I recently finished reading Uglies. Scott Westerfield, the author of the series, has also written and published many other young adult books such as Afterwards, Goliath, and Leviathan. Uglies was published February 8th, 2006. I read this book for book clubs, so I didn’t have a choice. However, I realized that I really enjoyed reading it. The constant twists and turns in the plot made the book interesting and hard to predict.
Tally Youngblood, an average teenager from Uglyville, wants nothing more than to turn pretty and see her best friend Peris again, to live a care free life of partying in New Pretty Town. But her plans change when she meets a new friend, Shay, who thought otherwise. She told Tally the ugly part of becoming a pretty and what it meant. However, because Tally refuses to believe the truth she stayed behind to become pretty while her new and only friend Shay had run away into the unknown world instead. But when a certain problem arrises in Tally’s plan, she finds herself chasing after Shay, her pretty dream on hold. The only way to make her ‘dream’ reality was to betray the people closest to her. But when Tally has a change of heart, she gets a rude awakening to the perfect society she thought she knew. So when Tally finds herself between a rock and a hard place, she has the choice to sacrifice everything for the sake of her friends.
I was interested in Tally and Shay’s friendship because even though Tally had everything at her access, she was willing to loose everything for Shay, however, she had also betrayed so many of the people who cared for her at the same time. After reflecting upon the book it was hard to tell if Tally did some things out of guilt, like she owed Shay back for everything else she’d done to hurt her, or it was pure friendship. I’m mostly sure it was out of care and friendship though.
I was surprised at how the author created the concept of the book around many of the things we do now, like the fact that the entire society revolved around physical appearances was unbelievable to me and many others even though that is basically how a lot the things in our modern day world revolve around as well.
“Cities worked very hard to stay independent of one another, but the Pretty Committee was a global institution that made sure pretties were all more or less the same. It would ruin the whole point of the operation if the people from one city wound up prettier than everyone else. (31.5)
I thought that this was a great way to bring more attention to the situation but the book was based around a much larger scale.
(Spoiler)I was disappointed in the end when after all Tally did decide to become pretty. This was most disappointing because after learning the true secrets behind the surgeries that take place before a person became pretty, I personally realized that Tally turning pretty would basically mean the end of the book and the same as when a the main character dies mostly because of the fact that once they are pretty, they are brainless too. However, in spite of the situation, it was not a total loss because Tally was able to save her true best friend(who was not Peris).