This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.Uglies (Uglies, #1) Published by Simon Pulse on February 8, 2005
(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...
I read this series way back in sixth grade because a teacher had recommended it to me, and when I saw the first two books of this series really cheap at a book sale, I knew that I had to pick them up and give them another read. This is actually the third time that I’ve read Uglies-Yes, it’s that good.
Tally lives in a world where once you turn sixteen, you get this special procedure that will turn you “pretty”. Basically, until then, you are considered “ugly” which is kind of horrible. Anyways, Tally’s best friend Paris has recently been turned pretty and now Tally anxiously awaits the day when she gets to become pretty and be reunited with her best friend.
Then she meets Shay.
Shay is a rebel. I mean, all uglies are pretty much rebels because they can get away with pulling off pranks so easily since it’s seen as an ugly thing to do. Shay is about more than that though. She likes to go outside of where everyone is allowed to go and she tells Tally about this place called The Smoke and this guy named David who lives there-where people live and stay ugly forever and don’t conform to the restrictions of their society. Tally doesn’t believe this and she wants to know why anyone would want to stay ugly forever when they could turn pretty and party for a long time, so when Shay offers Tally the opportunity to run away with her, she turns down the offer.
The thing is, Tally is told that she can’t turn pretty unless she finds Shay, so the entire book is Tally’s experience in the Smoke and what it’s like there, which is pretty awesome. A really cool aspect about this book is the technology. They have HOVERBOARDS. How awesome would that be!? They even have crash bracelets, which help them stay safe and not fall. WHY DON’T WE HAVE THIS?!
I just think that this whole world that Westerfeld created was genius. The reader really gets to dive head-first into this society and this whole idea of everyone needing to turn pretty, when in reality it’s our differences that make us beautiful. That’s another thing-this book teaches a really valuable lesson about that.
I absolutely loved David and Tally’s relationship, though I felt so horrible for Tally since the whole reason she traveled to the Smoke was to bring Shay back to New Pretty Town just so that she could become pretty herself. It’s all Tally’s ever wanted.
I’d definitely suggest this book for anyone who loves science fiction and dystopians, because this book is just so unique and the series gets better as it goes on-I guarantee it.
“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.”
“Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.”
“Maybe they don’t want you to realize that every civilization has its weakness. There’s always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away all that’s left is some story in history class.”
“Your personality-the real you inside-was the price of beauty.”
“Doing what you’re supposed to do is always boring. I can’t imagine anything worse than being required to have fun.”
Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!