crazy enough to make me want to pick up the next book, but I don't feel cheated. I feel like I did finish a story. As though if I don't pick up the rest of the series I'll still have finished something.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bren

    “Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.” ― Scott Westerfeld, Uglies I read this whole trilogy. While I found some things to admire about it, particularly the theme of non conformity, I just could not get into it as much as I hoped. This is a series where much of the focus is action oriented rather than dialogue driven and that was my first issue. I usually prefer it the other way around. There was also much I did not understand. And it (the whole “Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.” ― Scott Westerfeld, Uglies I read this whole trilogy. While I found some things to admire about it, particularly the theme of non conformity, I just could not get into it as much as I hoped. This is a series where much of the focus is action oriented rather than dialogue driven and that was my first issue. I usually prefer it the other way around. There was also much I did not understand. And it (the whole series really) was a bit to YA for me. I think I'd have preferred this in my High School days. I did wind up reading the whole series. Not bad but I was disturbed by this one and all the cutting. I also think I'd have got more out of it had it been the first Dystopian I'd read. At the end of the day, while I can appreciate the themes of the series and the atmosphere and the hover crafts which were fun, this was the the book nor the series for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    This series used to be one of my favorites. I’ve been wondering for years whether it would hold up, whether I’d still love it as an adult the way I did as a teenager. I was fully expecting to be disappointed. But, to my surprise, I enjoyed Uglies just as much as the first time I read it. Tally Youngblood is the perfect protagonist. I’m bored to tears by “Chosen One” protagonists, the ones with special abilities and a mysterious past who always felt like they were “different.” Tally is the antidot This series used to be one of my favorites. I’ve been wondering for years whether it would hold up, whether I’d still love it as an adult the way I did as a teenager. I was fully expecting to be disappointed. But, to my surprise, I enjoyed Uglies just as much as the first time I read it. Tally Youngblood is the perfect protagonist. I’m bored to tears by “Chosen One” protagonists, the ones with special abilities and a mysterious past who always felt like they were “different.” Tally is the antidote to that, the polar opposite. She’s completely normal, average, just like everyone else. She has strengths and weaknesses. She makes mistakes. I’d be hard pressed to point to a more realistic and relatable character in all of young adult speculative fiction. Additionally, with Tally Youngblood, Scott Westerfeld places himself in an elite group of male authors who can actually write a realistic and relatable female protagonist, sans objectification. It shouldn’t be a Herculean task, writing women as complex individuals, but given how few men manage to accomplish it, I have to give Westerfeld props. The romance was pretty good. It didn’t have me swooning, but it added something to the story and to Tally’s character. It developed a little quickly for my tastes, but I guess teenagers are like that sometimes, and it wasn’t quite instalove. And I liked Tally’s love interest, David: He’s hardworking, levelheaded, and kind. Definitely boyfriend material. Other than Tally’s development, what I enjoyed most about this book was its pacing. Somehow Westerfeld found the exact formula to keep me turning pages late into the night. This book had me hooked; I couldn’t put it down even though I’d already read it and knew what happened. The chapters were short and there was never a dull moment. It’s pretty much exactly what I expect when I pick up a YA novel. I want to be entertained! The premise of Uglies is unforgettable and unique, the plot engaging, but the protagonist and pacing were what truly set it apart. Westerfeld is an incredibly talented writer and I look forward to rereading the rest of this series. (Ignoring Extras, which we will all pretend was never written.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dystopia28

    Okay, so this book was really good! I want to finish Throne of Glass before I move on to Pretties, but I really liked this book! The first and last lines of this book were just.... interesting? My favorite character was Shay, she was so awesome! I hope everything ends up working out for her in the end. Maddy was also pretty awesome. For a woman who is like fifty, she is pretty athletic and awesome! David was a good character, especially when he explained the Rusties. Oh, the Rusties. Tally's vie Okay, so this book was really good! I want to finish Throne of Glass before I move on to Pretties, but I really liked this book! The first and last lines of this book were just.... interesting? My favorite character was Shay, she was so awesome! I hope everything ends up working out for her in the end. Maddy was also pretty awesome. For a woman who is like fifty, she is pretty athletic and awesome! David was a good character, especially when he explained the Rusties. Oh, the Rusties. Tally's view on us and our "ancient magazines" was so cool! The stuff we don't even really care that much about like magazines, the characters are thinking of them as artifacts! That's why I love dystopian books, I love seeing how civilization could turn out. This book was so creative and original, but the reason I gave it four stars and not five was because it took me soooo long to finish, it just felt like it dragged on without an end. But the ending was the perfect cliffhanger to get me to read the next one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    DNF - No. Just no.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Norah Una Sumner

