Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]
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Goodreads Summary:

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellant ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...


Published before The Hunger Games and other such dystopian phenomena, Uglies is free from many of the typical tropes of this genre. For example, while most main characters in dystopian novels start out somewhat suspicious of if not downright against the system of government in their respective society. However Tally, the main character in Uglies, is completely fine with the cultural norm of getting a surgery at sixteen to make her pretty. Even when Shay, her friend, tells her about the possibility of escaping their destiny and going to live in a place called the Smoke, Tally decides she still wants to turn Pretty and even agrees to track down her friend and bring her back. It is only much later that she decides the government is actually rotten at its core.

Although there was romance in the book, it was rather downplayed as opposed to being the center of attention, which I found rather refreshing.
Not only that, but this book brings up some important issues in our lives today (as every good dystopian novel should), such as society's extreme focus on beauty and the ethics of plastic surgery.


Tally was somewhat of a flat character, not particularly well-developed, and I also found Westerfeld's descriptions of scenery and events to be somewhat lacking in vividness. Plus, nothing in the book really surprised me--most events were rather predictable.

Overall though, Uglies was exciting and different, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Pretties.

Now I’m going to do a breakdown of each element of the series, judging it on different criteria. I’ll rate each element on a scale of 1-5, 1 being bad, and 5 being amazing.

Plot: 4

Complexity: 3
Creativity: 4
Believability: 5
Surprise: 2

Characters: 4
Depth: 3
Personality: 4
Believability: 4

Writing Style: 3
Description: 2
Tension: 3

Overall Score: 4

Happy Reading!


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