Tally can't wait to turn sixteen and become pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from 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.
Paperback, 425 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Simon and Schuster
(first published January 1st 2005)
Uglies is definitely one of the most highly imaginative reads I have ever came across - bonkers, but bloody brilliant!
The premise is so fantastically unusual that I was immediately pulled into the thick of the adventure. In a world where 'Uglies' get surgically transformed into 'pretties' on their 16th birthday, it all sounds rather strange. But there is so much more to the story, it has so many little layers that are relevant to today's society, mainly the big old body image dilemma.
Main character Tally is an adventurous sort of wild girl, she dreams of her 16th and what her glamorous life as a fun loving, party going pretty will be like. She longs to be reunited with her best-friend who's birthday was a couple of months before hers.
But to Tally's utter amazement, there is a world beyond the cities, where people are happy to live as pretties, uglies and crumblies. Tally makes a lot of discoveries and mistakes that forces her to lie to friends, and also pushes her into dangers way. It shockingly even jeopardises her pretty transformation.
My favourite part of the whole story was when Tally realised that somebody actually sees her for her, as something beautiful, even being an ugly. It was a stunning moment that really stood out for me.
Scott Westerfeld writes with precision and with great attention. The pacing was fast and bumpy, and the thrills were relentless. The world building here is exquisite and I adored learning each little tidbit that was fired my way. There is also such a lovely mix of fantastically interesting characters tucked inside these pages and I found myself liking each of them for their differences.
Uglies is an epic first instalment in what I expect will be a mind-blowing series. It's full of action, thrills, danger, excitement and also friendship and positive messages. The ending rocked my mind, I didn't see it coming and I found it soooo exciting. I just can't wait to see where I will be taken next - bring on book 2, Pretties (which I have already read and loved).
4.5 / 5 Stars
*Special thanks to Simon & Schuster for the review copy*