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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Must-Reads #2: “Uglies 1-4” by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Uglies Series (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Edition: First Simon Pulse Edition, Paperback: March 2005
Back Cover Summary: Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. 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 the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.


Don’t we all wish to be beautiful? Like, supermodel-with-hair-extensions-flawless-make-up-fresh-wax-skinny-under-perfect-lighting-and-airbrushed-up-the-wazoo pretty? Don’t lie! Well, now what if it was forced upon you at the age of sixteen? Still sound appealing? Yes, we would all love to be pretty, but we all love freewill and choice as well.

This is the same dilemma that Tally Youngblood faces.

High Notes: One of the really great things about this book was how it combated today’s obsession with beauty. Yes, we all want to be beautiful. But what if beauty became mandatory? Then, it doesn’t sound so appealing. Yet, you know people who would do it. Don’t you? Plenty of Tally’s friends had done it before her. Tally’s best friend Peris, who loved sneaking out in the middle of the night, causing trouble, defying authority with Tally, still went through the transformation. Even Tally considered it many times. However, she eventually runs away in order to discover what really happens when a person becomes “pretty.” Turns out that it isn’t so pretty at all.

Another high point was the development of the society Tally lives in. I’ve read a few dystopian novels, but this has been one of the most interesting. Everything appears to be simple, from the names of the towns (New Pretty Town, Uglyville, The Rusties, The Smoke, etc.), to the different characteristics of people who live there, to their slang. Yet, there are many layers of controversy and more and more to learn as Tally discovers ever places’ little secrets.

Low Notes: The lowest note is Tally’s transformation in the third book, “Specials.” As you can imagine, Tally is an Ugly in “Uglies,” a Pretty in “Pretties,” and a Special in “Specials.” (The person in “Extras” is also an “Extra,” but that’s a different character.) Anyway, you get to know and love Tally as an Ugly, and even when she is turned into a Pretty she’s fighting it the whole time, so she doesn’t feel all that different. However, when she becomes a Special she changes a lot; almost too much. She’s harder, meaner, blunter, all characteristics of Specials, but not of Tally. It takes a bit of getting used to. (If you ever get used to it.) Nevertheless, I guess it was inevitable so it’s really nothing to get too hung up on.


Character Development: 4/5
Dialogue: 5/5
Prose: 4/5
Believability: 4.5/5
Style and Grammar: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 88% Unique!


  1. Love those books! I discovered them at the bookstore of the small town we vacation at every year (I tend to get lost in that small store). I found the first 3 there and the 4th one at my school's bookstore a year ago. Haven't started it yet but I plan on it in the next year or two. Other than "Brave New World," I don't think I've ever read a dystopian society novel/series - especially not one as interesting as this series!

  2. Well, I'm not a female, personally, but I don't necessarily think models are all that attractive. And I think you're quite lovely as you are, if I may say so.

    Now, what are "specials"? I'm not really clear on the distinguishing. But this reminds me of a short story that someone submitted to CW this past semester. At a certain point, families were chosen to press a button and end their lives. The families were often quite happy with this fate, but the lead girl of the story saw things differently.

  3. Hi! Thanks for stopping by The Enchanted Book and commenting (twice). I enjoy your reviews because of their thoroughness also. And happy birthday!

    The Enchanted Book

  4. Sarah...Don't you just love those small stores on vacation! When my parents and I vacation in Mackinaw City there are two really nice bookstores to visit. One really focuses on local authors and the other is just a little cafe with a few stacks. They are always my go to place when we are up there for a week or so.

    Other dystopian society books that I have read are The Giver, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Witch and Wizard, and even the first book from the Poison Study series could be counted in that genre.

    Matt...Thank you. To know what specials are, you would probably have to read the book. They are kind of hard to explain. They are kind of like people who are chosen out of the society to be made into enforcers kind of. Instead of being changed into Pretties, they are changed into these iron hard, totally ripped, and kind of scary people.

    That short story sound right up my alley. Who wrote it? Anyone I know?

    Selena...No problem! I'm really enjoying your blog. Also thank you for the compliment and for the bithday wishes. I really appreciate them both and am looking forward to reading more of your blog and from hearing from you in the future as well!

  5. I don't remember who wrote, but I don't know if you'd know them.

  6. Then I've read "The Giver" as well. I guess it didn't stick out in my mind as much as "Brave New World" did. But I did enjoy it. For some reason, I like these books that are about 10 years too young for me (according to the general, assumed target age range)!

  7. Matt...That's ok and I probably don't know them unless they were in one of the other CW classes with me.

    Sarah...LOL! I feel that way to. I started a discussion on another site about how old you can be and still read young adult books. Everyone said it didn't matter. I met people everywhere from 10-65 who said that's about all they read. So, I don't feel so bad because I read so much of it!

  8. Hi,

    I've stumbled here from the Wednesday blog hops and become a follower.

    I'm a writer from Australia who's trying her hand at freelancing for magazines and is polishing a non-fiction book proposal.

    Would love for you to visit and follow back at:


    PS The Joss Whedon words to live by are awesome!

  9. Becks...Thanks for stopping by and following. Any Joss Whedon fan is a friend of mine indeed. I'll be by to check out your blog right now!:)

  10. No one in that class was in Roberson's 391, I can say that much. Dunno about any classes you might have had prior.

  11. Hi AubrieAnne!

    I was given the Life is Good Award and want to pass it along to you. If you don't accept awards, that's ok. I just wanted you to know I think your blog is great. But if you do, you can go to http://theenchantedbook.blogspot.com/2010/12/life-is-good-award.html to find out what to do to accept the award.

    Have a great night!

    The Enchanted Book

  12. Following you back from Wandering Wednesday @ Paisley Passions. Thanks for stopping by :)

  13. Thanks for joining in this week for Wobble Over Wednesday. And thanks for the compliment :)

    I am now following you back!
    -Amanda T

  14. Hi AubrieAnn, I've never heard of this book, but your review was worth the read.
    Meet your newest follower. Hope you'll swing by and visit me. I love company:)
    Happy New Year!

  15. Matt...Ok, I had two other CW classes, but they had pretty much the same people.

    Selena...Thank you! I'll certainly check it out. I have one other award from a good blogging friend. I just posted the pretty picture of it on the left. I still don't know much about them, but they are lovely to recieve!

    Lori...Thanks a bunch. It's looking like a great hop!

    Amanda...Thanks, I appreciate it! And, you're welcome for the compliment. Everyone deserves one.

    Debra...Thank you. They are fun to write so I am happy people are enjoying them! Welcome to WYE? and thanks for following. I will be by to check out your blog soon. :)

  16. Hi! I'm your newest follower from the Thursday Blog hops! Come check out my blog at: http://adventuresofathriftymommy.blogspot.com/

    Have a great day!

  17. Shanee...Welcome! and thank you for following! Please join the discussion about the posts when you get a chance. I will come by and check out your blog soon. :)

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