Uglies by Scott Westerfeld was a really good book. Even though I'd read the after books Pretties, Specials, and Extras, Uglies was still incredibly entertaining for me.....although it's less weird than I'd anticipated, though vivid still.
Tally Youngblood is an ugly, all squinty eyes, too thin lips, and hair that is frizzy as can be. Luckily, her operation is only a few months away. Tally hopes she can wait even that long.
Once an ugly turns sixteen, they receive the operation. The operation leaves the patient with a brand new pretty face and a pretty lifestyle to go with it. Tally's best-friend-forever received the operation three months ahead of her, leaving Tally all alone on the ugly side of the river with no one to play devious, ugly tricks with. But then, Tally meets Shay.
Shay is a spunky ugly scheduled to receive the operation on the same day as Tally. This is good news. Shay was left all alone, too, all her friends sixteen and gone. But in meeting Tally, Shay has the chance to buddy up without that tricky risk of abandonment. So soon, the two friends get pretty close and trustful of one another. It all takes a turn for the worst when Shay runs away without Tally along with her, Tally left behind to watch her dreams of becoming a new pretty shatter while the mysterious Special Circumstances take away all her hope. But an ultimatum is set. Tally can still have her dream. She's only to find and betray Shay. Things get complicated when Tally is actually faced with making her betrayal come true, after she's learned the disturbing truth of what becoming a pretty entails.
Tally is a pretty cool protagonist. She's very relatable in her world that is somehow so different yet so similar to ours. A lot of things have been altered in Westerfeld's interpretation of the future; the invention of the operation after the brutal destruction of Rusty mankind; a dot of peace and equality that most never thought possible seen everywhere in New Pretty Town. But underneath it all is a society not unlike our own, secret motives and schemes of power underlying everything. Its the realization of how raw and delicately balanced Tally's city is that sits under the basis plot, how the past and the future are shudderingly similar in all the wrong ways.
The third-person-perspective writing is very good, smooth and fluid while swift paced and descriptive. Tally must make a journey somewhere in the story and, unlike with some other books, the journey part is no slower than the rest. It all just keeps going at a good pace, both the story and Tally herself persistently developed.
As mentioned before, Uglies wasn't quite as weird as I'd thought it's be. It fits into the sci-fi genre, yes, but I thought the tone would be distinctively different because of how sequel Pretties was vividly strange in that captivatingly good way. Uglies had a good tone though, perfect for introducing one into its setting, Overall, Uglies is a good read that I recommend to all lovers of science teen fiction.
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