Book Review: Uglies

As a rule, I do not review non-medical books on this blog, unless it forms part of a Top Ten Tuesday. However, since my recent discovery of the myriad of book blogs, Goodreads and the ability to read while maintaining my schedule has led to me rather bravely attempting a bookish challenge, I have decided to blog about those books.

For the category of Children/YA I read Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

20120115-140523.jpgGoodReads summary: Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 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.

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.

To get right to the nitty gritty: judge a book by its genre. I have read a number of scathing reviews for the novel’s simple vocabulary and young theme. Though these may have bothered me too, it does not take away from its status as a good YA- read, one that I would certainly recommend to teenagers.

Stylistically,what is of greater annoyance is the incongruencies within the young protagonist’s (Tally) personality. Sometimes she is portrayed as a shallow and ignorant little girl, and other times she is philosopher extra-ordinaire.

The novel is rather futiristic and I felt that Westerfeld could have honed in on the themes of conformity and state-control a bit more. He could even have focussed more on the aspect of beauty.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed Uglies and will be reading the sequels.


  1. AWildDog says:

    When I saw the synopsis in this it intrigued me a little but as per your review it sounds like this book lacks a lot, so I’m not so sure now.

    1. If the synopsis intrigued you, you will probably still enjoy it despite the annoyances. I did. It all depends how much time you have to read, and how many books are on your TBR-list. If you have the time, give it a try.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. AWildDog says:

        There’s a lot on my TBR-list but yet I keep adding to it anyway so maybe I’ll add this one too.

  2. katie says:

    i picked these up at a friend’s house several years ago when i was a houseguest, made it through “uglies” and “pretties” (“specials” hadn’t been written yet). while an interesting, slightly frivolous way to spend an afternoon, i’m not sure i would recommend them to anyone, certainly since there are other YA dystopian lit series (“the giver” et al, “the hunger games,” etc) that make this one just pale in comparison.

    1. That is a great way of putting it – loved “the Hunger Games” and “The Giver” is on my TBR list.

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