by Scott Westerfeld

Paperback, 2011





S&S Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Reissue, 432 pages


Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.


Soaring Eagle Book Award (Nominee — 2007)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2008)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2007)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2010)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Teen — 2007)
Nutmeg Book Award (Nominee — Teen — 2009)
Great Lakes Great Books Award (Honor Book — 2008)
Iowa Teen Award (Nominee — 2008)
Aurealis Award (Shortlist — 2005)
Gateway Readers Award (Nominee — 3rd Place — 2008)
Garden State Teen Book Award (Winner — Grades 6-8 — 2008)
Nevada Young Readers' Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2008)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — 2008)
Colorado Blue Spruce Award (Nominee — 2008)
Ditmar Award (Shortlist — Novel — 2006)
Florida Teens Read Award (Nominee — 2008)
Otherwise Award (Long list — 2005)
Virginia Readers' Choice (Nominee — High School — 2008)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — 2008)
Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Nominee — High School — 2008)
Isinglass Teen Read Award (Nominee — 2007)
Rhode Island Teen Book Award (Nominee — 2007)
Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire (Winner — 2008)
South Carolina Book Awards (Nominee — Young Adult Book Award — 2008)
Best Fiction for Young Adults (Selection — 2006)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

432 p.; 8.25 inches

Media reviews

The Uglies books are the perfect parables of adolescent life, where adult-imposed milestones, rituals, and divide-and-rule tactics amp children's natural adolescent insecurities into a full-blown, decade-long psychosis.

User reviews

LibraryThing member elizabethholloway
The Uglies works on a purely escapist level and on a thematic level. In terms of plot, this is Logan's Run meets Stepford teens with great action and adventure. On a thematic level, this novel calls on readers to question their own assumptions about beauty, perfection, and the worth of the
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individual. Along with Tally, we first admire the beauty of the pretties and then come to see their emptiness. At the same time, it is a story about a powerful girl who faces adversity and becomes a more complex and empathetic person as a result.
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LibraryThing member chibimajo
At first, I wasn’t too impressed with it, but then by the end of the book I was like, what? it’s over? And I don’t have the sequel???? So, yeah, it’s Scott Westerfeld, who is a great writer.
LibraryThing member MoniqueReads
I just thought that this book was average. The writing was average, the characters were average, the plot was average. It was all over very average. Nothing really stands out but the concept and so it makes it hard for me to write a decent review.

I really could not connect to any of the characters
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in the story. I do not think that it had anything to do with most of the characters being teenagers but more so the authors ability. None of the characters really grabbed at me. Their personalities did not really shine through and that made it hard for me to care what happened to them.

The writing at times was a little annoying. Westerfeld's word choice is off. I know that he is trying to create this futuristic world. But it is not very imaginative. For example the town names; Pretty Town, Ugly Town,Crumblyville. He should have put in just a tab bit of more effort. He also used the term "littlies" to refer to individuals between under the age of 12. That word made me cringe everytime I read it, it is so awkward and messed up the flow of my reading.

I do like how Westerfeld did not fully close the book. It sort of forces the reader to pick up the others. Not because you really care what happens. But because you are curious to see what happens to Tally after she has made her final choice.

I did think the overall concept was good. Plastic surgery normal and the expected. But Westerfeld could have went so much further than he did with this concept. Even for a book geared towards young adults.
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LibraryThing member RagenLambert
“Uglies” is a speculative fiction story about an ugly named Tally. She can’t wait to become a pretty to be with her best guy friend, Peris. While she is waiting for her 16th birthday for her surgery, she meets a new friend named Shay. Shay runs away and Tally must find her before she will be
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able to get her “pretty” surgery. The story is the journey of Tally finding Shay and questioning everything she has ever known.

To help teach with this book, a teacher could use this book along with a unit of self –worth or their own changing bodies. Being a teenager, they go through transformations every day. A teacher could use this book to help explain that changes will happen and it is normal. It can also use this book as a model of how our society values beauty now. Our society is obsessed with everyone being beautiful or perfect. A teacher could use this book to explain that there is nothing wrong with how they look. That normal is beautiful.

