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. (GOODREADS LINK)
Cover: It's okay. Not my favorite. Middle of the road good.
Uglies is the first book in this series, followed by Pretties, Specials, and Extras.
The world presented in this book is completely unique and was highly fascinating to me. It's a word where when you hit puberty, you're considered to be an UGLY. You live in Uglyville, wear ugly clothes, are don't have any fun. When you turn 16, you are sent to have a surgery to become a PRETTY. You then get to go live in New Pretty Town, where you wear fabulous clothes and attend amazing parties, and leave all your ugly worries behind. Pretties are happy. EVERYONE wants to be pretty and be with the pretty people.
Sounds simple and easy right? Well NOT everything is as it seems.
This book was entirely story/world-driven for me. The writing was good, but the world was GREAT. The author did a good job of building and introducing a new world, and most of my questions were answered by the end of the book. The descriptions were detailed and helped me paint a picture in my mind. This book isn't just a good read, it really makes you think about society and the definitions of pretty vs ugly. I'm not gonna lie. If I lived in this world and had the option to have this surgery, I would have it in a heartbeat...even if it meant sacrificing a few things..
WHICH IT DOES. Pretty does NOT come free people. There's something about the Pretties that's a bit....off. They're too happy, too agreeable...too...something. WHY?
Fortunately for me I connected with the story. It made up for the lack of connection I had with any of the characters. The main character is Tally, her best friend Peris has just become Pretty and she's feeling pretty alone. She's the last of her friends to have her birthday. She can't wait to rid herself of her squinty eyes and frizzy hair and go live with all the beautiful people. Then she meets Shay. Shay has the same birthday as Tally, but her thoughts on becoming Pretty are quite unorthodox. Shay doesn't think there's anything wrong with how she, or anyone else looks, and plans to run away to The Smoke. A place where other uglies have run to avoid the surgery. Basically there's betrayal, a boy, enlightening information, and more betrayal. I am not going to go into the details because you just have to read it for yourself.
Why didn't I connect with the characters? Tally did not have a unique voice. She wasn't anything special. I don't feel like I know who she is. I can't picture her in my mind. The romance in this book was sudden and unrealistic and felt cold. It didn't warm my heart and I felt it took away from the story.
Usually if I don't connect with at least one character, well, that's all she wrote folks. I'm done. But this story was just sooo good and unexpected I couldn't stop reading. I'm hoping that in the next books the characters will be flushed out more and I will develop that connection I'm still looking for. AND I can't wait to read more about this world.
Favorite Quotes: None
Bottom Line: Uglies showed me a unique world that kept my interest until the very end. 4/5