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!