I really did enjoy reading this book. It was very neat to see this futuristic world. There were parts that I could not stand. When Tally was on her journey to see Shay I got really bored. I thought it didn’t have anything for the story at all. This book really made me think how much our society cares about beauty and being perfect. I know that our society is obsessed with being pretty but I did not realize the direction it is taking us as a world. I realized that if we kept on that we would basically turn into the “Uglies/Pretties” world.
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LibraryThing member LindseyHerring
Uglies is set in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the journey of Tally, a young girl quickly approaching her 16th birthday where she will undergo plastic surgery and become a "New Pretty." Up until this point, Tally has lived as an "Ugly." Her journey to her surgery is interrupted when she
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meets Shay, another "Ugly" who manages show Tally that being a "Pretty" may not be exactly what Tally has imagined.

I think that this book would be a good book for adolescents. Young adults can relate to the desire to be pretty and perfect. Also, I think the characters are easily relateable. Kids can relate to Tally in the fact that she strives to be like everyone else and doesn't see why anyone would want to be different; and kids can also relate to Shay's rebellion and need to find herself.

I enjoyed reading this book. It opened my eyes to some of my own personal thoughts of beauty. I think the need to be pretty and perfect in the book represents a dramatized version of society's obsession with what is pretty and how to be beautiful in this day in time.
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LibraryThing member SarahCoil
The “Uglies” is a book that is very futuristic. Everybody is considered ugly until they turn sixteen. When they turn sixteen, they have plastic surgery to make them pretty. In this society, beauty is only skin deep. The Smoke is where some kids go to avoid having surgery. Here, the main
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character, Tally will learn what true beauty is. She learns that it is what’s on the inside that matters most.
This book would be great in a classroom. Students struggle to try to fit in everyday. Students could discuss what the world would be like if they were only judged by what they looked like and what it would feel like to be called an ugly. Also, it would be beneficial for students to write a paper on what makes a person beautiful in their minds. This would cause them to think about what is really important instead of just being pretty or the cool kid in school.
I really liked this book. I really liked how Tally learned what was truly important in the end. At first she wanted to be pretty, but then she realized that she was pretty without plastic surgery. However, she was still willing to make that sacrifice for the people that she truly cared about.
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LibraryThing member svh_mad
I was given this book as a gift by one of my friends. My instant thought was "Oh no, I'm going to have to pretend to like this!"

I didn't like it in the end...I loved it! It's a teen book that could easily be read by an adult and enjoyed. On a basic level there's a wonderful sci fi story, but dig
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little deeper and the book contains a very superficial future and a lot of negative views about the "rusties" - us!

I'm not a huge sci fi and don't enjoy complicated explanations of unusual technologies, this book managed to indulge my love of sci fi without me getting confused.
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LibraryThing member Nicole.Virden
"Uglies" is a book about a girl named Tally who lives in a town called uglyville where all "uglies" live until they turn 16 and can have a surgery performed on them to make them pretty, then they move to a town called new pretty town. Tally can not wait to become pretty so that she can be with her
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best friend Peris. During her wait to become pretty, she meets a fellow ugly named Shay. Shay introduces her to a town called the smokes where you never have to have a surgery to become pretty. After many life changing events, Tally learns the truth about being pretty and ends up having to rescue her new friends from the smokes.

This is an amazing book that could be used in a junior high classroom. It is really strange but in the same way can teach things about the world. I really think this book portrays how the world really is. Most kids from age 12-16 go through this "awkward stage" and usually grow out of it after 16. In a sense they "become pretty." The book could send a bad message though, because it could teach kids that you have to be pretty in order to enjoy life, have fun, or be anything for that matter. On the positive, it could teach kids that something may seem awesome and be something everyone else does and makes your life better, but you really need to look farther into it before you decide to take part because it could be misleading.

