Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published: February 8th, 2005 (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
Series: Uglies #1
Series: Uglies #1
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 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.
I'd never heard of this series until a friend of mine recommended it to me. She was so enthusiastic about it that I decided to read it and she was absolutely right: this series is really good. One of the things I liked most about the book was the world setting. There are three groups in this world: the uglies, the pretties and the specials. The uglies, or when they're very young: littlies, are the people under the age of sixteen before they had their operation to turn them into pretties. Tally has been waiting for a long time for her operation. All her old friends are pretties by now, so she's all alone in the uglies part of town. The specials are the extra beautiful people who control everything.
What I found most refreshing about this book is that Tally wants to be pretty. In most dystopians the main character is already against the world she or he lives in. But Tally doesn't want anything else, she wants to be pretty and party the rest of her life. When she meets Shay this changes bit by bit.
The specials force Tally to choose between finding Shay after she ran away, or never turning pretty. The process Tally goes through felt very realistic to me. When she sees the ugly side of being pretty she's forced to really think what she wants for her feature.
The most beautiful part of the book is when Tally realizes that being an ugly, doesn't make you ugly. And that everyone is pretty in it's own way. It's sounds a bit cheasy putting it down like that, but in the book it's beautiful. I liked the relationship between David and Tally. He shows her how the world once was, but he does let Tally decide on her own what it is she truly wants. I kinda hated Shay at the end, but I didn't really like her to begin with. She felt a bit reckless in a negative way.
If you like dystopians than this is definitely a series you should read. The writing style of Scott Westerfeld is nice and the ending has you waiting for more!