Review : Uglies
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Pages : 425
Genre : YA, Dystopia
My Rating :
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice : find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…
The first time I saw Uglies on a store’s shelf, I thought for sure it wasn’t for me! Honestly, I didn’t even bother reading the back of the book. (hey, I never hid that I was a shallow book-picker!) Once I became a book blogger though, all I heard was praise for Westerfeld’s work. I knew I would have to try it, sooner or later!
Uglies was an entertaining story, combining an original world-building, fast pace action scenes and a captivating set of characters. Although I didn’t fall in love with it right from the start, I still was hooked from the first pages, and I read the book compulsively!
I have never seen writing quite like Westerfeld’s before, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. His style is concise and right to the point; he is the perfect example of that “show, don’t tell” policy we keep repeating! There’s no overflowing sentimental scenes, no unnecessary descriptions; if something is mentioned, it has its importance in the story. Which doesn’t mean that the details are neglected, absolutely not! Westerfeld has a great ability to describe scenes without getting lost in random thoughts, and yet making you feel really close to the characters. There’s also a great lot of technology speak out, but Westerfeld doesn’t throw them all in the same sentence, so it’s not too overwhelming. I’m guessing not everyone will enjoy his style though, but it was a nice change for me.
I have to say, that I loved Tally for all that she was, strengths and weaknesses both included. She was interesting, intelligent and resourceful, and her attitude sounded very true to me. She has to deal with pretty heavy stuff in the story, and she handled it in a way that was both understandable and realistic.
I couldn’t finish my review without talking a little more about the story’s setting, this futuristic world where all humans are created “equals” by becoming pretty. It is a clear commentary on our actual society and the value of beauty, and this shapestory through the book in ways that are sometimes subtle, and sometimes not. There was a lot to discuss in Uglies, and I don’t want to give too much away, but I thought this book would be a wonderful one to discuss in a teen’s bookclub.
In the end, what more can I say than I loved this book? It was really complex, both philosiphically and emotionally, and at this point in time, I have already gone through the next two books in the series. I have no doubt there’ll be a lot more Westerfeld in my reading future!