Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Welcome to the world 300 years from now where everyone turn pretty when they reach 16 years. Before that they are Littlies and from around 12 years, they are Uglies. Uglies is also the title of the first book in Scott Westerfeld's trilogy about Tally Youngblood. When we first meet Tally, she is only a month from her 16th birthday, and she is feeling lonely in Uglyville, the part of the city where all the 12-15 year old teens live in dorms, go to school and pass time until they turn 16 so that they can have their operation and go from being Uglies into New Pretties.

Tally's best friend Peris, who is a month older than her, has already turned pretty, and Tally is bored and lonely. One night she sneaks into New Pretty Town, where all New Pretties are doing nothing but partying and enjoying themselves. After meeting Peris and feeling relieved that he still remembers her, she returns to Uglyville, but en route she meets another Ugly, Shay. Shay and Tally become friends, and it is Shay who tell Tally about The Smoke, a settlement where no one has had the operation, they have all stayed ugly. Shay is determined to stay Ugly, she wants to move to The Smoke and lead another life than just being a pretty party gal.

Tally is shocked and horrified that anyone would want to stay an Ugly, and she does not put much into Shay's speeches about The Smoke. In fact, Tally doubts that it even exists. When Shay does disappear before her 16th birthday and her operation, Tally decides not to follow her. Tally cannot wait to turn into a Pretty, and is picked up by the authorities on her birthday and taken to the hospital, where the operation is done. But something is not right, and very soon Tally is looking into a serious dilemma, leading her towards Shay and The Smoke and away from the operation she so much want.

Uglies was an interesting read with an interesting premise, but I was not swept completely away. I think the book took too long to get going, but when it got going, it was a great  read. I am looking forward to the other books in the trilogy (although I guess it is sort of a quartet, since there is a 4th book as well).


I read Uglies as a part of the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge hosted by Darren of Bart's Bookshelf.
Katrina from Katrina's Reads reviewed it here.

11 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Too bad you weren't totally swept away. My husband loved this series.

Krissi said...

I am a big scott westerfield fan. However, uglies is the best out of the four. You have to read the other four because you have to know what happens. But I am warning you your going to hate bubbly talk by the end. :) Happy reading.

Eva @ One Swede Read said...

This one is in my TBR-pile - thanks for the warning that it's a bit hardgoing in the beginning!

softdrink said...

I've seen Westerfield's books everywhere, but this is the first time I actually understood what the stories are about. Not sure it's my thing, but good luck with the rest of the series.

Beth F said...

I'm hoping I love these books. i have to read the first two by the end of the year (ha, ha)

Vivienne said...

What a shame, you didn't really love it. I really enjoyed this one and I am now waiting for the second one from the library.

Rebecca Reid said...

I enjoyed this book! don't like cover, though. IS that the UK version?

stacybuckeye said...

I've avoided this series so far, but your review has me thinking I should check this one out.

Aarti said...

I've heard a lot about this series but haven't read it yet. I admit when I heard the title of the first book, I thought it was just a lame teenage angst book about girls obsessed with their bodies. So, I was slightly off! I think if I find it in a library (if I again go to a library to check books out any time soon), then I'll look into it, but I am trying not to acquire books in my house so much any more!

The cover on your edition is also very different than those I've seen before. Very eye-catching.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

My 13 yr old daughter is reading dystopian fiction for the 8th grade curriculum at school. She enjoyed the Westerfield books, but I haven't read any of them ...

Happy holidays to you!

Kristen said...

This is the first post about this book that makes me think I'd potentially read it, despite your reservations with it.