Book Reviews

Uglies Review

Hey guys! Today I just cannot believe that “Uglies” is more than a decade old. Yet, it remains in my top five dystopian YAs. It is a romantic, brilliantly plotted thriller that you won’t put down once you start.

The author is Scott Westerfeld, who wrote the also famous “Leviathan” series.

His website:

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I read “Uglies”  a few years ago and the clever, harrowing twists of the plot have stayed vividly in my memory.

Tally Youngblood is approaching her sixteenth birthday, awaiting the day she can go under the knife and become ‘Pretty.’ When she visits her best friend across the river-where people go post operation-she is confronted with the reality of the surgery her and all of the ‘Uglies’ desire. Along with their bodies, the surgery ‘Prettifies’ their brains, making them vapid and lost.

When Tally meets David, an enigmatic rebel intent on defying his surgery, she is drawn after him to a renegade camp. She is hounded by the government and the difficult decision of betraying her new friends or becoming Pretty after all.

He explores two very different hemispheres of human nature through the juxtaposing worlds. On one hand, the land of the Pretties is fraught with compliance and comfort, while the Smoke refuge explores the grittiest most resilient facets of human nature.

The romance is sweet and honest, despite the inherent confusion of the circumstance. The development is paced naturally, and doesn’t throw them together simply because they are proximal and straight. You will aw along with them and fight incredible frustration when complications force them apart.  

You will love Westerfeld’s superb timing and narrative tension. If you aren’t looking at how physically far in the book you are you will be convinced at least three times that you have reached the climax. He is much like Dan Brown in the way he is able to manipulate the scene, adding layer upon layer. It is akin to zooming progressively further out on Google maps.

He imbues his teenage characters with inherent dignity and intelligence that is hard to find in typical dystopian YAs. Tally and David are resourceful and energetic, fighting against the numbing of the populus in a manner particularly relevant, even twelve years later. If you want to hear about empowered teenagers dismantling the government systems that indoctrinate people into ambivalence, then this book is for you!

Read it here:

Let us know what you think, if you’ve already read it or when you do.

Until then,

Happy Reading!

16 thoughts on “Uglies Review

  1. I am so excited about this post as well as the anniversary. I bought this book when I was in the 7th grade, it was one of the first books I got to buy with my own money and I was so excited about it. I still own it actually and should probably reread it as I literally only remember everything before she went to where the Pretties live. I loved you review on the book as well as how you compared it to Dan brown. That comparison is making e consider picking up my first ever Dan Brown book.

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