May 4, 2013

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series is comprised of four books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras. I just finished reading the first book, and will move onto the second shortly (after finals end). Uglies is set in a time quite a ways from now when modern day technology is known as the "Rustys" (I don't know about you, but my Kindle is quite schnazzy, thank you very much!) and the government controls everything... literally everything. What you wear, what your job is, even what you look like! Upon your sixteenth birthday you are turned into a Pretty - being that complete body makeovers using plastic surgery is what makes someone pretty. The thing is that turning Pretty changes an Ugly's personality... and when a select few rebel against this social norm Special Circumstances gets involved.

Tally Youngblood
Enter Tally Youngblood. She's a bit younger than her best friend, Paris, and when he left she began to feel a bit lost. She meets up with this girl named Shay and they start pulling pranks together. Then Shay suggests a bigger prank than any Tally's ever done - Shay is going to leave before she turns Pretty. Tally is shocked at the suggestion that she'd go with Shay and declines, fully intent on becoming a Pretty, but when Special Circumstances says she has to follow Shay and lead them to the town of the rebels, named Smoke for the fact that it's nearly impossible to find, she has no choice but to find Smoke or forever be an Ugly. When Tally gets to Smoke, after a harrowing journey and nearly getting burned (...the irony), she discovers that being Pretty may not be all it's cut out to be, and that the government may be more sinister than she thought it was.

The book had an intriguing message, to say the least. It seemed to me as if it was tossing off the social norms of being pretty and aligning itself with not only being a good person, but with being intelligent and knowledgable about the threats that may be around you. Tally learned that not all Pretties are pretty inside, and that some Uglies may be wiser than she could ever know. The fact that the government was controlling it's people via making them placid and apathetically-minded is reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984, though a much more modern (and teenage-friendly) version of an omniscient government. The ending was... confusing, though I bet it'll be cleared up with the next few in the series. I'll definitely get to reading them shortly! I just gotta catch up on this Biology, take the final, and then I'll be back for more!

1 comment:

Thanks for your input! I love to hear your opinions!