Uglies (Uglies #1)
by Scott Westerfeld
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
Yet another book with world building that had me frowning a bit.
Don't get me wrong: the whole 'Uglies turn Pretty at 16 and then get to party all the time' was an intriguing idea, but I would have wanted to learn a bit more. Who's doing all the work when all those Pretties are partying? Where does the city get its resources? Stuff like that. It felt incomplete and that made it hard for me to believe in the world Westerfeld created. (Later on in the book you learn a little bit more, but still not enough.)
Luckily the story was really suspenseful and full of action, so I quickly was able to forget about the inconsistencies and concentrate on the story.
And the story is really cool!
Tally is a total brat, but still likeable enough that you want to root for her. She might not always make the smartest choice, but the way Westerfeld wrote her made me able to go along with it and understand why she made certain choices.
Tally's choices lead her outside of the city (eventually) and I must confess I was very happy about that. The world outside is much more intriguing than the city and felt more real to me. I wouldn't mind learning even more about the outside in future books.
In the end I enjoyed this book much more than I had expected after reading the first few chapters and I will certainly try to get hold of the next book to see how this story continues.
Why should you read it:
It's a suspenseful and intriguing YA Dystopian read.