Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I don't know what I thought Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld, was about but I had in my mind that it was some sort of supernatural story in which everyone turned pretty at the age of 16. I didn't expect a futuristic version of Earth. I found myself doubting if I would enjoy it as I'm not much of a science fiction fan when it comes to books. I persisted and found that the characters might have fancy futuristic gadgets, but that was about as technical as it got. The story is about life altering choices and friendship. It's heart is not in the technology of the future but about the human spirit that continues to live on even in a very changed world.

Tally Youngblood is a fifteen year old "ugly" who can't wait to become pretty on her sixteenth birthday. In this futuristic earth, prejudices are eliminated by forcing everyone to look similar, with flawless skin, toned bodies, and pretty symmetrical faces. Children grow up knowing that they will be pretty and most look forward to it. Tally's adventure begins when she meets Shay, another fifteen year old who isn't so sure that she wants to have the surgery. Tally learns some secrets behind the surgery to make everyone pretty. She is faced with her own doubts as to her future after meeting David and other uglies who have resisted the change.

After reading a few chapters of book, I found I could barely stand to put it down. There is romance, adventure, and everything else that a good story needs. I loved Tally's relationship with David and her sense of adventure, despite the somewhat sterile environment she grew up in. I can't wait to read the sequel, Pretties. The book is written for young adults and yet is completely intriguing for a "middle ugly" like me. I highly recommend this book.

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