This is probably my favorite book we have read for class so far. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it and I thought that I would not like it but now I really want to read the rest of the series. It was not what I expected and it kept me on my toes because there were so many points in the book where I was freaking out along with the characters. While reading a book, I always have an idea of how I would like for the story to end and while reading this book, that idea changed about 3 or 4 times. That kept it extremely interesting.
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LibraryThing member aprilmcmullen
The Uglies is a series about this "perfect world" that makes everybody pretty. So you have to go through this ugly stage until the age of sixteen then you will have your first of many surgries. You also have some who choose to stay ugly because they feel that looks doesnt make you, and they have
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their own mind.

I will surely teach this in my class because in reality we leave in a world almost like the book. We think that looks are everything but really beauty is skin deep. The society and the media makes younger children think that they have to look, dress, talk a certain why to fit in with the world.

I tolally recommend this book to everybody it makes you look at life in a different perception
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LibraryThing member ShelbyJoMcKay
Uglies is a novel about a distopian society. All of its inhabitants undergo a surgery on their 16th birthday that symmetrically aligns their face, perfectly constructs their bodies, oh and controls their brain! Tally is two months away from the surgery when she meets a new friend, Shay. No one
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knows about the lesions, but still some people run away from the society in an attempt to keep themselves present(physically). As she fleets the scene, attention is redirected to Tally by the local law enforcement group called "Specials". She is sent as a spy to find Shay and the other runaways. Will she turn her friend over? Or will Tally risk everything and be "ugly" forever?

I really love this book! In a classroom of eighth or ninth graders I would probably teach this. There are some sexual indications when she goes through the "pleasure gardens". Also, I think it would be a good opportunity for the students to get into groups and create their representation of the Smoke, New Pretty Town, or the Ruins. I could see myself doing a lot with this book.

Uglies was easy to read and I could not put it down..again! I read these books in ninth and tenth grade. I love how daring Tallly is and how you can see her going through this process of finding herself. She has always been a trickster, but only because she was bored. Now everything she once knew as an absolute has been turned upside down and shattered. She takes it all as it comes, and saves the day. She is truly inspirational.
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LibraryThing member ErisofDiscord
Note: Potential spoilers, but not huge ones

Tally Youngblood is a typical teenaged girl in a futuristic society where people are divided into two groups: Uglies - people who are imperfect and disgusting, who bear the face they were born with, and Pretties - those who had extreme cosmetic surgery,
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and were made beautiful at the age of sixteen. Tally only wants to be a Pretty, but when her best friend, Shay, runs away to join a rebellious city, called the Smoke, that resists being Pretty, she must bring Shay back, or never become Pretty.

I think that Tally as a character was very interesting, and I liked how she evolved as the story went on. Even when her only goal in life was to become pretty, she was still a character that you emphasized with.

The novel took place in a variety of settings, from the city that Tally was from to the Smoke, it was described very descriptively. Westerfeld has an engaging writing style that made me move through the book fairly quickly.

There was a scene that stood out in my mind: the infestation of white orchids. This scene comes when Tally is traveling to the Smoke and is rescued from a wildfire by the rangers, Pretties who manage a invasive orchid that chokes off the life of the surrounding plants. The orchids are very beautiful, but there are so many of them, and they give no other plant the chance at life. I suppose that the orchids are representative of the Pretties, stopping anyone else from looking different. What I thought was peculiar was that Tally completely understood why the beautiful orchids had to be stopped, although at the time, she still believed that it was terrible to be an Ugly, and that everyone should be Pretty.

All in all, I very much enjoyed this book, and I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, Pretties. This book made me think about the pressures of our present society to be "beautiful" or "pretty" - I see this all the time in magazines like "Cosmopolitian" and "Glamour." Of course, magazines like that are careful to sometimes talk about "inner beauty" and "self confidence," but you turn the page and there's an advertisement with an underfed model looking like a slut. Uglies shows the danger of such thinking through the outlet of fiction, and I am happy that Uglies confronted the issue in a unique manner.

