Dec 23, 2009

Book Review: UGLIES

Title: Uglies; Pretties; Specials; Extras
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Good if...You want a new series to fall into.
Summary (Amazon):
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.

My thoughts:
I'm basically posting this as an example of a dystopian young adult novel (and series) I loved. It took the world we live in now and morphed certain aspects, such as body image, government ideals, and coming of age expectations. Tally is shallow and contempt in this world. She doesn't want to change. She wants to become pretty and bubbly and fit in. Then her friend Shay runs away and Tally follows--for her own selfish reasons. And she finds a new world, one outside her pretty little box. A world with David, an ugly boy who is so unlike anyone she's ever known. I finished "Uglies" and went straight to Target to buy "Pretties" and then "Specials". Through the novels you watch Tally change from a shallow kid, to the woman who leads a revolution. Pretty amazing stuff.

The Extras is not part of the original trilogy. It's...well, extra. It follows Aya, a 15-year-old girl from what once was Japan (I think.) Here is it's summary (Amazon): Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself. Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

I hope you're intrigued.


littleone4jmu said...

Okay, i love these books! i can proudly say i was the one to recommend these books! when i lived in a dorm at my college campus, all the girls on my floor read these books, they are a very easy read and you cant seem to put them down. i think my favorite was either uglies or specials. not the pretties isnt just as good, i just like the other two more. the extras books was still just as good, but i was a little put out by Tally not being the main person in it, but i liked it just!as much. i definitely suggest reading these books

Sarah said...

The pretties was my favorite, Laura!!! I think because of Zane. And I really liked Extras...maybe better than the first 3.

hmsgofita said...

It took me a bit to get into Uglies...I just want the plot to get going already, but the series is interesting enough for me to keep going to the end...I'm listening to Pretties now.

hmsgofita said...

Really cute blog; I love your beach ratings!

Nickles said...

Your review makes me even more excited to read the series. Except it's at the bottom of my TBR pile. I might be tempted though to change it up.