After Tally’s friends moved to the pretty part of the city, she was heartbroken. After all, she was left alone being Ugly, while her friends were out having the time of their lives. To combat this, she began her quest to find happiness. Along the way, she meets Shay, a fellow Ugly whose favorite pastime is to create as much chaos as possible for the citizens in New Pretty Town. Together, they were ready to take on the world; however, the mysterious leader of a secret task force takes an interest in her, or rather in Shay. Throughout the rest of the book, Tally is at war with herself, as she has to decide whether fulfilling her dream of becoming Pretty is worth sacrificing her friendship with Shay or if she would rather stay Ugly forever.
Uglies itself is phenomenal, but the message it left behind was far greater than I anticipated. Westerfeld did not leave any surprises out, and the book (the whole series actually) was a wild ride from start to finish. This novel, while providing an interesting take on humanity, forces the reader to question their own beliefs about the definition of beauty. Tally is an incredibly brilliant young woman; however, her wits are overshadowed by the shallow nature of her society. This can be compared to our current culture-it seems that beauty far too often trumps intelligence. I recommend this book because it didn’t really end when I finished it. It left me wondering for days whether our society is as toxic as the one shown in Uglies, along with quickly ordering the next book on Amazon (you can find it in our catalog here: Pretties).
-Brooke, (Dusen)Berry Blogger and member of the River Teen Advisory Board