Reading level: Young Adult
Reprint Paperback: 406 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: February 8, 2005
Series: Uglies #1
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Lili
The Uglies series has more than 3 million books in print, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and spent more than fifty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now all four books feature fresh new covers and will reach an even wider audience.
Tally’s adventures begin in Uglies, where she learns the truth about what life as a Pretty really means. She rebels against the surgery that will make her a Pretty, but ultimately succumbs. In Pretties, Tally has forgotten all about her Ugly life, and when she’s reminded, she has a hard time listening. And what little’s left of the old Tally is further compromised in Specials, because Tally has been transformed into a fierce fighting machine. But when she’s offered a chance to forever improve civilization, will she be able to overcome her brainwashing? The answer is evident years later in Extras, after the Pretty regime has ended. Boundless human creativity, new technologies, and old dangers have been unleashed upon the world. But fame and popularity can be just as dangerous as extreme beauty…..
This review is going to be short and sweet for many reasons. The first is that this book is one of the books that got me reading and I decided to re-read it instantly and loved it even more, so I wholeheartedly believe that I’ll be unable to write a truly cohesive review without just gushing about it. Secondly, this book is indescribable. And thirdly, it has so many amazing plot twists that I really want to ruin absolutely nothing for you, as a reader.
The story starts when Tally travels to see her once best friend, Peris. The problem is Peris is a pretty now and Tally still has 3 months before her Pretty transformation that takes place when she is of age. Peris was extremely annoyed with Tally visiting him without waiting three months because as a Pretty, he’s sort of become superficial both inside and out. Their sense of true friendship is gone with the removal of all his imperfections, even the little scar on his hand that marked them as bloodmates. This is the first of many instances in the story where Tally realizes being Pretty isn’t all it cracks up to be. It changes you as a person, not just the physical you. But this is a world where the government believes that making everyone look similar via the Pretty process will get rid of fighting and many other things—so Tally suddenly begins challenging the beliefs that she held so dear for so many years.
When her sixteenth birthday arrives with her transformation day, Tally learns she must spy on a runaway in order to follow through with this operation. Problem? The Special Circumstances Team is creepy and pure evil and Shay was once Tally’s friend who truly does not want to become a Pretty. To put it simply, I love Tally as a character. She struggles emotionally and with discovering what is right and what is wrong. She is swayed by society, than swayed by her own opinions. She’s realistic and that is why she’ll always be among my favorite characters. This series never gets old to me because of her and the many transformations she makes throughout these novels.
I also like how this book thinks. It obviously delivers several messages about society and judgment of others and such messages really make you think. In truth, Tally lives in a world obsessed with good looks and becoming Pretty. Isn’t that somewhat scarily similar to our society today? Hers is just taken to an entirely new extreme. Food for thought.