Uglies, Scott Westerfeld

uglies

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…

Find the book here on Goodreads.

It started off quite well.  It was more futuristic than I had expected, but really, this is a society where they completely overhaul people’s skeletons once they turn sixteen so, fair enough.  The setting and the world history was intriguing and I was hoping to learn more about how the society functioned.  The writing was solid and the main character’s motivations were clear.  Also, hoverboards.  We were onto a winner.

But then I started getting The Fifth Wave flashbacks.  For all I was quite enjoying myself, flying through the book, I realised that where I had appreciated the simple writing, there were times when it felt too simple.  I found the main character to be frustratingly reckless and dense in parts, the romantic relationship felt like insta-love, and the whole third act was pretty much standard for a teen dystopian.  Big secret revealed, break into top secret “evil” facility, and, bonus, the main character offers to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

There are a lot of good ideas in this book, original ideas, but for me the execution was lacking.  It might improve in the rest of the books of the series but unfortunately, I’m not invested enough in the characters or the story to continue.  On Goodreads by friends have rated this book anywhere from 1 to 5 stars, and I’m pleased that I gave it a go and now know where I stand.  Perhaps aimed at a younger audience than myself, I would definitely recommend giving this series a go.

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