Posted by: Iampeterpan | November 30, 2011

When Turning Pretty isn’t as Pretty as it Seems

In America, your sweet sixteen grants you the right to drive a car. In Scott Westerfeld’s sci-fi novel, Uglies, turning sixteen means undergoing extreme cosmetic surgery to become a pretty.

Set in the future in this seemingly utopian world, Tally Youngblood is a mischief fifteen year old ugly that wants nothing more than to be reunited with her best friend, Peris.  Since Tally is three months and two days younger than Peris, she is still living Uglyville, while Peris had already had the operation, and already living in New Pretty Town – a place off-limits for uglies. Tally promises Peris that she won’t do that might anger the authorities (the specials), or else the specials might not let Tally turn pretty like everyone else. But then she meets Shay, who introduces her to a new way of life as a Smokie. At the Smokes, no one is turned pretty, and therefore everyone isn’t ugly. And when Shay runs away to the Smokes, the Specials (the authorities) tell her that she has to either find Shay and turn the Smokes in, or stay ugly forever.

I really loved the whole idea of Uglies and enjoyed Scott Westerfeld’s way of writing. The ways that he drops in bits and pieces of information while the story evolves made this book a page-turner. I also liked how the ending was pretty predictable, but then had a twist in the last chapter. The beginning was quite slow, but it was still great because the introduction brought in a lot of new perspective about pretties, uglies, specials, how the city works, and all the history about how the Rusties perished (Rusties being us in our present, modern world).

I definitely recommend this book to everyone. Uglies is written with a girl as the main character, and the teenage conflicts of change, betrayal, and crushes do make this novel more of a read for girls, but the storyline is something I think anyone would enjoy. Then again, the end of the book IS a cliffhanger, so if you’re that type of person who gets curious about how the story ends, I would recommend something else. Or just make sure you read Pretties, Specials, and Extras too!

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Responses

  1. Heading on to reading Extras… LOVING this series so far!


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