Novel Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I mentioned awhile back, I picked up Uglies by Scott Westerfeld during the Borders/Walden going out of business sale. I was pretty excited about this piece, because my daughter recommended it to me. Well, I finally read it. 🙂 I ended up having to bump it up the list to get to it since the publication date was so old.

Before I get to the review, I’m going off on a little tangent… remember Ramblings of an Amateur Writer, remember? 🙂 Okay. So my Walden Books went out of business. Shortly after, I found a job advertisement from Books-a-Million (BAM) in the same shopping center at Walden Books. I couldn’t find anything on BAM’s website about a new store opening. Well, last week I found more job advertisements. When I checked their website this time, I also found information on the upcoming store. Now where Walden Books was is a BAM sign overlaid. Is that not cool or what?

We may have lost Walden, but we gained another bookstore. I guess this is a case of the survival of the fittest. 🙂

Back to the book review and the blurb from Ms. Westerfeld’s website:

Uglies is set in a world in which everyone has an operation when they turn sixteen, making them supermodel beautiful. Big eyes, full lips, no one fat or skinny. You might think this is a good thing, but it’s not. Especially if you’re one of the Smokies, a bunch of radical teens who’ve decided they want to keep their own faces. (How anti-social of them.)

Okay. That’s the blurb from Mr. Westerfeld’s site. This is my personal blurb: Imagine a world full of superficial people. Welcome to Pretty Town.

First off the bat, Tally rubbed me all sorts of wrong. All she could talk about were pretty people and how she couldn’t wait to become one. She reminded me of that scene from A Bug’s Life… well, check it out yourself…

That was Tally when faced with a Pretty. And when she wasn’t being enraptured by the Pretty, she full of condescension. Consider these lines/thoughts by her:

  • pg 76 Their ugly little faces peered up at the dorm’s four-story height, their eyes full of wonder and terror. Oh I hate Tally and her attitude.
  • pg 81 “Don’t be weird, Shay. I’m an ugly, you’re an ugly. we will be for two more weeks. It’s no big deal or anything.” She laughed. “You, for example, have one giant eyebrow and one tiny one.” Tally being the biggest jerk as she talks to her friend.
  • pg 198 “What are these freaks?”
    “They aren’t freaks,” Shay said. “The weird thing is, these are famous people.”
    “Famous for what? Being hideous?” Tally talking about people in our modern day magazines. Need I say more?

Let’s just say, Tally and I didn’t hit it off.

How about the plot? The beginning was rather rocky, and I wasn’t sure I’d even finish Uglies. Once Tally started focusing on other issues beside just being pretty, the book improved. I couldn’t help but be interested in what happens during the Pretty process. I had a hard time believing a child could grow up thinking they’re were ugly and worthless all their life, then after a surgery which fixed the outer imperfections they’d have high self-esteem. Then the Smokies were introduced, and I had to know what that was about.

Uglies also had a bit of romance action. At first, the romance seemed so fake considering it came out of the blue. But sometimes, I guess that’s how it happens. Just having someone take notice can be attractive. In the case of Tally falling for an Ugly, I’d say that’s what happened. After all, she was quite superficial throughout the story.

Over all, this wasn’t the best read, and the presentation wasn’t all that great. However, the story was unique to me. It also ended on a cliffhanger, which I absolutely hate. I’m just glad the series is over, and I have the complete collection. Now I can read (or not read) them at my leisure. Stay tuned for my review of Pretties this Saturday.

Uglies is available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

By the way, what do you think of the blog theme?

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