Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Publication date: February 8, 2005

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 425 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 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.

 Publication date: November 1, 2005

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 370 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

 Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.

 But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

 Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Publication date: May 9, 2006

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 384 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

"Special Circumstances":

The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.

 And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

 The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

 Still, it's easy to tune that out -- until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.

Published date: October 2, 2007

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 417 (hardcover)

Summary: (Goodreads)


It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of "American Idol." Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.

 As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.

 Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

I feel as if these books, this series, gets a lot of love already. But I don't think any amount of love will really account for how influential this series was on me and those I know who have read it. I even know several schools where these books were on the summer reading list.

Uglies was first recommended to me by Maggie @ Raindrop Reads (go check her out and say hi to her for me!) when we were in elementary/ middle school. She was gushing on and on and on about how good they were and how much I need to read them. I think my reply was something like, "Eww. These books look totally girly and teeny and I don't think I'll like them. I only read medieval fiction, k?"

So maybe it didn't go exactly like that, but close all the same. I must have been in the 7th grade.

While it's true I am a huge fan of medieval fiction-it used to be all I was a fan of, mind you-I'd never really gotten to experience the wonderful world of YA dystopian. Uglies was like the first dive, cold and scary but exhilarating all the same. I don't think my love of books has ever been the same since.

These books will remain very close to my heart as it indeed opened up a huge genre for me and haven't look back since. I will remain forever in dept to Mr. Scott and his always praiseworthy series about girls who aren't perfect but are made to be.

1 comment: