Saturday, February 7, 2009

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Pages: 425
Genre: Fiction (Young Adult)
Series: Yes (Uglies Trilogy)
Publication Date: 2005

Synopsis (From Back of Book):

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.


I really have the desire to give this book the same kind of review that I try to give all books that I review but I just cannot. I don't know why. I just thought that this book was average. The writing was average, the characters were average, the plot was average. It was all over very average. Nothing really stands out but the concept and so it makes it hard for me to write a decent review.

I really could not connect to any of the characters in the story. I do not think that it had anything to do with most of the characters being teenagers but more so the authors ability. None of the characters really grabbed at me. Their personalities did not really shine through and that made it hard for me to care what happened to them.

The writing at times was a little annoying. Westerfeld's word choice is off. I know that he is trying to create this futuristic world. But it is not very imaginative. For example the town names; Pretty Town, Ugly Town, Crumblyville. He should have put in just a tab bit of more effort. He also used the term "littlies" to refer to individuals between under the age of 12. That word made me cringe everytime I read it, it is so awkward and messed up the flow of my reading.

I do like how Westerfeld did not fully close the book. It sort of forces the reader to pick up the others. Not because you really care what happens. But because you are curious to see what happens to Tally after she has made her final choice.

I did think the overall concept was good. Plastic surgery normal and the expected. But Westerfeld could have went so much further than he did with this concept. Even for a book geared towards young adults.

Pros: Concept
Cons: Word Choice, Characters

Overall Recommendation:

Only if you are really interested and plan to read the rest of the books.

Just a side note I used Librarythings little widget that predicts if you will like a book. It said that I probably will not like this book (with a very high certainty). I guess it was right.

Series Challenge (2 out of 15)
Library Challenge (4 of 25)

Golden Duck Award
VA Readers Choice Book
Garden State Book Award

If you have a review of this book or any other book reviewed on my site. Post a link to that review in the comment section so, I can link back to you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I followed your link from where you posted on my blog - and I did reply to you asking if you were referring to Sims 3 traits?

    Anyway, since I'm here, I thought I'd add a comment to this review. I read Uglies more than a year ago, and the only reason I even picked it up was because I had read his Midnighters series & So Yesterday and I like Scott's ideas.

    The premise of Uglies was very intriguing - cosmetic surgery taken to an extreme. The problem with the book was that Tally wasn't really a very sympathetic character (and as you go on to the rest of the books, she doesn't really improve). For me, the only character I cared about in Uglies was David.

    A better book to read from this series would be Extras (book 4) - which is a parody of well, blogs. In this society, your reputation is determined by how "popular" your "blog" is and the main character was much more appealing. That was the book that I really liked out of the series.