UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld | Review

Title: Uglies

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Book #: 1 in the “Uglies” series

Publication: February 2005 by Simon Pulse

Pages: 448

Author’s Website and Twitter


Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers 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.

Synopsis from

“We’re not freaks, Tally. We’re normal. We may not be gorgeous, but at least we’re not hyped-up Barbie dolls.” 


Ok, I’ll admit, this book was not on the top of my TBR (aka to-be-read) shelf. There are so many books that I want to read and this one wasn’t really getting my attention, but I decided to buy it, after finding it at an amazing price. Turns out it was a really great decision!

Set in the future after humans (aka we) have destroyed the world, “uglies” follows the story of a young girl who is about to go through the same operation everyone goes through in order to become pretty. So the first thing that captured me in this book, was how unbelievably crazy this world was, but at the same time not too hard to imagine. Actually, disturbingly easy to imagine! I can not find it unbelievable at all that maybe one day everyone will be going through an operation to turn themselves pretty. A lot of people seem to want to do that even now! This, though, as we very clearly see in the book, comes with a price. Being pretty means being the same as everyone else, which can be extended to not only looking the same, but so much more!

The only thing Tally, the protagonist, wants is to finally be pretty. She can’t stand to see herself in the mirror and feels like she is completely ugly and repulsive. Shay, her new friend, on the other hand, doesn’t want to go through the operation. She has actually found a place where people who don’t want to become pretty escape to and tries to convince Tally to go with her. I really liked Shey’s character in the beginning of the book. She was a refreshing change to Tally, who at first wanted exactly the same as everyone else. Shay was the one questioning the whole system and convincing Tally to do more crazy and fun stuff than she had ever done before.

So, as the story evolved, Tally’s character really started to pick up and grow and she was becoming more and more interesting! I wasn’t a huge fan of Tally in the beginning of the book, but I ended up loving her! I was admiring how brave and open-minded she was, considering of course, the world she grew up in. In the end she turned out to be a great, strong female protagonist.

The whole book was written in such an extraordinary way, that I felt like I was watching a movie! I don’t know exactly what it was (that’s the whole magic of it) but I had a picture of everything in my head while reading it. I definitely think that the book could also be turned into a great movie!

All in all, I am now a huge fan of the “Uglies” series (hence the “5 golden stars”) and I can’t wait to find out what will happen next!

Update 08.12.2013

I decide to change my rating of this book from 5 Golden stars to 4. After finishing the whole series I was so disappointed by the 3rd and 4th book, that my feelings for the whole series have actually changed. On the 5 golden stars category are books that I really love and definitely want to re-read and this book no longer fits there.

First Line

“The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.”

Recommend it for…

  • Anyone who likes dystopia that is fun to read, but also has to do with important “philosophical” issues
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