Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Amazon Synopsis: Tally can't wait to turn sixteen and become Pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation 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 worse 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 own all the books in this series but for some unknown reason, have never gotten around to reading them. After my recent near miss reading slump, saved by a break and then a healthy dose of Cassandra Clare, it seemed I should get through some books that have been collecting dust for the last year or so. It was not what I expected but still enjoyable.

This follows a 15 year old girl called Tally Youngblood who lives in a society where you are considered to be an "ugly" until you turn 16 and become a "pretty" through extensive surgery. Everyone looks similar and has a great time once they become "pretty" but before that life is filled with self esteem issues and self-loathing. Everyone waits for the day they can have their operation and finally be pretty and leave Uglyville for New Pretty Town. Westerfeld really wrote the world wonderfully. Personally I believe in losing weight for health reasons or to tone up and adverts like "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" makes me physically angry because young women and men see this and believe it is the truth. Westerfeld portrays that successfully in his novel with young boys and girls correcting themselves on software from a really young age and the main character constantly pointing out flaws on herself and other people that simply are not a big deal. It evoked a reaction from me which is something a book should do, leaving my mother with bleeding ears after listening to a rant about it for 20 minutes.

Tally is also alone as she faces this since her best friend turned "pretty" a while before she is due to. The book is set leading up to her birthday though, something she shares with Shay. Shay was a new friend she made and someone I found utterly boring. The friendship was not something I got attached to so when Shay runs away to go to a place called the Smoke, where people are not made "pretty" and live in the wild, and meet up with the mysterious David I was ok with it. When Tally's birthday comes around though she finds herself in a predicament and follows a set of instructions to the Smoke. The journey to this place was supposed to be exciting and action packed but once again I was bored by it. Katniss Everdeen would ask why she had a hoverboard to go the whole way as well as a Ritz level amount of supplies. 
Something that bugged me was that despite being on a hoverboard that took her to this place, safety equipment and enough foor for a fortnight, she still complained and everyone fell in love with her because of her daring nature to get to this place unescorted. No wild animals, no walking and no hunger to deal with. Wow Tally you are so brave.This applied to the odd romance as well. Spoilers here is no one wants to know. It seems David liked Tally because she could get from point A to point B.She was so special because she got to the Smoke despite basically being taken there in the end.

I thought my boredom with Tally might pick up in the end but I just got annoyed. She began to act as if she knew everything towards the end. The action was not great since she basically was jumping on a sponge each time. The most interesting aspect was David's parents who had an interesting back story that had my interest and the Specials who have a purpose I am not sure of.

Overall, this book was a let down. Tally was annoying and boring along side a cast of uninteresting characters, all of which seemed to risk their lives for a girl who could lie like a psychopath. I will keep going in the series but only to find out what Dr Cable is doing.

Rating: 3/5


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