“Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld You are Ugly. It’s 2310, and you have grown up restricted from hover boards, pulse tattoos, and the many other advantages that your society provides. That all will change on your birthday. In about a month, on your sweet sixteenth, you will get a surge to make you pretty. Your bones will be replaced, your skin stretched, your features molded. Everything is running smoothly, until your best friend runs away the day before you’re turned. The authorities give you a choice: Betray your friend, or never become pretty. Tally Youngblood chose to bring Shay back. Was it the right path? All Tally wants is to be normal. Unfortunately, life has a different idea. As choices are hastily flung at her, she often regrets her decisions, and is constantly harassed for her “mistakes”. Having no control of her life, she is tossed down a path that she doesn’t want to take. And it changes the world forever. In Tally’s world, when you turn sixteen, you go to “New Pretty Town”, the exciting, 24/7 party land that she envies. When forced with the choice, Tally feels that she can’t just give up the opportunity to go there! Plus, “Uglies” takes place 300 years in the future! With so many things- from hover boards to hungry nanos- the book couldn’t have been placed in any other time frame. “Uglies” sends a clear message: be cautious of the choices you make; consequences are unforgiving. Shay, Tally’s best friend, is thrust into the middle of a war, all because Tally wanted to bring her back. So now this big battle’s going on, but does Tally fight? Nooo. Because fleeing solves everything. She runs away, lies to David, makes him so heartbroken that he just leaves. And, by the way, if you ever find yourself in a position where you need to dispose of an unwanted, inactivated tracking device, don’t throw it into flames. Apparently, it starts wars. Tally just has this special way of mucking up her life. Don’t make her mistake. When you open “Uglies”, you open a portal to a futuristic dream world. Scott Westerfeld configures the words in such a way as to not just let you read the book, but make you live it. He takes you on a journey whizzing through forests, soaring off buildings. He spirals you down an emotional outrage, stocked with tragedy, romance, rage, and exhilaration. He tosses out characters, introduces them, describes them, develops them, makes you feel as if you could know and talk to them. Like they’re real. He doesn’t lose your attention through long, poetic phrases, but rather captivates you with nonstop action, pulling you into the book. There are no boring scenes, no stand-still moments. Not in “Uglies”. With the descriptive imagery, the realistic characters, the intense action and even the insane chaos, it’s hard not to love this book. I was instantly stunned at how much thought went into the details; you can use science to explain most everything that was incorporated into the text- from the science behind beauty to the structure and uses of nano technology. If you enjoy fast paced action or drama novels, then “Uglies” is a must-read. Scott had a fresh voice and an awesome idea, and I will never forget him or his unique piece of literature.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld by Scott Westerfeld
December 5, 2010