Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published: February 8, 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Tally 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.
When I read the title and the synopsis I wasn't sure what to expect, and the story really didn't turn out the way I thought it would. Every time I thought i had figured out what was going to happen, Westerfeld would throw a curve ball at me. I did find Uglies entertaining and would recommend it to anyone.
Tally is waiting on her 16th birthday to finally arrive so she can get the operation that will turn her pretty. Her best friend Peris has already had the operation performed and moved to New Pretty Town. She has been having a hard time since he became pretty so she decides to sneak out of Uglyville and visit him. She has a very exciting adventure while in New Pretty Town and winds up meeting a girl named Shay who has the same birthday as her.
Shay is not like any of the other Uglies her age, she likes the way she looks and doesn't want to have the operation done. Shay has decided to runaway to a place called The Smoke where people who don't want the operation go to. She tries to get Tally to go with her but Tally can't wait to have hers done.
From that moment on all kinds of crazy happens. People will be betrayed and hurt, and friendships will be tested. Will Tally get what she has always wanted, to be pretty, or will something stand in her way?
I thought this book had a deeper message embedded in it's pages. In today's world we're always being told, from a young age, what is considered to be pretty or beautiful. The media contorts body image, facial features, and gives us an unattainable vision of what beauty should be. In a way our world is already like the world in which Tally lives in. Kids are already self conscious about the way they look and from an early age try and do things to alter their looks. I liked that Westerfeld touched on the fact that David thought Tally was beautiful just the way she was before the operation. That it was the things she said, accomplished, and the way she acted that made him attracted to her. I feel that Scott was trying to tell millions of kids that "You are beautiful the way you are, regardless of your appearance or what society tries to tell you" and tries to make them understand that the most beautiful person physically can be hideously atrocious and shallow on the inside. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and he didn't intend for anything other than a good story, but I'd like to believe that he did.
I really enjoyed Uglies and gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I recommend this for teenagers and adults alike, you might really enjoy it. I know that I did.
(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved