My Uglies Review
This book left me speechless! I could not put it down! Westerfeld’s vision was so clear, and the story line was amazing. The concept of the book was so different from anything I have read so far. There was never a dull moment for me. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!
Tally Youngblood is counting down the days until she turns sixteen. While most girls would be planning parties and getting new cars, Tally is looking forward to becoming a PRETTY! Her best friend Peris has already transitioned to New Pretty Town, the place you get to go once you become a pretty, and is able to do all the things pretties do. They throw extravagant parties, dress in the best clothes, and people actually like them. Uglyville is nothing like that. The uglies usually keep to themselves and refuse to venture out until they have their turn to move to New Pretty Town once they turn sixteen. Tally cannot help but sneak away one night and try to meet up with Peris in New Pretty Town, even though it is against the rules and can probably get her in a lot of trouble. She has been so lonely since he left. This changes on the night she surprises her long lost best friend. He seemed so angry with her for being there, and makes her promise she will not get caught and will not do anything to keep her from becoming a pretty again. In an attempt to flee after being discovered, Tally meets up with another ugly, Shay. She has been sneaking out at night also. Shay and Tally become fast friends, and realize they have more in common than most. They share the same birthday. This means that they will be turned together! They will not have to watch the other one leave without the other. This is why Shay’s news of running away to a rebel camp shocks Tally beyond belief! Who does not want to become a pretty?! Although Shay tries to convince Tally to go, in the end Tally decides to stay. Shay leaves her a set of directions just in case she changes her mind, makes her promise to keep everything a secret, and they part ways. Will she ever see Shay again? Will she ever make it to The Smoke, the rebel camp she left for?
Tally cannot believe that her surgery is finally here! This is what she has waited her whole life for! She is going to be a pretty and do all the things the pretties do! Right…. WRONG?! The surgery is put off and Tally is escorted to a place called Special Circumstances. Once here, she meets up with Dr. Cable and is presented with a proposition. She has to infiltrate The Smoke and spy for Special Circumstances in order to become a pretty, or she can stay an ugly for the rest of her life. But what about the promises she has made? Can she keep both promises to both friends? She has no choice. In order to get what she wants, she has to rat Shay out. As Tally embarks on her journey, she begins to speculate about The Smoke. What if she cannot figure out the encoded instructions? Thanks to Special Circumstances, no one even knows where she is! She travels for days until she reaches the field full of beautiful white flowers. Is this the place the letter describes? The smell of fire is what jars her awake the next day. In an attempt to flee, she is “rescued” by a helicopter full of…. PRETTIES!? They call themselves the rangers and are from another city. Although they are part of the clue, they have never seen The Smoke.
“Don’t you know? The location’s a big secret. Smokies don’t trust pretties. Not even us rangers. We’ll take you to the usual spot, and you know the rest, right?”
At last, she makes it to The Smoke. Still at odds with herself, she explores the runaway camp. Never does she expect to change her mind about revealing the camp, nor does she plan on falling for a guy her best friend likes! After a couple of days at The Smoke, David, the crush, takes her to meet his parents. Tally is shocked to discover they used to be the operational doctors for the pretties. They share some information that may turn the tables for good. While doing some research, they discovered that they pretties are technically being turned into mindless robots. Suddenly all the rave of being pretty in not enough for Tally. She has found love and a place where she belongs. But happiness is short lived when Special Circumstances appear out of no where. What has she done?! In an attempt to retrieve the pendant, Tally escapes the clutches of Specials. She makes it to a secret hideout and finds non other than David! Thank God they did not catch him! This would be the perfect time to tell him everything. He deserves to know, but Tally just cannot do it. She cannot lose him too! David and Tally know they have to attempt to save the smokies. Without their help, they will all be forced to become mindless pretties.
After a couple of days, they make it back to Special Circumstances and with the help of some uglies cause a diversion and make it inside. What they find is quite a shock! Who will be left standing in the end? Make sure you grab this book and find out! It is definitely worth a read!
Pretty or Else
I found this a great book. Taking a hard look at humanity. In a world driven by beauty obsessed society can one person truly stay unique. This book take a look at peer pressure in the purest form for any sixteen year old fitting in is a major part of life. We look at Tally, a strong main character, to stay true to herself and be an individual. Filled with self doubt and confusion Tally has to decide to change into what society accepts or rage against society. We cheer her on as she fights to be herself in a world that rewards conformity. This book makes us care about all the characters and root for them to succeed in the face of insurmountable odds. This book pulls you in and keeps you reading with the wonderful world Scott Westerfeld creates. This book is for anyone who thinks being beautiful will solve all their problems
One of my older reviews!
Fun, entertaining read
I'll admit, I was a little wary about starting a series that revolves around being pretty. I mean seriously, how much more superficial can you get? I was prepared to be super-annoyed with the shallowness of it all.
But once I started reading, I found myself completely absorbed in Tally's world. Mr. Westerfeld actually made me understand how Tally would want nothing more in life than to become Pretty, and managed to do it without making me hate her. No small task.
There were a few things I could nitpick about the plot. The endless hoverboarding, for example, made me think someone bet Mr. Westerfeld that he couldn't write an entire book based off of the chase scene in Back to the Future II.
Also, I had a little bit of a hard time figuring out how anything actually got accomplished in this world. What I surmised was that the inhabitants of Uglyville go to school, then turn 16 and party hearty for a few years until they hit "Middle Pretty" age and actually start contributing something to society. Not that I could imagine any of them actually wanting to contribute, since it sounds like the Pretty lifestyle was the epitome of luxury and indulgence. Maybe you or I would get tired of living like that, but the Pretties don't seem to mind in the least.
Is a workforce consisting entirely of middle-aged ex-partiers (as it's implied that the elderly, or "Crumblies" -- ouch -- also do not work) enough to keep this advanced society running smoothly? Maybe not in the world you and I live in. In the world of Uglies, though, it works.
When it comes to YA fiction -- or any fiction, for that matter -- I can almost always poke holes in the logic of the world as it's written. The question I have to ask myself is, "Did I care?" If the answer is yes, it pulls me out of the story and diminishes my enjoyment of the book.
With Uglies, the answer was no. I didn't care that not everything made sense. What I cared about was Tally. Was she a perfect character? Heck no. She drove me nuts at times (this is also one of the main downfalls of reading YA lit, period. The protagonists are always teenagers. I am not). But she was fun to read about, her journey was exciting, and I couldn't put the book down until I knew what happened to her.
Such a society
A world where once you turn 16 you must undergo an operation from Ugly to Pretty. Such a process, such a society. This book was something i never expected and I loved every minute that I was reading this book.
If those who are born Ugly must go through an operation to become Pretty, a lot of people in society wouldn't object. This book really makes you look at yourself and how you should really appreciate the true beauty you're given to yourself. Scott Westerfeld brings out such an elaborate story in such a society that puts looks on a high platform and envelops everyones lives around it. It really shows how modern society happens to be... how the conscious though of "pretty" can manipulate thoughts, outlooks and who we are and what we become. The fascination with beauty consumes everything.
When beauty comes cheap.
Reader reviewed by darklightkid
In the future, 16-year-olds are required by law to undergo extreme cosmetic surgery that turns them into people almost too beautiful to be human. Until then, until the day they become Pretties, they have to live in their own dorm halls, with only their peers for company, as unwanted Uglies.
Tally Youngblood is about to turn 16 herself, and she is tired of being the oldest ugly in the house. Her best friend Shay will get the operation a few days before she does. But on the big day, Shay inexplicably vanishes without a trace. And even worse, Tally is approached by Dr. Cable, the fearsome and intimidatingly beautiful leader of the Special Circumstances squad, who gives her an ultimatum: Find Shay and bring her back, or Tally will never become pretty.
So, Tally goes on a mission, across the same blasted post-apocalyptic landscape she and Shay used to hoverboard around on, carrying nothing but the clothes on her backs and seemingly endless packages of synthetic pre-packed food - specifically, SpagBol, or Spaghetti Bolognese, which Tally eventually gets tired of (a running gag for the rest of the series is that she will eat any other such food - PadThai, CurryNoods - anything but SpagBol.) Eventually, Tally discovers a camp full of runaway renegades, all ugly but mostly adults, Shay among them. And as she stays there, Tally discovers that being pretty is not all it's cracked up to be. The horrible sad truth is, when a person undergoes the Pretty operation, the surgeons sneakily insert brain lesions to prevent the Pretties from thinking of anything but partying. Who will Tally trust? Will she betray her best friend?
It's a sin that most people look at this book and automatically assume it's strictly chick-lit. I'm a dude and yet I still enjoyed this book, because Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors (and if I ever become a writer myself someday, I would cite Westerfeld as one of my influences.) It's not the best book in his bibliography, but it's a good start to a series with amazing potential. And it carries a very serious message, too: similarly to a famous quote from The Incredibles, when everyone's pretty, no one will be. Chew on that, Kim Kardashian!