    Real rating: 3.5 Well,this was fun.After reading a bazillion bad reviews I thought that this will be really,really bad.But it's not,it's quite amusing actually.The main character,Tally,is really cool.I liked her a lot and I completely understood all of her actions,which is a really rare thing for me.I liked the story line and the whole concept of separating ugly *cough*normal*cough* and pretty people.I also liked the new technology described and used in this book-I'd love to try those hoverboards Real rating: 3.5 Well,this was fun.After reading a bazillion bad reviews I thought that this will be really,really bad.But it's not,it's quite amusing actually.The main character,Tally,is really cool.I liked her a lot and I completely understood all of her actions,which is a really rare thing for me.I liked the story line and the whole concept of separating ugly *cough*normal*cough* and pretty people.I also liked the new technology described and used in this book-I'd love to try those hoverboards and bungee jackets!On the other hand,I didn't really liked any other character...Shy is the type of person I find annoying and inconsiderate,I just don't feel like their friendship is real.David is not bad,I have to admit that,but he's nothing special to be honest.I do hope that he will get a decent character development in the next book.Croy seems like a cool character,though. Okay,how badass was Tally in those last 20 pages?! Overall...I'm satisfied. Favourite quotes: “Tally smiled. At least she was causing trouble to the end. "I'm Tally Youngblood," she said. "make me pretty.” “Maybe they didn't want you to realize that every civilization has its weakness. There's always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away all that's left is some story in a history class.”

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amelia, free market Puritan

    All in all, I was VERY impressed with Uglies. Westerfeld is now one of my favorite writers, not only for his immense creativity but also for his ability to blend the JUST RIGHT amount of action, description, and dialogue. This may sound like a weird comparison, but Scott Westerfeld reminds me of a gourmet chef: he knows how to measure out and mix together the right concoction of ingredients in order to make a delicious product! It made reading Uglies a fun and smooth experience. Let's face it, it All in all, I was VERY impressed with Uglies. Westerfeld is now one of my favorite writers, not only for his immense creativity but also for his ability to blend the JUST RIGHT amount of action, description, and dialogue. This may sound like a weird comparison, but Scott Westerfeld reminds me of a gourmet chef: he knows how to measure out and mix together the right concoction of ingredients in order to make a delicious product! It made reading Uglies a fun and smooth experience. Let's face it, it's really hard for authors to come up with a story that is 100% interesting and confusion-free, and it's really hard for readers (sometimes, if we're honest) to stay focused and interested the whole time. In all fairness, the middle part of story (from when Tally arrives at the Smoke to when the Smoke is ambushed) dragged just a little, but thanks to the quality of Westerfeld's writing, it never descended into tediousness. Oh, and this is a BIGGIE: there is SYMBOLISM!! Yes, Scott Westerfeld employed the literary device with such skill and thoughtfulness, I can totally see English teachers chirping with delight. I'm going to give this copy to my English-teacher mom :) Tally Youngblood is one of those characters who seems to divide readers - some of them think she's shallow and a little flat, and others really like her and can connect with her. I'm definitely in the latter category. When I read a dystopian novel, I have to keep in mind that I am reading about a society that is (probably) drastically different from my own, and it's full of people who have a different reality from me. Tally is no exception, and once I put myself in her world, it was really easy to see why she behaves the way she does and why she chooses to make certain decisions. But besides all that, Tally was just a fun character to read about. Once again, master chef Westerfeld had all the ingredients for a great character: she was assertive and witty without being bratty or snarky, she was a good friend (sometimes) who struggled with loyalty and doing the right thing, and she was self-aware without being self-absorbed. Perfecto! Oh, and I definitely need to mention Dr. Cable. Excellent, excellent villain! I *think* she's the main antagonist of the series, and wow, she was great. Yes, I have been known to really like certain villains, if they're interesting enough. I kept imagining a woman version of Agent Smith from The Matrix. My absolute favorite aspect of the story was Special Circumstances. That was *so* Matrix! The world Westerfeld created was really interesting and I love dystopians but haven't read many, so this certainly didn't disappoint. The only groan-worthy things have to do with the dystopian elements. I don't know if this is just what all dystopians have become now, but there's an element of sameness to them that I'm picking up on. It's all about how bad we are to the environment, how materialistic we are, how dependent on oil... a little too quasi-political at times. I'll be interested to see if Suzanne Collins takes this (rather convenient) road in Hunger Games. I *do*, however, like how Westerfeld touched on some of the inherent flaws in our social culture, but the Pretty society is pretty much hedonistic like our society, just more elevated. I would have liked to feel a little more of a contrast in cultures. New Pretty Town instantly reminded me of the thirty mile zone in LA :P In a nutshell,though, Uglies was an amazing, enjoyable, and thought-provoking read that I would definitely encourage everyone to pick up. Teens will love the story, and adults will find this book immensely clever. RECOMMENDED!

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