(This review was done as a part of my 75 Books Challenge for 2012, at the LibraryThing group of the same name.)
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LibraryThing member rainbowdarling
This book started out slowly for me. I wasn’t overly enthralled by it to start with. The writing style seemed to me incredibly juvenile. I know it’s young adult literature but I guess I figure that the style doesn’t have to be. Young adults can understand it just as well if it’s written in
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an adult style which displays a knowledge of good writing.

The story, as I mentioned, was slow to start. I wasn’t really buying into the world and the story until probably three quarters of the way through it. Tally was fairly annoying and Shay wasn’t much better, while Will seemed the most human and as a result almost seemed like a Mary Sue (or, well, Gary Stu).

I would say that I didn’t think this was a great book, but it was alright. I enjoyed it by the end and was interested in reading about how the story transpired further, but once I’ve read them through once, I have a feeling I’ll be inclined to give them away rather than keep them around for re-reading. If the next two books are the same as this one in style, plot speed and story, I’d say that this would not be a staple book series, even for young adults.
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LibraryThing member goose114
This story is about a society in the future were after the age of sixteen everyone undergoes plastic surgery to make them “pretty.” The main character, Tally, is faced with the option of going through the surgery and joining her best friend in New Pretty Town or following a new friend to a
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mysterious city where people live in the wild and remain “ugly for life.” While Tally makes her decisions about helping city officials or helping her new friend she is unaware of the ramifications on society.

While this novel is labeled as young adult literature it tackles some mature topics and really evokes a lot of thought from the reader. There were times while reading that I was irritated at the immaturity of the writing. I do not know whether this was the author’s style or simply the fact that it was written for a young reader. The overarching story and big picture ideas were intriguing and well written therefore making the juvenile aspects forgettable and forgivable. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a thought provoking adventure in a dystopia world.
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LibraryThing member sboyte
I liked it.

I didn't love it, though. I felt that it started with a fascinating premise, but it didn't quite take off quickly enough. In fact, the first two thirds of the book were quite dull. The action did pick up considerably in the last few chapters, and I had a hard time putting the book down
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towards the end.

The pick up in action coincided with a change in the main character, which also made the book more enjoyable. In the start, the main character is a bit whiny. All she does is complain about how badly she wants to get to the city and become a popular, pretty, party-animal. She does eventually figure out that it is better to be a unique individual than a beautiful automaton, but it's frustrating watching her get there.

The second books looks like it will be keeping up the pace!
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LibraryThing member lindabeekeeper
Beauty and ugliness, free-will and control are the themes of this book. Fifteen year old Tally Youngblood is counting the minutes until her sixteenth birthday, when she can become beautiful. Her best friend Peris has already had the operation and is living the life of a "new pretty". Tally, still
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an "ugly" is desperately lonely until she meets Shay, an independent hoverboard expert who is not sure she wants to be pretty. Together, they go on wild, high risk adventures even outside of the city. When Shay disappears, Tally is forced by Special Operations to find her. The penalty for failure--being ugly forever.

Reminiscent of the Tripod series, Uglies is an excellent exploration of both the culture of the beautiful ideal and the control it exerts over us.

Tally awakens to an alternative reality, where beauty and ugliness have different definitions. And, she realizes there is a price to pay for beauty--one's free will.

While the book takes place in a future world, it is also a metaphor for high school. To most teenagers, the popular and beautiful live a separate, privilege-filled life, while all the normal people strive and hope to become part of the inner circle. But, in high school, like in Uglies, being a "pretty" also means giving up quirky creativity and independence.

