Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [Review]

Is it not good to make society full of beautiful people? – Yang Yuan, quoted in The New York Times

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [Review]

About the Book

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. 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.

My Thoughts

This book has been on my radar for a while, almost since I started book blogging, but something has always held me back from reading the series, even when I discovered what a great writer Westerfeld is, I still wasn’t tempted. I think it’s because I had visions of a preachy “you don’t need to be beautiful…” kinda book. One of those horrible young adult novels I remember from school.

But when he posted about a free download of the ebook of Uglies to celebrate the launch of his next series, I just knew I had to give it a try.

I really should have known better, Westerfeld is not that sort of writer, Uglies, is set in a a great science fiction world, with brilliant characters and exciting action sequences, and much deeper philosophy, than you’d think going in.

Set an undisclosed amount of time in the future, the Uglies world is both recognisable and very strange, and with a level of control and spying on its inhabitants that would do any big brother government proud. Even so, Tally gets to play with some fantastic ‘toys’! Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [Review]

“Of course, a hoverboard. What is it about those things and miscreants?” -Dr. Cable, Uglies

I should talk about the ‘Pretty’ speak that Tally and her friends either use or aspire to, it’s perfectly realised, so much so, in fact that it is damn annoying at times (it is meant to be), and I suspect my less than perfect tolerance for it, has more to do with my age than anything else Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [Review]

I’ll be honest, while I really enjoyed the book, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as The Midnighters or Peeps. Even so I still called in at my library to grab the rest of the series, before, I was even half-way through this one. A good job too, considering the cliff-hanger ending!

I’m already on the last book of the series, so keep your eyes open for a review of Pretties, the second book in the series over the next few days.

Before I sign off, I must give special mention to the opening line, one of the best I’ve come across this year! Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [Review]

The early summer sky was the colour of cat vomit.

Buy: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Darren

Bart, is a fully signed up member of Book Addicts Anonymous ;) Despite, constantly fighting a losing battle against his T.B.R pile, he is never happier than when he manages to sneak a new book in to the house!

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18 Responses

  1. I’ve heard so much about this series. I haven’t read any yet, but it sounds like I should start with he Midnighters or Peeps. Thanks for the review!
    .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Sunday Salon – Review of “The Road,” by Cormac McCarthy =-.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m kind of like you…this book has been on my radar for a very long time, but I’ve never taken the time to read it. I don’t know why either. It really is the sort of book that would totally appeal to me. Guess I’d better go grab a copy!!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..My First Discworld Book!! (Buddy Read with Kailana!) =-.

  3. Meghan says:

    Thank you for linking! I have never read anything else by Scott Westerfeld. I’ve been meaning to read the rest of this series but the library here doesn’t have it. The one where I’m moving in a month does, though, so I’m excited to finish it ASAP!
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon: Bookish Rambling =-.

    • Bart says:

      No problem! happy to share a bit of link love. :) I’d recommend Peeps/Parasite Positive as your next, one. Especially if you enjoy skin-crawlingly interesting facts woven in to your stories! ;)

  4. Kailana says:

    I read this entire series just this year. It is pretty good! I have since moved on to Midnighters. :)
    .-= Kailana´s last blog ..Sunday Book Coveting -This and That =-.

  5. Chris says:

    I’m with you. This one has been on my radar pretty much since I started blogging as well! The only differece between the two of us is that I still haven’t read it, lol. Sounds good though. Come to think of it, I still haven’t read any Westerfeld except for the story in The Starry Rift which I absolutely loved!

  6. Jeanne says:

    I loved all the Uglies series (Pretties, Specials, Extras). They’re my favorites by him, and I love the language (although not as much as the young fans of his blog). My other favorite of his was So Yesterday. I don’t care for the vampire ones or the Midnighters. They don’t have the same sense of fun.
    .-= Jeanne´s last blog ..The Gone-Away World in paperback =-.

    • Bart says:

      I think, Midnighter’s is still going to be my favourite, but I really need to read Blue Noon and finish the series before making a final decision. :)

  7. Lu says:

    Thanks for the link! I’m so glad you liked it!! Westerfeld is absolutely one of my best finds of 2009. I’d never heard of him before I started blogging, so it’s been great reading his stuff.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..10.5 Reasons Why You Should Read Let the Right One In =-.

    • Bart says:

      I’d not really heard musch of him either, before I started blogging, I was aware he existed, but I’d never contemplated reading him. Really glad I did, though :D

  8. Kathy says:

    Whoever marketed this book by giving this one away for free is a genius. I downloaded the free version and my husband loved it. He should finish Uglies today.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review & Literary Road Trip: Hume’s Fork =-.

    • Bart says:

      It’s a brilliant idea, it’s going to drive people to look at his new book and guarantee extra sales of the rest of the Uglies series!

  9. frida says:

    I love Uglies, Pretties and Specials. When I read the back cover on the book for the first time I thought it seemed strange and messy. But I gave it a chance and after just some few pages I loved the book. Scott writes in a way that makes everything even more fun and you never get bored of reading.

    I read the books in English first, and my english isn’t that good so it was hard for me, but when I read it in Swedish later it was so much better :)

  1. August 18, 2009

    [...] Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [...]

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