Published by Simon Pulse on February 8, 2005
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...
If I had to identify the book or series that was my gateway into dystopia it would have to be this book and this series. One summer back in high school, I think I was a Freshman, I spent and entire summer reading an average of 3 YA books a day (having nothing else to so and a very fast reading pace will get you far). This ended up being one of about 300 books I read that summer, but I still remember it and with the imminent release of another book in this series I geared up but rereading all of them. Except this time, I went Audio.
UGLIES is probably my least favorite of the original trilogy (EXTRAS doesn’t count, we pretend EXTRAS doesn’t exist because its terrible). Not that it’s bad or anything, in fact it is a very important book in the series. UGLIES is the set up book, and spends much of its time establishing the world and its rules. That doesn’t really leave it a lot of time to be spectacular, but it is still solid and necessary.
For me, this is the part of the series where I like Shay the least and it’s one of the reasons the book isn’t as good as the others. Shay comes off as so bratty and entitled, even when out in the Smoke. David is HERS. Why? Because she found him first I guess?? She drags Tally into this, makes a mess and then yells at Tally for making the most of it. God, Pretty-Heading her up at least makes her enjoyable to read about. Ugly Shay is a dick to her friends and truly only cares for herself. Tally has her flaws but Shay is the monster.
Since a good portion of this book is spent traveling from one place to another, I think I can see now where I got my disdain for that part of any narrative. This and Harry Potter and the Never Ending Camping Trip. Lord we had some boring travel bits back in the day. Since these books released I think authors have kind of gotten the hint and jazzed up a lot of their journey time in their books. Good thing too, or I’d be throwing a lot of books in the donation box.
This is a gateway book, the precursor to the fun of PRETTIES and SPECIALS. I don’t know if current me would have loved the series as much had I read them now instead of back then, I suppose we’ll have to see how the rest hold up.
What book would you like a chance to reread? Share your pick in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,