This is a good read for both sexes.
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LibraryThing member PhoebeReading
The day I finished reading Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, a coworker picked it up off my desk. "Uglies?" She asked, with a slight sneer. That sneer only deepened when she read the novel's tagline (in an appropriately arch tone): "In a world of extreme beauty, anyone normal is Ugly."I wish I could have
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responded that the book was a criticism of societies where "extreme beauty" is prized, but after finishing Westerfeld’s novel, I'm not entirely sure that’s the case. On the surface it certainly seems true. Uglies is the story of Tally Youngblood, who, at nearly sixteen, is about to undergo surgery to make her beautiful. In her world (a post-apocalyptic future, where now-contemporary humans are referred to as "Rusties" and frequently cited for our Rusty and destructive ways), this is what all children do upon coming of age. As in Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," their society rejects physical differences in favor of a flat standard of beauty. Unlike in "Harrsion Bergeron," they achieve this goal by raising the bar across the board, making everyone beautiful rather than average.And it works. Tally's is a world without war or hunger or disease—particularly self-inflicted diseases like anorexia. As far as post-apocalyptic utopias go, this one is particularly utopic: everything is recycled, no one eats meat, and vehicles are powered by magnets rather than fossil fuels.This creates a two-fold problem, my biggest issue with the book. First, I never believed for a second that Tally’s world was one that could actually ever come to fruition. This is a cotton-candy utopia, bolstered neither by scene descriptions or by Westerfeld's very weak science-fiction conceits. The "science fiction" here (hoverboards, hovercars) was clichéd well before it was featured in Back to the Future II. These days, it just plain doesn't pass muster. This was made worse, not better, by Westerfeld's use of extremely grating invented slang. I couldn't help but be reminded by this review of Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood. World-building is a delicate process, and if you're going to try to use language to compliment that, it should be done with both restraint and grace (or done wholeheartedly and immersively, as in A Clockwork Orange or Riddley Walker). All this talk of bubbliness and SpagBol and PadThai and Uglies and Littlies felt neither restrained nor graceful, which made the world that much more difficult to believe.Secondly, I had trouble seeing the dangers supposedly inherent in Tally's world. At the beginning of the novel, Tally meets Shay, another young Ugly, who leads her out of her society and into the world of the Smoke, a group of resistance fighters who have opted-out of the City lifestyle. We learn (through a chapter of awkward info-dumping) that the surgery that makes Uglies into Pretties also makes Pretties stupid and pliant. And yet I couldn't help but wonder if that was a necessary addition to the surgery because Westerfeld hadn’t quite convinced himself (and he definitely hadn't quite convinced this reader) that everyone becoming Pretty and living in utopian cities was really all that terrible of an idea. I also couldn’t help but contrast this with "Harrison Bergeron" again; in Vonnegut's version, over the course of a few short pages, we're utterly convinced of the evils of a uniform society. In Westerfeld's rendering of the same (by now, slightly tired) Aesop, becoming Pretty never really seems that terrible, fundamentally.Perhaps this is because we see the world through Tally's eyes, and Tally is meant to be a traitor to the Smoke and not a true believer. I think this made her a poor choice of point-of-view character, although I found her problematic as a character for other reasons, too. Tally is downright catty toward her friend Shay, despite the fact that their relationship is the most compelling one in the book—certainly more nuanced, believable, and interesting than Tally’s contrived romance with a Smokie named David. There’s a certain ugly (heh) glee in Shay's eventually destruction, not to mention in the way David and Tally both speak and think of her. This made Tally very difficult to empathize with and, more, made her a poor model for adolescent readers. Here, Westerfeld could have given us a still-complex but more functional (and realistic) model of adolescent friendship; instead, he resorts to sexist tropes centered on female competition over men.Despite these problems, the novel still had its moments, particularly in the first section before Tally leaves for Smoke; in those first hundred pages, the novel seemed full of potential. The pacing does suffer a bit in its saggy, slow midsection, but otherwise Uglies is action-packed and fairly compelling. I just wish it had been more convincing, too.
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LibraryThing member MeganGreen
Reason: Tally is beyond ready for her sixteenth birthday. On this birthday, all of the "Uglies" or normal looking people get some sort of corrective surgery to make them "Pretties". When Tally meets Shay her world is turned upside down. They discover the old city once inhabited by the Rusties and
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explore thoughout New Pretty Town, which is off limits. The only thing Tally wants most is turn to pretty but things change when Shay disappears to the Smokes, a place where Uglies go to that do not want to be changed. However, she is forced to find Shay and reveal the location of the Smokes before she can have her surgery. Tally is put in a difficult situation: Does she find her new friend Shay and give away the only location where she and others are truely happy to be so she can finally be with her best friend Peris and turn "Pretty" or does she give up her lifetime dream and keep secret the home to runaway Uglies.

