Uglies by Scott Westefield
Author: Scott Westerfield. Website|Twitter
Published: 4 March 2010 (Simon & Schuster Children's)
Book Depository: paperback
Source: Borrowed from library
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I love a good dystopian novel and this was one series I really wanted to read. Uglies is set in a world where when you turn sixteen, you undergo an operation to become "pretty". Tally's friend has already undergone the operation, and so she must wait it out living in the ugly side of town, dreaming of the day they'll be reunited and their lives will get back to normal. But not everything goes according to plan when she meets the rebellious Shay.
I really, really liked the concept of this book. It plays a lot on the fact that so many of the world's problems can supposedly be solved if everyone looks the same and I found that really interesting. The futuristic landscape the book is set in also made for a great reading. I loved all the descrptions of New Pretty Town where, surprisngly, the new "pretties" live (even if it does have the least imaginitive name ever). But I thought all the futuristic technology like hoverboards and bungee jackets were pretty cool. The only place that faletered a bit was when Tally discovers old human technology, how people used to live. When characters are getting amazed at things like roller coasters and train tracks it gets a bit tiresome, because as the reader you know perfectly well what those things are and so sitting through explanations of what they do becomes a bit boring.
The writing style was quite simple and it felt like a light read which I liked. Sometimes you need something that bit lighter! It made it quick to get through but it was enjoyable at the same time.
I liked that Tally went on a kind of journey the more she discovered. She starts to become influenced by Shay the people she introduces Tally too so that was good development. I didn't always get the connections between the characters. At first I thought Tally and Shay's friendship was a bit convenient and they were sort of thrown together rather than shown to be building up a friendship. I liked Shay as a character, though. She was probably my favourite thoughout the book.
Uglies held my attention throughout and there's plenty of action and adventure to keep you hooked. The climax to the story was brilliant and really kept the suspense up. I'm definitely excited to see what the next book has in store. I'd really recommend this if you love dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction.
What to read next: Pretties by Scott Westerfield, book 2 in the Uglies series
Books like this: Delirium by Lauren Oliver