Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world — and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer 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.
When I first heard of Uglies years ago, I mostly knew about it being in a time where everyone is turned gorgeous when they turn 16. In fact, based on the titles of the books, I even thought it was some kind of clique-y teenage story. I had NO idea what it was actually about.
Fast forward to a couple months ago when a friend asked for recommendations for her young teenage daughter. (I’m a middle school librarian, so she uses my knowledge of books!) I told her that I hadn’t read Uglies, but that I’d heard good things about it. Again- I knew nothing about the series. My friend and her daughter LOVED the books! I realized that Uglies was $1.99 on Kindle (it still is as of January 3…) and decided to give it a try.
I. Could. Not. Stop. Reading.
I’ll start with the characters– I was a big fan of Shay! However, (spoiler alert!) I’m an even bigger fan of how she and Tally eventually swap roles in the book. Major character development! All of the Smokey characters were great for the small amount of time we got to focus on each character. As a whole, I never had a complaint about character personalities.
The storyline– it is so much more than “becoming pretty at 16.” That’s what I initially thought it was. Why exactly did the world become this way? Is the change only physical? Why are the children forced to leave their parents until they’re old enough for the operation? Who is in charge??
There was way more complexity than I thought there would be!
My only complaint— the “pretty” talk in the beginning. I get it, Tally, you’re excited.
—The town names…come on, Westerfield…New Pretty Town, UglyVille, Crumblyville? It’s almost like those names were place holders until the author was able to come up with legit names.
Really though, those are my only complaints. Two tiny things.
Well…those and the cliffhanger ending and the fact that I don’t already own book 2.
Again, as of January 3 Uglies is still only 1.99 on Kindle, so go check it out!