Classroom Connection: I really liked how this book ended. It leaves the reader wanting more and guessing as to what happens next, in the second book. If I were to read this in a class, before we started the second, we would all take a poll and try to guess what would happen to Tally and the rest of the gang. We could use this information to write our own ending if the story would have stoped after the first book. Another activity the class could participate in would be some sort of art project. There are no pictures included with this book so readers are forced to create their own mental images. I would get the students to create their own idea of New Pretty Town vs Uglyville or the Smokes. I would get them to draw an image of a Special Circumstances Agent and explain why they looked the way they did.

Personal: I really enjoyed this book. I am usually not a fan of futuristic, science-fiction novels so it was surprising I was able to become so involved with the characters. The imagery describing the different cities and characters was very helpful and helped me create my own mental image. The chapters were well written; I was able to read with ease and was hooked by the first couple of chapters. I would definitely recommend this to my students and I myself will have to read the second book of the series since the cliffhanger ending was so well written.
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LibraryThing member lenoreva
When I heard there was a book series out there where everyone got plastic surgery to turn them pretty on their 16th birthday, I knew it would be right up my alley. It's high concept, it's dystopian, it involves a female protagonist - and I came to it so late that I could buy the whole series and
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not have to wait between books.

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld, introduces us to a world where civilization has inched its way back into a robust existence after being nearly destroyed by us careless "Rusties" of the 21st century. Hundreds of years later, there is no more war because everyone over 16 is pretty and lives a vapid life of partying and feeling "bubbly". Tally Youngblood, nearly 16, can't wait to join the pretty life and rejoin her best friend Peris who had his pretty transformation already. But for now, she's still ugly and still up to playing “ugly” tricks - tricks that grow more dangerous after she meets Shay, also close to her 16th birthday but unsure she really wants to go through with the operation. Shay insists she's made contact with people off the grid, "Smokies", who say that being pretty is not all it's cut out to be. When Shay runs away, Tally is recruited for a mission by the ruling class "Specials" to get Shay back or she’ll be denied the chance to turn and will be ugly forever.

The plot is very well paced, following Tally from the city out into the wilderness on her search for Shay and the “Smokies”. Westerfeld grinds his exposition so finely that I never felt bored by a bunch of “telly” scenes. And even though Tally has a lot of her decisions made for her and character growth is pretty much accidental, it feels authentic to the story. The social commentary is very sharp as well, especially in regards to the superficial life of the post-op “pretties”. In one passage, Tally is told about a beautiful, rare orchid that was genetically reengineered and is now a monoculture, choking out any biodiversity it comes in contact with. Doesn’t that sound just so “pretty”?

Highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member M0vingon
Note that this book is labelled "Young Adult"- which I am not.

I felt that the writing and character development was as superficial as the society in which the characters live- and I don't think it was on purpose. This book was predictable and the characters were flat. It's really not very creative
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or sci-fi. The end results in an inevitable follow up- in this case, a series. I won't be reading the next books in the series.

Between this and the Twilight series, I am chagrined at the level of novels that are pupolar with teens.
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LibraryThing member Ben.Jerry_
This book, Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld demonstrates many issues that people today deal with in a daily basis. This book deals with looks, and the way people should be treated depending on the way one looks. In Uglies, Tally is teenager who lives in a society in which being pretty is like being
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popular. When one turns twelve, you are known as an ugly. However, on ones sixteenth birthday, the teen is to have a surgery to turn pretty. Once the teen is pretty she will live in a city with the rest of the pretties. Until then, one is an ugly and lives in a separate town and is not allowed other privileges that the pretties are allowed to do. In the town of the pretties, they party all of the time and have fun, but in the town if the Uglies, it is quite the opposite. This book could teach to young teenagers that looks do not matter. It could teach them that no matter what you look like you should all treat each other with respect. This book teaches a lot of lessons that could be helpful in today's time. Trusting your friends is also another one. Friends know best so always trust them. Shay and Tally demonstrate true friendship, even though they didn't stay best friends, they are still friends after all they had been through. This is a great book to teach teens about how to treat people and abut how you should not treat people differently based on their looks. Looks do not matter and should not determine ones status in society.
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LibraryThing member PhoenixTerran
Tally can't wait until her sixteenth birthday--that's when she turns pretty and will be able to join all her pretty friends across the river. But until then, she and the rest of the uglies must remain in their place, leading sheltered lives and never venturing far from the school and dormitories.
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At least, their not supposed to. A few tend to bend and even break the rules; Tally herself has snuck across the river many a time.

