Friday, September 17, 2010

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse

5 out of 5 stars

In our world, Tally Youngblood would be a young, attractive girl who’s just about to turn sixteen. Sure her right side isn’t that pretty, and she has a wide nose and frizzy hair, but doesn’t everyone have some minor flaws? However, Tally lives in the future, where all of this could make a big difference. They have hoverboards, interface rings, walls that can talk, and much more. But despite all of this, nothing can change the fact that Tally is considered ugly. She’s one of the many uglies out there waiting for their turn to become pretty. All of them just itching to be a pretty and live in New Pretty Town so they can party all night and sleep all day. They will all get their chance when they turn sixteen. That is when you get the operation.

Tally’s nearing her sixteenth birthday, and it’s coming up very soon, in three months to be exact. Tally can’t wait, but she still feels unhappy. Not just about still being an ugly, but the fact that her best friend Peris is already pretty. They were supposed to be best friends forever and now Tally feels left out of all the fun. Especially knowing that Peris is already enjoying himself in New Pretty Town, and has probably forgotten all about her. To Tally, waiting for the next three months is going to be an eternity. That is, until she meets Shay.

Shay is just another ugly, but she is as much of a sneak and trouble-maker as Tally is. And, she has the exact same birthday as Tally does! They will be turning pretty together! Tally couldn’t have asked for anything better to happen to her than meeting Shay, except turning pretty that is. The three months that Tally dreaded now fly by faster than ever as she hoverboards with Shay and does all of the things that she used to with Peris. To her, life couldn’t get any better at the moment. However, it’s about to get a lot worse.

As Tally and Shay’s birthday draws nearer, Shay starts to have second thoughts about the operation. Does she really want them to cut up her body and shape it into something she’s not? And is being ugly that bad? Soon Shay’s mind is set, and she decides that she doesn’t want to be pretty. Her plan to escape the operation is to run away, and live outside. She knows there are people out there. They are Uglies who have also escaped the operation, and who now live in the wild. Shay is determined and plans to escape, but she can’t do this alone. She needs Tally to come with her, so they can run away together. But Tally can’t imagine not being pretty. She’s waited so long, and her birthday is so close. She says no to Shay, knowing that she might not ever see her again.

However, it turns out that Shay’s escape didn’t go unnoticed. The officials want to know where she has gone, and Tally is going to tell them. Tally refuses, because she could never rat out her best friend. But then the officials give her a choice. Either tell us where Shay is, or never turn pretty. What is Tally supposed to do? Should she be true to herself, or be true to her friend? Scott Westerfeld reveals all in this extreme adventure of beauty in, Uglies!

This book achieves its full potential! It is captivating and reels you in with every page. Not only is the storyline and idea of Uglies phenomenal, but it is put to good use, especially in the remaining books in the series, such as the sequel Pretties. This book was so descriptive and insightful that it made me feel just as Tally did. In many cases I felt as if I was hoverboarding through the Rusty Ruins, plunging into an ice cold river, or pulling up old railroad tracks. Scott Westerfeld really did an amazing job with this fast-paced adventure!

First of all, I have to applaud the whole concept of the story. Not only was it new and unique, but it was something else on a whole different level too. The basic idea of beauty was taken and formed into a whole new concept, and magnified what our world is like now to show what it could be tomorrow. The storyline was set at a fast pace and provided adventure around every corner. This aspect of Uglies really made it a great read.

Also, Scott Westerfeld’s characters appeal to all audiences and felt very real. The characters helped make this book open to teens and adults alike. One thing that I think helped make this book a success was the fact that the characters were like us. They had feelings, needs, and desires too. The characters were made so they did seem like normal, everyday human beings, which they were. This really helped me connect with the story and relate to the characters so much more.

However, even though the characters are very realistic, sometimes you disagree with the actions they take. There was many a time when I closed the book in anger at what I had just read. This book really does know how to evoke your emotions, which is one reason why it was so intense. In some cases though, it did feel like you were hearing too much of Tally’s thoughts and her worries, especially since this story isn’t told in first person. Even though it was focused on Tally, it did feel like this slowed the story down when it could be moving on. Some parts of the story also felt too slow because of the pace that the book was set at. Most of the time it was a fast-paced adventure with unexpected twists and turns, but every now and then it felt too slowed down by Tally’s travels.

Overall, Uglies is a captivating and intense tale of one ugly girl’s decisions that could, ultimately, change the world. Join Tally as she chooses what she wants her life to be like, in the futuristic thriller, Uglies!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Uglies website at
Uglies is available from Amazon here.


  1. where do u find these books. do u buy them or borrow them at a library tell me at school........
    Kid from ur school this blog rocks

  2. You can find most of these books almost anywhere. Whether you decide to go to a bookstore and buy them, order them online, or check them out from the library, they should be easily available.

    However, a couple of these books were originally published overseas. As such, later books in the series may not yet be available in the United States. As an alternative, you may have to order them online to get them. Also, most of these books are fairly recent so they shouldn't be too hard to find.

    Personally I like to own my books, but the choice is yours!
    Hope this helped!

  3. I haven't read any of these yet, but I keep wanting to get these as well at one of my local bookstores I go to. Most of them aren't in good shape though (I go to Half Price Books) This would definitely be a good read. Thanks for the review. Awesome job!

  4. Thank you! Yeah, I understand what you mean. I'm one of those people who has to have the books in perfect or really good condition when I buy them. I take after my dad. :) But I always try to go to discount bookstores too, as there I can find some interesting reads that I would not have found otherwise.

  5. Ms. Tessa,

    Have I mentioned how much I love reading your reviews?! Every time I visit your blog, I add yet another good to my ever growing "Book Wish List". I has heard of Uglies before, but the reviews I read never really caught my attention.... yours on the other hand... pfff! I want to go read it now! GREAT job :)

  6. Wow, thank you so much! That means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy Uglies very much, as this was one of my favorites!


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