Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is a dystopian novel for young adults. I went into this book with high expectations, and to my surprise I wasn’t too disappointed!
Tally is a few months away from turning sixteen and she cannot wait. Not only will she finally be reunited with her best friend Peris, but she will finally get to be pretty. In her world, everyone undergoes surgery at the age of sixteen and they can move to New Pretty Town.
In this part of the city, everyone is always having fun and they all look stunning. Everybody is the same and everybody is happy, but at what cost?
Tally meets Shay, another Ugly who’s waiting to turn sixteen. Both being the youngest of their group of friends, they quickly become really close. Shay brings Tally outside of the city where she wants to show her another completely different way of living.
“Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.”
Shay doesn’t want to be pretty, and she decides to run away. Tally isn’t convinced and stays behind.
On her sixteen birthday, Tally is brought to the Special Circumstances quarters, where she is given an ultimatum: either she helps them find this mysterious and “dangerous” city where Shay is hidden or she stays ugly forever.
Torn between betraying her friend and turning pretty, Tally is pressured into a journey that will completely shift her view of the city.
This was my first book by Scott Westerfeld, so I didn’t have anything to compare Uglies with. I had heard a lot of good things about the book (a lot of booktubers also raved about it) and I decided it was time I picked it up to see what it was all about.
When I first picked it up, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because the writing felt really childish and I had a hard time getting into it. I felt rushed into the story, but I found myself slowly getting used to it.
The book is really fast paced and I never felt like it was dragging. I read half of it in one sitting. I loved how we got to see how the runaways live. The back story of how they ended up in Pretty cities makes a lot of sense.
This might sound weird, but when Shay was explaining to Tally why becoming a Pretty and the way they were living isn’t right reminded me of conversations I’ve had with people about veganism. When it’s all you have ever known, it can be really hard to acknowledge that things you are doing or things you’ve always thought to just “be the way it is” might be wrong.
When Shay tries to explain to Tally that being Pretty is actually giving up your true self, Tally brushes it off and doesn’t believe it.
The characters are all pretty simple; not a lot of depth to them. We don’t really know a lot about them except the essentials to make the story flow. I would have loved to know more about the Boss. He seemed like a really interesting character, a lot more than Tally to be perfectly honest.
I really recommend Uglies by Scott Westerfeld if you want to read a light YA dystopian. I myself am not a fan of that genre, but I really enjoyed it. It had a lot more meat to it than I thought it would. I’m definitely going to pick up Pretties at some point because of how the first book ended.
My rating: (more like 3.5)
You can buy this book HERE!