Her best friend Peris is lucky; he's already turned sixteen and had the operations needed to make him pretty. Poor Tally is left mostly alone, until she meets and befriends a fellow mischievous ugly, Shay. But Shay isn't so happy about turning pretty. In fact, she would rather stay just as she is. Shay runs away to a hidden, outsider community to ensure that this will never change.

Tally once again is left alone. But everything will be better once she is pretty. Except the authorities refuse to turn her pretty until she helps find her friend, and bring her back. The decisions she faces, and the decisions she makes, will change her life forever.

The first book in a trilogy, Uglies is wonderful dystopian fiction for young adults. I did want to throttle a character now and then, but for the most part this book was quite enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next two books, Pretties and Specials.

Experiments in Reading
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LibraryThing member sarah-e
I liked this so much more than I thought I would - I couldn't put it down and finished it in two days. The subject matter is so appropriate for teenagers, and is handled in an excellent way. Westerfeld does not dwell on unimportant explanatory details of how this society developed, but weaves ideas
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of beauty and acceptance through the story. There were some characteristics given that I didn't think were significant enough to be emphasized, but overall that didn't bother me.

The story is good but the idea behind it all is more compelling. I am eager to pick up Pretties just to see what happens next in this future world.
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LibraryThing member Runa
This book had a crazily imaginative plot--possibly the most original since reading HP and Twilight. I had low expectations for the book, but found the characters to be extremely interesting and well-developed, as opposed to the teen soap opera I had envisioned. I immediately rushed to get the
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sequels (probably my one biggest issue with this book is that it really can't be read as a stand-alone. You have to read the other books, which is problematic with me just because if you disliked it, you're left with an incomplete book, basically). On the other hand, hands-down, the best ending line ever found in a book. Another thing, and this comes straight from Deathly Hallows as well, there were too many camping scenes. I would rather have seen character interaction than lengthy descriptions on the journeys to and from and back and forth. There are times when the book lacks momentum, and times when the momentum is just overwhelming.
Re-reading this now, after the sequels, it's different. The book could have been handled a lot differently. Not enough information is revealed, in my opinion, and later on, with Zane and all, it seems like the core characters are kind of abandoned, which is a real shame.
Still. Highly recommend you read the series, the first time through is a wonderful adventure you are very unlikely to forget.

Rating: 5/5 for first read
4/5 for second.
(yeah, that really makes very little sense)
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LibraryThing member sslibrary
This story reminded me of a cross between A Brave New World and The Giver. It was hard for me to stay interested in the story as sometimes the details were a little too detailed. It’s considered a YA book, but it seemed a little younger.
LibraryThing member mblaze
Her whole life, Tally has imagined the day when she would have her operation to change her from an ugly to a pretty. Upon her 16th birthday, Tally learns that life in "Pretty town" is not as pretty as it seems, and she has to decide whether she will betray her friends and have the operation, or
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live as an ugly forever. This story is full of suspense, twists and turns. Scott Westerfeld raises excellent questions on who determines someone's beauty, as well as the dangers of a "perfect" society. Any middle or high school student would enjoy this book, but it would be especially beneficial in a class that is studying communism or the holocaust, and the dangers behind a standardized society.
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½ (4061 ratings; 3.9)
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