Author Scott Westerfield
Genre YA Fantasy, Dystopia
Publisher Simon Schuster
Publishing Date February 8, 2005
How I Got This Book HalfPrice Books
Paperback 425 pages
Stand alone or Series Uglies #1
My Average 53 pg/day
Reading Difficulty 3
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)
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 is one of those times when I'm not sure a man can really write a believable female heroin. Don't get me wrong, there are men who have done it beautifully, but this really didn't feel like one of those times.
An interesting idea. Everyone is shallow. Uniqueness is snuffed out like a match in a rain storm. It's sad when you think about it that way. What makes us human is how unique we are from anyone else. In this novel, people are raised to believe they are ugly until they turn 16 to have an operation to turn them pretty. Plastic surgery. Only you find out much further in the book that it isn't just a new face...
The last 15 - 20 pages were probably the best part of the book. I suppose that's normal though. Even though I thought this book was a bit slow throughout, the end really pulled me back in, like a Robert Jordan novel.
This book hit all of it's marks okay in my grading scale. The first page was interesting. It drew me in. There was a definite villain, the Specials, and they were pretty unreal. That might have been the best part. I loved that they looked more like predators than the other pretties. Also, they had super human strength and speed to really make them seem unbeatable. They were really written to instill fear in the readers. There's no way an ordinary girl can out-smart someone like that.
This book is incredibly shallow & selfish. That's all I could think as I was reading this. The main character got on my nerves, even after she started to realize she was fine just the way she was. I'm sure that was the point the author was trying to make, or at least one of the points. I just had a hard time liking someone as shallow and selfish as Tally.
The pace of this novel isn't that great. It's a bit slow. Westerfield could have cut a good 50/60 pages out of section I and still gotten his point across. There was too much time spent on non-important things. We really didn't need to read about Tally learning to ride a hoverboard for 50 pages.
I caught the "big reveal" that's good. Sometimes I don't catch it, then I find myself wondering, did this author get away with out using the YA recipe or was it just that subtle that I didn't notice? This reveal was confusing though, and really didn't seem like something that would change Tally's mind. Also, there should have been hints to it earlier in the novel.
My biggest issue with this, other than its pace, was the lack of emotions. I desperately wanted to feel something for Tally or David, even Peris. Several times, I searched this novel for something quotable (funny, maddening, heart-wrenching, sad...) I couldn't find anything worthwhile. Even when Character X falls for Tally and she starts to fall for him too, I don't see the emotions or the reason behind the emotions.
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His Bio's a bit long, so I'm going to condense for you:
- Author of 18 novels
- Best known for his steampunk trilogy, Leviathan.
- Uglies Series
- Midnighters Series
- Risen Empire Series
- So Yesterday
- Born in Texas
- Now lives either in New York City or Sydney, Australia