Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license--for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixtenth birthdsay brings an opperation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive petty 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 isnt sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk her life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world--and it isnt very pretty. The cruel-pretty Specials present Tally with the worst choice she could ever imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes will challenge her world forever.
What i thought: I thought these books were amazing. they are filled with suspense, excitement, and even a bit of romance. This book, the first in a fantastic trilogy, asks engaging questions about the meaning of beauty, individuality, and betrayal. It teaches you how to be a good friend--even when it seems impossible. Tally learns that being beautiful isnt everything--and that even the seemingly greatest of things has dark secrets. . . ones that she never could have guessed. Uglies is HIGHLY readable with an extremely convincing plot that includes futuristic techonology and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies. I loved Tally's character, and felt that Uglies very easily portrayed her. Tally acts tough through out the book, but the deeper you dig, the more you realize that she pushes away a lot of her feelings, and tries really hard not to show weakness, but there are times when it all comes crashing down on her: the guilt, the pain, the loneliness, the isolation, the longing for freedom. . . everything. And she learns that sometimes you need to be able to have someones shoulder to cry on, even when you dont want to admit it.
Westerfeld is a fantastic author, but i think that the begginings of every book in this series was very weak, and that caused many readers to stop and simply toss it onto their shelf--something i have seen first hand. I feel that the begginings of books need to be strong, because if there is a fantastic ending, and a thrilling middle, your readers will never know, if they cannot even get through the first page. I nearly put it down myself, but decided to give it a chance. This happened repeatedly to me during this entire series, and felt that it really ruined the amazing plots of each of these books.
I think that all this book needs is a chance; try not to put it down after you read page twenty-something; these books will not dissapoint. . . so long as you give them time. I really loved this series, despite those few problems.
If you like these, i would recommend Westerfelds other series, The Midnighters (which i LOVED) or Peeps (which i havent gotten up to reading yet) and Unwind by Neal Shusterman.
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