Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld



Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr. Cable offers 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.

This book has been recommended to me dozens of times, but I somehow never managed to pick it up. It looked like just another dystopian, but it was something more than that. It’s what set the stage for these zillions of other dystopian YA novels to follow, and many have had a tough time measuring up to it.

I think I had a hard time with the story at first because it seemed to follow the same structure of so many other books I’ve read. And then it dawned on me that this was actually written before nearly all those books! I still found the plot somewhat predictable, but enjoyed it more so after.

It was kind of hard to connect with Tally at first because of how warped her views were, but as she learned more about the real world, she became much more relatable. On the other hand, I really liked Shay from the beginning, but as Tally grew more distant from her, I began to like Shay less.

The world held many familiar elements from our world, but everything was so skewed. The way that people had been taught to think was really foreign and strange. And after learning some plot-spoiling secrets, I found myself dying to learn more. I wish there’d been more explained behind how the world came to be this way, but I guess that’s what the other books are for!



  1. Thanks for the four star review! I have this on my ebook but I have yet to read it! I tried to read the first few pages a few months back but couldn't connect with eh story, I'll have to try it again later! :)

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    1. It's definitely worth sticking to. I hope you give it a chance!

  2. This is one of my favorite dystopians because I can actually imagine how the world got that way. People are obsessed with beauty; that's a fact. I find it harder to buy into books like Delirium where love is being outlawed. Plus, Westerfeld is awesome at cliff-hangers. Even though from the titles you actually have an idea of what's going to happen next. That's skill.

    I think I did read this before most other dystopians (besides The Hunger Games?), but it's interesting to see that you thought it's similar to everything being published now!

    Interestingly, Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire (a nonfiction books about the national parks in Utah) has a passage I think should be "Keys to Writing a Dystopian Novel." It completely took me my surprise.

  3. I also read this book for the first time this year. It blew my mind (I don't read many dystopians). I also liked Shay probably less than I should have...and the subsequent books made me like her even less. Either way I LOVED Uglies :) Awesome review

  4. I think it definitely is an important point to be noted the Uglies came out before this dystopian craze. Books like Uglies, The Giver, and The House of the Scorpion are staple dystopian books that have become overshadowed by newer, similar books that frankly just aren't as good. I love Uglies and the series in general. I hope you continue to read the series!


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