Tuesday 3 July 2012

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 1st January 2005
Pages: 425
Tally can't wait to turn sixteen and become pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from 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.

This book is based on a fascinating possibility. Cosmetic surgery gone wrong? The way our world views beauty is already not that far from the Ugly world; it is scary but thrilling to see how far it can be pushed. The idea of being descended and learning from the Rusties mistakes - us being the Rusties, of course - made the story all the more believable.

Ok, the main thing I love about any book, the make or break if you will, are the characters. And this did not disappoint! Tally is adorable, brainwashed but lovable, if you know what I mean. She means well and it is obvious that she cares but it is easy to hate her a little, just for being so easily manipulated. But that is not her fault! Moving onto David, even though we meet him later. He appeared the classic hero: protective, secretive and strong. And poor Shay. She was brave and stubborn, I adored her from the moment we met her; she seemed so level-headed in a world turned upside-down! And it hurts when she turned Pretty, it gave us first-hand experience in the changes the surgery did to a person and it sucked. It was genuinely terrifying to find that an physical (outside) surgery could change who you are on the inside.

I fell in love with this story much quicker than I imagined I would; I was instantly drawn in to the reasons behind the Pretty surgery. Plus, the new social structure. I mean, Ugly tricks were one thing, but the Smoke was incredible! And just that the Smoke even existed was amazing - it actually filled me with hope!

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