Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

 Imagine a world where at 16 years old, plastic surgery is compulsory. Upon reaching the magic age, you're given every kind of plastic surgery known to man, intended to turn every single person into the most stunningly beautiful version of themselves. Such is the world that Tally lives in.

However, shortly before she is to turn 16 and become pretty, Tally makes a new friend and learns that there is a world outside the city walls that she's grown up in--a world where people don't want to be pretty. To Tally, such a thought is incomprehensible because all she's ever wanted is to be pretty. Although Tally ultimately decides not to run away with her new friend, she quickly finds herself in custody of authorities, who give her a choice between the two worst possible outcomes Tally can imagine.


I've mentioned before that I LOVE dystopian literature. Brave New World. A Handmaid's Tale. The Hunger Games Trilogy. Cat's Cradle. 1984. The Giver. Anthem. I love them all. The only dystopian book I've ever read and didn't enjoy was The Road by Cormac McCarthy (sorry Ethan).  However, after taking a distopian literature class, sometimes I feel like I've read them all...and in the adult section, I've probably come close. 

However, I'm finding that the Young Adult section is a wealth of dystopian literature...which is exactly how I came across Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. And I read the whole book yesterday.

It's not the most unique piece of dystopian literature I've ever read. It's not the most clever or the least predictable. But I read the whole book in a day--which says something. And I immediately requested the second book of the trilogy from the library, which also says something. I suppose that "something" is that even if it isn't the best piece of dystopian literature I've ever read, it was entertaining, and I still enjoyed it immensely. Overall, if you enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy or like dystopian literature in general, I think you'd probably enjoy Uglies. Give it a shot and tell me what you think! 


  1. I'm glad to hear you liked this! I started this a while ago and got kinda stuck. I've heard great things, so it looks like I'll have to pick it back up!

  2. This is totally on my list. Sounds fascinating, kinda Hunger-Games-esque. Thanks for the review.

  3. I loved this series! I will say though, that you should skip the fourth book "Extras." It lacked a lot of the depth and richness of character and plot the first three had.

  4. 1. I love YA books. I took an adolescent literature class in college and read so many that I just loved. Now, when I don't know what to read next, that is the section I head to.
    3. I also love dystopian literature. Anthem is my favorite, and I actually really liked The Road
    2. You should read FEED by MT Anderson. It is a kind of dystopian theme... It is set in a future where humans have the internet implanted into their brains. All they have to do is think to order a pair of shoes.

  5. It's been a while since I read this series, but I do remember enjoying all of them!

  6. Well, I personally wouldn't characterize The Road as dystopian. For me, there's gotta be a functioning society to be a dystopia, and there is no such thing in The Road. The dystopia has to be someone's utopian vision.

    Have you seen Brazil? You should see Brazil.

    If I may make a request of your reviews, which I enjoy immensely--might you please spare a word to the quality of the prose itself? That's usually a major consideration for me when deciding to read something, and so few reviewers mention it.

  7. I had forgotten about this book until this post. I think I read it for a book report in high school? I remember liking it though!


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