Friday, February 20, 2009

Pretty is as Pretty Does

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

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 of 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.

Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies, Book 1
Start & Finished: 10/4/08- 10/6/08
Published: 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 425
Genre: Science Fiction- Futuristic

Scott Westerfeld has been a young adult science fiction author for the past twelve years however with his 2005 release of Uglies; the first in what was to be a trilogy (it has actually continued past the three books), he has truly become one of the best authors in the young adult genre. The author‘s note at the beginning states that: “This novel was shaped by a series of e-mail exchanges between myself [Scott Westerfeld] and Ted Chiang about his story "Liking What You See: A Documentary" (His input on the manuscript was also invaluable).”

As a first book in a series, Uglies is a wonderful introduction to Tally Youngblood’s world. The story does have a Fahrenheit 451 feel to it but like on a bigger scale and with more adventure. Not only is the book entertaining but also it really makes you think and that’s more than wonderful. Especially for a book marketed to young adults and how bad the world has already become. I can see the influence from other stories and movies but what Westerfeld presents really has never been done before to my knowledge.

This was such a wonderful book and that is very high praise coming from me, as I normally tend to avoid science fiction. Westerfeld totally blew me away with his characters and the world he built around them. I was so pleased to hear that the movie rights have been already bought (it’s supposed to be released in 2011) as the story was incredibly vivid and if done properly, I believe it that could be a really huge hit. Now I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series to find out what happens. This first book does leave you kind of on a cliffhanger so you do need to read the rest of the series to find out what happens to Tally, Shay, and the rest of the Smokies.

Many books that would usually be released as adult reads are now carrying the genre title of “Young Adult” but many are even better than the books intended for adults so do NOT be put off about the fact that this series is labeled “young adult”. I have read quite a few books in this genre over the past year or so and have discovered that many of the authors didn’t write with a particular age group in mind. There is a bit of teenage romance in Uglies but it works well and it’s not childish or “vulgar” but I still have the feeling that it won’t be too much longer before people start trying to ban these books though.

The Uglies Series:
1. Uglies (2005)
2. Pretties (2005)
3. Specials (2006)
4. Extras (2007)
Bogus to Bubbly: An Insiders Guide to the World of Uglies (2008)

Links: Author Wikipedia, Book Wikipedia, Pulse Blogfest, Uglies Fan Site
Interview: Simon and Schuster

Book Trailer:

Picture Explanations
White Tiger Orchid: Used to be rare but a scientist fiddled with its genes and now its the ultimate weed- like the kudzu of today
Track: The Smokies use the abandoned tracks to make the hoverboards fly
Pig Mask: Tally uses one of these to sneak into a Pretty party to find her friend.


  1. This was one of the best series I read last year. I still have Extras on my tbr shelf and hope I get to it soon.

  2. It's exciting to hear there will be a movie made out of this. I'm glad you liked it. I'm interested to see if the next two are enjoyable to you as well :)

  3. I want to read this series to badly! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :)

  4. Loved the trilogy (and I have the 4th book and Bogus to Bubbly but haven't read them yet). I hadn't heard it's being made into a movie, but that makes total sense!

  5. I plan to read this one for the Westerfeld mini challenge. I think I'll be starting it in March. My niece just loved these books.

  6. I'm not big on sci-fi, either, but this one really intrigues me.

  7. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this as I just picked up from the library. I'm really excited to read it!

  8. I started this one a long time ago and, for some reason, never ended up finishing it. Guess I'll have to fix that!

  9. I really enjoyed these as well, but wasn't sure I would initially. I'm definitely glad I gave them a try, and have Extras still to go on the TBR!

  10. I love all the "extras" in your reviews, with the photos and videos. Interesting picture explanations, especially about the orchid!

  11. Good book and a great series. Loved them all. Didn't know about the movie. Thanks!

  12. Monie G: I really need to pick the rest of these up. I've been hearing good things about Extras!

    Mo: I'm really excited about the movie too. There were quite a few parts I would love to see on screen!

    Nymeth: Oh I'm almost positive that you would love these too.

    Lenore: Not sure if I'll read Bogus to Bubbly after I finish the series. Maybe if it takes longer than 2011 for the film to come out as a kind of refresher.

    Beth F: I hope you enjoy them! I really liked this one :)

    Bermudaonion: Oh I can hardly stand sci-fi and this makes me wish that other writers in this genre would take a look at what he did and get some new ideas!

    Samantha: I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    Chelle: Well I read this back in October and I still haven't picked up the next one so I know what you mean.

    Shaunesay: Hope you enjoy it!

    Dawn (She is Too Fond of Books): Aw thanks! I love providing them even if the pics and videos are sometimes a pain to find lol.

    SciFi Guys: You're welcome! I'm going to be picking up the others soon now!

  13. I really liked this book. I am in the process of trying to review Pretties, but I haven't got very far with it. I didn't like it as much, that's about the extent of my knowledge at the moment!

  14. i've heard so much about this series, it sounds very good.
    glad you enjoyed it!

  15. I've heard so many good things about this series - I really must get my hands on it!

  16. Kailana: Oh I really hate it when that happens :( Good luck!

    Naida: You'd probably enjoy these a lot too =)

    Stephanie: Yeah, that was the main reason I picked them up too. Everybody was raving about them and so I wanted to see what the fuss was about!

  17. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this one! I have it on my tbr pile and plan on getting to it this year.

  18. been hearing good things. Must read!

  19. I really enjoyed this and aim to finish the series this year for definite. I hope you carry on with it and they do not disappoint.

  20. Thanks for the link to your review. I'm going to add it to mine.

    I didn't know it was going to be made into a movie, but I think it could translate really well into film, as long as they can get the Ugly/Pretty transformation ust right without looking cheesy.



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