Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review - Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #1)

Picture from Chapters.ca
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
: Paperback (425 pages)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 8, 2005
Rating: 5/5
Source: Library Loan
Get it at: Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Author's Website: http://scottwesterfeld.com/

Summary from Amazon:

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 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.
What I think:

A friend of mind recommended this book way back in high school (to help with an essay), but back then I was not interested in dystopia genre. But when I saw this book at the library I just HAVE to borrow it.

The story follow a young girl, Tally Youngblood, about to turn sixteen, a moment she's been waiting forever. Ever since her best friend, Peris, turned sixteen and received his "pretty" surgery, Tally is more anxious than ever to join her friends in The New Pretty Town where all the new "Pretties" live. However, she met a girl, with the same birthday as her and befriended her. As the summary says, will she risk her new founded friendship for a simple, selfish dream?

I really love how Scott Westerfeld describe everything vividly without telling too much. The character development was impressive as most protagonists and antagonists were describe with appropriate details. Even those who are not mentioned as much, there are various subtle hints scattered in the book so the readers can pick out the clues to figure out. However, my biggest peeve about this story is how Peris is introduced with full detail at the begining, he seemed to be disappeared from the face of earth after Tally set up her mission to find Shay. Also, Shay seemed to be a nice girl at first, but after that, she was mentioned much after Tally found her. I absolutely despise her when Tally found her. To me her change was so drastic that that the author doesn't need to describe her. I just hate her until the end when something happened to her AGAIN. Oh and the romance thing between Tally and David is way too sudden.

What I love the most about the story is that, even though Uglies is a trilogy, Scott Westerfeld still managed to put closure at the end to set up for the next book. In some series that I have read in the past, the ending of any book of a series tend to be too open or a frustrated cliff hanger.

Somehow, I connected to this story more than other dystopian novels I have read so far. Perhaps the theme goes so well with what is occurring today with teenagers all over the world undergoing plastic surgery (although, not as extreme as described in the book) to become the ideal image of what the public perceive as "beauty". The whole cosmetic surgery process symbolize the coming of age, similarly to a new beginning and to make everyone equal. 

I could NOT put this book down once I opened it. It was just that entertaining even with the inconsistent pace!


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