Ugly is the New Pretty
Reader reviewed by avery
What if you
lived in a world where perfect beauty was the norm and ugly was just a stage of
life? In Scott Westerfelds book Uglies
everyone under the age of sixteen is an Ugly until they turn sixteen, when
they get a surgery and turn Pretty.
After that there are four stages of Pretty; Young, Middle, Crumbly and
Dead Pretty. Tally Youngblood is the last one of her friends to still be an Ugly.
While waiting for her 16th birthday to arrive she befriends Shay,
another Ugly, who doesnt believe that her face is hideous because it isnt
perfect or that there is only one way to be pretty. To avoid having becoming
Pretty Shay runs off to the Smokes, a secret hideout for those who want to stay
Ugly, the week before Tally and her turn sixteen. Tally is forced to follow Shay
to the Smoke by the Specials, a fierce group of Pretties who run the government,
and pretend that she came on her own free will. After she gets there Tally is
supposed to activate a special tracker the Specials gave her but once there she
starts to like the Smoke and starts to questions the Specials reason for
wanting to destroy it. Im not going to ruin the book for those of you who
havent read it yet so I wont say anything more.
I love the idea
of writing a book about a society based all around beauty and image. Its also
a little familiar because the way the world is today with millions of people
changing the way they look by surgery a world like the this could be very real
in the near future. The characters are really well developed in the book,
especially Shay, who was my favorite. She was a really radical thinker and not
afraid to be different, which, in this book, was a nice change. When I first
started Uglies I thought it was going
to be boring but there is a lot of plot twists and a completely unexpected
Tally was the
one part of the book I didnt like. Unlike Shay, she seemed pretty shallow, and
completely believed that she couldnt be pretty for who she was. All the Uglies
where brainwashed into believing this but Tally still vexed me, especially when
she decided that it was better to try to betray her friend than to remain ugly.
Tally was also pretty indecisive; she couldnt decide whether she should betray
the Smoke or become one of them when it was obvious that she loved being there.
(This next part has a minor plot spoiler, sorry) Or how she didnt tell David,
a Smoke man she fell in love with, about how she had originally gone to the
Smoke to betray them all even when they where all alone trying to save the
others from the Specials. Tally knew she would have to tell him sometime but
she kept on putting it off, which made matters worse in the end. If I could I
would change Tally and make her more like Shay and more trusting but it
probably wouldnt have been as good of a book.
thinking about reading this book I recommend it to people who enjoyed the Hunger Games series, the new Lauren
Destefano book Wither, and fans of
other Scott Westerfeld books. Uglies
has a fair amount of action but it also has an underlying message of body image,
individuality and peer-pressure. Overall, this book is a great read unlike any
other book out there. Four out of five stars.
Reader reviewed by Ruthie
I love Scott Westerfeld's books and this one was just as good as his others. Uglies takes place in the far-off future where everything is different, mostly. Beauty is valued over brains in this society and turning sixteen means everything to you. Tally is a good main character. She's rateable and strong. However personally my favorite piece of the book is the funky slang Scott Westerfeld uses. It's so unique and original it makes you feel like you're in the future. This is a great dysotopian/sci fi read for anyone interested.
Reader reviewed by Rachel Connell
Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen and she can't wait to be pretty. Her world is divided Uglies or frumpy no fun younger than sixteen kids on one side of the river and Pretties the fun and surgically beautiful older people on the other side. Then Tally meets Shay who doesn't know if she wants to be pretty. Shay runs away and Tally learns that their is an ugly side to being Pretty. The authorities offer her two choices: find Shay and turn her in or never turn pretty.
This is a lovely book. Its highly addictive and continues with three other books in the series. If you love action-romance and reading about selfish decisions or giving things up for others you'll love this series.
Reader reviewed by Maria
I first heard of this book from a friend who had to read it for a class she was taking. once i started it, i was hooked. Scott Westerfeld has written an entirely unique future for our planet, one that is enticing to think about, exciting, while also scary. it really makes you think about how we see ourselves and others around us. for a very quick summary that hopefully wont give too much away; Tally is a 15 year old girl, which means she is still an Ugly. she lives apart from the older Pretties, in a dorm across the river. in her world, when you turn 16, you get an operation that completly changes you. not only your outside, but also the way you think and act. while she waits impatiently for her operation, she meets shay, who is unusual in that she doesn't want the operation. in fact, she is desperate to get out of it. so when shay goes missing one night, Tally is given the task of finding her, or else she will never be Pretty.