Uglies (Uglies Series, Book 1) by Scott Westerfeld

Themes: Romance, Action, Violence, Adventure, Dystopian Society

Background: Uglies is set in the distant future of America in which a society that is obsessed with beauty has split its population into two groups: the “Uglies” (from which the book acquires its name) and the “Pretties.” The Uglies are a group of children, from the ages of twelve to sixteen who are forced to live together a primitive society with significantly less privileges than there counter parts, the Pretties, until they under go mandatory cosmetic surgery to make them “perfect.” The main goals of the Uglies are act like juveniles, pull pranks, and break the law because when they can become a Pretty they can do anything they want. The Pretties are people who have had the mandatory cosmetic surgery, continue to recreationally participate in the surgery (for scars, reduction in height, etc.), and party 24/ 7, 365 days a year.

Main story: The main character, Tally Youngblood, a sixteen year old Ugly, is fast approaching her scheduled day of surgery (her sixteenth birthday) and she is extremely excited at the prospect of becoming a Pretty, she can go to all the parties she wants and get away with almost any “crime.” Until one day, she meets a boy who is not from around “town,” and begins to have doubts about the government and there true purpose in requiring all Uglies participate in cosmetic surgery. Her government is hiding a BIG secret about what they truly do to an Ugly/ Pretty in the operation. This secret threatens to destroy her whole world and its up to Tally to find out the truth.

Interesting facts: Because Pretties are the perfect example of a perfect person they are allowed to do whatever they want: drink, party, stay out late, make out on campus, pull pranks that by today’s standards would get us arrested, etc. They even get the best technology such as hover boards and floating ice rinks. Although some Uglies are in possession of hover boards that they have stolen and use in secret.

Criticisms: The slang words that the Pretties use (i.e. “bubbly” and “bogus”) get very tiring after a short while because they are used frequently throughout the book, but it does add to the overall secret of the governments machinations.

Praises: At first, Tally is a somewhat vapid character who is obsessed with surgery and worries about how she will look, but throughout the book she begins to grow into herself more and more as she is challenged with various adversities. Also I LOVED the technology, especially the hover boards, it made really want to own one!


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