May 16, 2013

Science Fiction
Scott Westerfeld
Reviewed by Amy Giblin
4 out of 5

200px-Uglies_book “What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful”

Tally Youngblood was the last of her friends to turn sixteen. She was counting down the days till she could receive the surgery that would turn her beautiful. In Tally’s world, set three hundred years in the future, every teen receives cosmetic surgery to turn them from “Uglies” to “Pretties”.  Uglies were the unchanged teens that had not received the surgery yet and were unable to live in New Pretty Town where all the “Pretties” go after their surgery to live a care free life of partying. Tally misses her best friend Peris, who has already received the surgery and now lives in New Pretty Town. She decides to sneak over to see him. When she is in New Pretty Town she meets Shay, another “Ugly” sneaking around New Pretty Town. The two girls quickly become friends and Shay teaches Tally how to ride a hoverboard. Shay mentions to Tally how she doesn’t want to receive the surgery to turn her into a “Pretty”. At first Tally doesn’t put too much thought into this but she is forced to later when she receives news that Shay has gone missing on their shared sixteenth birthday. Shay leaves Tally a map with cryptic directions that disclose where she is. On the day of Tally’s operation she is taken by Special Circumstances where Dr. Cable tells her either find where Shay is, or don’t receive your operation. Will Tally choose to chase her dream or turn her back on friendship? How far will Tally go to be pretty.

I immensely enjoyed this book. Towards the beginning of the book I found myself saying, “Supermodel good looks and a life with no responsibilities, who wouldn’t want that?” It is disappointing to me that this is what many others, including myself, desire. To most, this would be the ideal life, but Scott Westerfeld shows readers that there are so many more important qualities and better things to strive for. I think one of his messages in the story was that not everything is about being beautiful and we need to get out of our shallow mindsets. What kept this book from being 5 out of 5 was that in some parts it got confusing and some of the language was hard to follow. Overall this was a great book and I recommend it to most. It made me have a new perspective and outlook and I bet it will do the same for you if you take the time to read it.

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