by Scott Westerfled
Summary: Uglies is the first in a series by Scott Westerfeld. Tally Youngblood lives in a world segregated by beauty. Those under the age of 16 are pre-operation, waiting out the days until their 16th birthday when they will be turned pretty and be able to enter the pretty world. Shortly before her 16th birthday Tally meets Shay, an Ugly who doesn’t want to turn pretty. When Shay runs away to a secret town of Uglies called the “Smoke,” Tally is brought to the authorities and faced with a decision, betray her friend or never turn pretty. Tally sets out to find the Smoke, but when she gets there her choice becomes more difficult as she meets new friends and hears some shocking truths about the world she used to know.
Review: This is a great adventure story that deals with some very important issues facing teens today. The issue of what is beautiful, the feeling of inadequacy and the desire to be more “pretty” are very relevant to young adults today, especially girls. As Tally learns that there is more to people than what they look like, readers are reminded that appearance isn’t everything and that striving to be something you are not can sometimes be dangerous – you can lose yourself. I really enjoyed this book, it was very well written and I thought the dialogue was well done and the descriptions of the different world wonderful. Westerfeld does a fantastic job at making the world of Pretties and Uglies believable and exciting. While the book is directed at teen girls, I think that some boys might find the adventure rather exciting; especially considering the romance is kept to a bare minimum.