Book Review: Uglies

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…


Title: Uglies

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Published: 2005 by Simon Pulse

Time it took me to read: I don’t have the exact dates but somewhere around a week. 

Rating: 2 out of 5

Okay so I’m skipping the synopsis as the blurb that Goodreads provided pretty much covers all the important stuff. If you know me and my reviews, it never bodes well if I can’t think of anything more I want to say about the book than what’s in the blurb. Unfortunately that is also true for this book.

I was intrigued by the premise of Uglies but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. From page one you’re just thrust into this world where the main character turns ‘pretty’ on her 16th birthday without explanation or elaboration. Does everyone turn pretty? Why? If not, how do they select? Why are they removed from their parents? What is different after they’ve turned pretty? Why would Uglies be viewed as outcasts? These are all questions that weren’t answered until later on in the book. I really would have liked a better introduction with the story. Instead, we meet Tally (whose name I couldn’t remember when I started writing this review.. another bad sign..) when she is sneaking out to see Paris. To do this she needs to manipulate the advanced technological systems so it seems like she’s still in bed. I would have liked to know more about that, too. She sneaks into ‘new pretty town’ to crash a party. Then something happens and she ends up basejumping off a roof? I don’t know, the whole party sequence I pretty much skimmed. It just didn’t grab me. But I pushed forward in the hope that it would get better. Seriously though, I honestly thought that I somehow had gotten someone else’s book which they had masked as Uglies. But no, this was the actual book. It did get better though.

But not until the end, when they are captured. That’s when it starts to get interesting. I do have to admit that when I finished the book, I immediately wanted to start reading Pretties, the sequel. So I have to give it to Mr. Westerfeld that he ended it on a high note.

I’m not sure if I am going to read Pretties and Specials. To be honest, I found the book pretty forgettable.. Can someone who did like the books explain what makes them so popular? I guess David is cool, and I did like Shay. I don’t like Tally, though. Too vain at first, and then too much the hero. Hm.. guess I would have to read the sequel to see if that will change.. I don’t know. Maybe.


Author: EMK

Just blogging away in my free time while I try to make something of my life

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Uglies”

  1. Hmm I must admit I was cringing a little while reading the blurb, I’m not sure why because it sounds like an interesting premise. I guess it sounds superficial that all a character would care about is turning pretty. Perhaps that’s harsh, after all nobody wants to be seen as ‘ugly’ or ‘unpretty’ but I dunno. It also seems (as you have mentioned in your review) that it would be hard to pull it off.
    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book more! Thanks for the warning, I will be steering clear. 🙂

    P.S. I was excites to see that you are reading Handle With Care, I thought the book was brilliant. How are you liking it so far?

    1. It does seem all a bit superficial. Like, she is going to betray this whole town because she can’t stand the idea of not being pretty. But then she becomes the savior? I dunno.. it’s a bit too dramatic. Haha well you can always try it out!

      I finished Handle with Care and the story was sooooo good but the ending SUCKED. I was actually angry 😛 what did you think?

      1. I internally screamed at the ending! I wasn’t sure what to make of it, and I’m still undecided whether I liked it or not. She certainly went for the shock factor.

  2. I’ve read uglies but I didn’t bother with any of the others, I agree it only got interesting at the end… Don’t give up on Westerfeld though, Parasite Positive is amazing!

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