Review: Uglies (Uglies Series Book 1) by Scott Westerfeld

We all clearly know by now that i’m a HUGE fan of all things dystopian and while i’m waiting for January 22nd to roll around so i can read the follow up to Legend by Marie Lu (book 2 being Prodigy), i stumbled across Uglies which is in fact quite a good book 1 of the series.

Tally Youngblood is our lead female and we meet her when she’s on the cusp of her 16th birthday – the turning point for EVERYONE in civilization because that’s the birthday when you are turned from being an ‘ugly’ to being a ‘pretty’.  The mindset here is that one of the key drivers to the downfall of past civilization (namely ours at present) is that people didn’t look the same and therefore there was a lot of jealousy and things weren’t fair.  see….we know this to an extent, yet in Uglies – they actually take a step towards making everyone the same.

So…Tally is one of the last in her class to turn 16 so she’s quite lonely in ‘Uglytown’.  Her best friend Peris (a guy actually) has already turned and she’s constantly wondering if he’s going to care about her, if e misses her and if there’s a future for them…as friends or whatever.  So as she used to do quite often and as she does a bit now still, she sneaks across the river to ‘New Pretty town” – the part of the city that they have set aside for folks that have JUST been turned pretty – aka.  ‘new pretties’ and tries to see if she can find him.  What she finds is that yes, Peris does recognize her, and she him, and he ‘says’ that he can’t wait for her to turn, but that he doesn’t want her coming back to the city until she’s pretty.  This leaves Tally feeling even more rejected.  So – to make her escape back to Ugly town (because it’s a HUGE CRIME to be in Pretty Town when you’re an ugly) she has to pull a trick, causes alarms to sound, and rushes back to her home.  On her trip, she encounters Shay, another girl who’s the exact same age as her, and is in the same habit of sneaking across the river to see how things are.

Shay is our next main character.  Shay has this idea in her head from many of her friends that there’s an alternative to turning pretty and that in fact it’s a really bad thing to become pretty.  She’s heard from friends and seen for herself that there’s a group of people who’ve runaway and gone to live in the Smoke.  she herself hasn’t actually been to the Smoke ,but she’s met people who are from there and even knows their ‘leader’ David.  She tries to convince Tally that it’s much better to go to the Smoke and teaches Tally all she can so that Tally will come with her.

Alas, this is all for naught since Tally actually WANTS to be pretty and wants to join her friends in New Pretty Town.  Shay decides to runaway any way and from that point on, no one’s life is the same.  Shay leaves directions for Tally in case she has a change of heart and kind of prays that it’s the case since they’ve grown close in such a short time.

See….Special Circumstances has been watching the situation with Shay and her friends – noticing that there were bunches of runaways and hearing about The Smoke.  They in a sense FORCE Tally to work with them to find the Smoke and tell her that they won’t turn her pretty unless she helps them find the Smoke.  So…she agrees….and that’s when things get exciting for Tally.

So here are the questions on where the story goes:

1) What happens for Tally?  Does she make it to the smoke?  Does she help out Special Circumstances? Does she turn Pretty?

2) Now that we’ve met Shay, David and Peris, what is their story and how does it unfold?

3) What’s the deal with the Pretties?  Are they all Happy all the time?

so…now my only sadness is that Pretties (book 2) and Specials (book 3) aren’t available in Nook book ebook from Barnes and Nobles so i have to figure out a way to get my hands on the next installments cause i REALLY want to know how things unfold.  It’s definitely going to be interesting based on how the last few chapters of Uglies unfurled.  There were many twists and turns that i was expecting, yet that didn’t take away from the anxiety.

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