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Review: Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) by Scott Westerfeld

in a sentence or so: Tally is 15 and Ugly. the good news is, on her 16th birthday she gets to have the surgery that makes her Pretty - and then life is one big party! until she meets Shay, a girl who is just fine the way she is and knows of a place where everyone is Ugly. which leads Tally to the question: why would anyone want to stay Ugly for life?

Tally's best friend Peris turns pretty about a month before Tally is able to. while spying on him one night in New Pretty Town, Tally runs into Shay. Shay is also spying on her Pretty friends, but lacks the desire to join them that Tally has. but - they are both currently friendless, and become prankster friends pretty quickly. when Shay tells Tally mere days before their surgery (same birthday = same surgery day) that she intends to run away to the Smoke and stay Ugly forever, Tally is heartbroken her friend will not be there with her in New Pretty Town. Tally has resigned herself to live life without Shay, until Special Circumstances (super creepy organization) decides to use Tally as a spy. Tally is faced with the choice to either become a spy and betray the Smoke - or stay Ugly forever...

i really dug the futuristic / sci-fi aspect to this. it wasn't over the top sci-fi (which, for the record, i am okay with), but had a lot of potential realism in it. sure there were hover boards and dehydrated food and interface rings, but nothing was really that outlandish. which i think was the whole point. but anyway, Tally's journey and decision making was interesting. without being too spoilery, i will reveal that there is a love interest at some point (other than Peris) which is super cute.

while i am interested in the rest of the series (Pretties, Specials, Extras), i was not super in love with this. i think it picked up during the second and third sections, but a lot of it was explaining what things were like, how society had evolved from the Rusties (that's you and me folks) into the society they have now, etc... which was necessary, but not the most riveting thing for me to read. regardless, i enjoyed this book and am looking forward to seeing how the rest pan out!

fave quote: "Sometimes Tally felt like she could almost accept brain damage if it meant a life without reconstituted noodles." (367)

fix er up: i felt like it took forrreevvverrrr to get to the action of the book.

title: Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)
author: Scott Westerfield
genre: Fantasy, Futuristic

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. hooray make young girls feel good about themselves without being overly didactic about it!

    this is only meant to be half-cynical.

  2. you know, i didn't feel as if that message had the crammed-down-my-throat feeling i was anticipating. there was no epiphany of ugly = pretty (because it doesn't), so that was nice.

    so i would argue that it is only mildly didactic about it - the rest of the story is where it's at!


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