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Uglies is a YA dystopian novel by Scott Westerfeld.

Still an ugly, Tally is looking forward to her upcoming sixteenth birthday.

That is the day she will have her operation to become a pretty, as everyone does at sixteen, and move to New Pretty Town - the place all the newly gorgeous young people in society spend their time having fun all the time.

Her best friend Peris has already turned pretty – and the loneliness Tally feels as she waits for her day to join him is hollowing out a hole in her heart. She worries he forgets about her as he adapts to his new, pretty life.

When she meets Shay, Tally is shocked to learn that Shay is not as excited to turn pretty. She says odd things, such as not liking the idea of looking like everyone else – not liking that they are unable to consider their current faces pretty.

So, Shay running away right before her own operation stuns Tally – but not as much as it might have. Yet, when heretofore unknown authorities in their society approach Tally and offer her a choice – find Shay and the rebel group she joined outside their city limits or never have her own operation – Tally knows the world she knows will never be the same…

Uglies is a fairly popular book – there’s a good chance you’ve already read it or have heard of it. The concept of everyone being cosmetically altered to be pretty at the age of sixteen sounded interesting to me, so I finally jumped in. This is the first book in a four book series.

Though Uglies has an intriguing premise and some compelling dystopic details, I found myself not loving Tally. She was not all that likable to me. A bit boring, a bit too much of a follower sheep and just all together not interesting as a heroine to me.

As the story continued, my ongoing inability to get myself to care about Tally caused me to become more and more disenchanted, unfortunately. Uglies definitely felt like more of a plot driven novel, rather than character focused.

Instead of fleshing out its people and peeling back layers of information as to how this society came to be, what is truly going on, etc., I felt that not much was truly happening. There’s an odd little love triangle and romance that did not work for me either – no chemistry, no tension, no true suspense.

Despite having a hopeful bibliophile heart and still being attracted by the original premise, Uglies never lived up to the hype for me. Sad, but true.

By the end, I had a slight curiosity as to what might happen next – but I wish I’d liked it better. Unless I was handed the remaining three books for free, I do not see myself pursuing the rest of the series any time soon.

Definitely check it out for yourself, though! It’s a bestselling series that MANY readers have found extremely suspenseful! This is simply one book lover’s opinion alone.


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