Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Published: October 2005, October 2006, September 2007
Pages: 425, 370, 372
Rating: 8 / 10
Challenges: Book Awards II Challenge
Awards: Uglies was nominated for the 2006 BBYA (ALA's Best Books for Young Adults) list
Synopsis of Uglies:
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.Synopsis of Pretties:
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.
Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun - the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom - is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life - because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.
Synopsis of Specials:
The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor - frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.
And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.
The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.
Still, it's easy to tune that out - until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.
My Review: I actually read this trilogy a couple months ago (I read Pretties during the last Read-a-thon, and Specials not long after), but haven't had a chance to review it since then. It's an interesting series, about a future world in which everyone has an operation that makes them attractive at age 16. Our protagonist, Tally, can't wait for the surgery. She's the last one in her group of friends to get the operation, and while she's waiting for her turn, she meets Shay, another "ugly" who wants to run away rather than become pretty. The series focuses on the theme of beauty, unsurprisingly, especially on the idea that it can come from the inside. I enjoyed the world Westerfeld created; everything sounds plausible, technology-wise, and the teenagers even have their own slang, which I believe adds to the realism. Some of the characters got on my nerves as the series went on; by the third book, I wanted to strangle Shay, even though I'm pretty sure I was supposed to feel for her because of the way she was - inadvertently, for the most part - betrayed by Tally. But on the whole, I enjoyed all three books and I'm sure other lovers of sci-fi would, too. There's a fourth book, Extras, that takes place well after this series. It sounds like an interesting extension of the world, and I'm curious to read it. The film rights to Uglies were purchased in 2006, but no release date has been set. I think this would make a pretty cool movie, if the special effects were done right.
If you have reviewed this book as well, leave me a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.