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Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Scott Westerfeld / Paperback / 448 Pages / Book is published 2010-03-04 by Simon & Schuster Children's

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    4 Reviews
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      12.12.2011 04:25
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      One to read!

      **Intro**
      Uglies is the first book in the uglies trilogy, and it is the book in which we get to meet the main character Tally and learn of the whole futuristic setting that the trilogy is set in. My cousin reccomended the book to me a while ago and she gave me it to read. I was quite skeptical at first due to the title. It sounded a bit like a horror genre book to be honest! I did however really enjoy it, and finished it on the same day that she gave me it! This was around a year ago now, however I still think it's a pretty good book - it has an original and gripping storyline with a brilliant concept that really makes the reader think about the current celebrity culture (size zero, photoshop etc), and it also has pretty good characters too that are likeable and quite easy to become attatched to. The book is actually reasonably realistic despite the unrealistic, fictional futuristic type world that the story is set in.

      **Plot**
      This is a futuristic type book and the story is set hundreds and hundreds of years in the future. The people in this era are taught throughout their lives that surgery is the only way to be attractive. Up until the age of around ten, they are classed as 'littelies' and live at home with their parents, who are pretties. Once they turn ten, they are then branded uglies and are sent to a place called Ugly Ville, which is a city full of children age ten to fifteen. The city is a bit like a boarding school, and each resident wears a tracking tag. Once the kids reach their sixteenth birthday, they are taken for cosmetic surgery to make them into a pretty, and they are then sent to live in New Pretty town, which is where all the pretties live and where all the fun happens - partying, drinking and living the high life. The children in Ugly Ville are very sheltered - they have no survival skills or life experience, and are completely dependant on technology. The main character, Tally doesn't even know what a helicopter is and refers to it as a metal monster. As I mentioned above this book is the first in the trilogy and it is basically full of naivity and we get to be with Tally as she learns the truth about what life as a Pretty really means.

      **The Main Characters**
      - Tally
      Tally Youngblood is a fifteen year old girl who has always wanted to be a pretty. She is a bit of a rebel and often sneaks out of Ugly Ville and into the surrounding areas (our world as we know it now) which is reduced to rubble, metal and dying trees. Tally is younger than the other people in her age group and so is the last out of her friends to turn sixteen and be eligible for the surgery, resulting in her feeling jealos and lonely as each of her friends move on and go to live in New Pretty town.

      - Shay
      After Peris goes to New Pretty town, Tally is really depressed until she meets Shay, and they soon become best friends. They go on several little adventures including riding hoverboards and going to New Pretty town in secret, to spy on their old friends. Shay was born on the same day as Tally, however they both are very different in personality and have different views - Shay is totally against the idea of becoming a pretty and intends to run away before her sixteenth birthday to the Smoke (a group of rebels against becoming pretties, who live in the wilderness) - something Tally was unaware of until Shay drops the bombshell on her on the day before the two girls sixteenth birthday's/surgery.

      - Peris
      Peris is not really a main character but the character is inportant as it explains why Tally is in a depressive state during the beginning of the book before she meets Shay. Peris has been Tally's best friend since they were young. He turned sixteen around 3 months earlier than Tally and therefor got his surgery and went to New Pretty town without her.

      - David
      David is the leader of the Smoke and he becomes Tally's crush.

      **My Opinion**
      This is a really good book in my opinion. It's essentially a sci fi adventure kind of book with the usual teenage romances and friendships thrown in and of course a slight bit of mystery and uneasiness too. I really liked the two lead characters and found the book to be quite humerous at points despite how disturbing it actually is - the whole concept of being taught to believe you are ugly up until a certain age and then forced to have plastic surgery at sixteen is very, very wrong. The ending was a bit of a let down as it was left on a cliffhanger, however I think it's good that there's other books in the uglies trilogy as the story that way will go on for much longer and keep me hooked for longer! The book is well written and easy to follow, it was really interesting reading about the futuristic world and how the people in that time look back on us now and see us as ancient! The whole planet friendly side of the story was interesting too. I found Tally and Shay's friendship to be believable and it wasn't cringe worthy to read at all - very believable and it was built up well rather than the friendship forming out of no where if that makes sense.

      **Price and Availability**
      I got this book for free as it was passed onto me from my cousin, however i've seen it in the library and in various book shops/supermarkets. It is also available on Amazon. Prices do vary but i'd say the avage price is around £5.

      **Overall**
      I'd definetly reccomend this book. I'd say it's best for teenagers (probably 13 plus) however my cousin is almost 30 and i'm 20, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it and so I think most young adults would enjoy it too.

      Other Info..
      - The book is written by Scott Westerfeld
      - The book has 448 Pages
      - The book is available in paperback and hardback
      - The book was published in 2006

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        27.05.2011 21:30
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        a book about the possible future!

        I got this book on a whim. I had previously read a review about this book, which was rated it highly. Then I saw promotion for it here and there. So to try something new, decided to go for it, if I didn't like it I could easily sell it, or pass it on. To be totally honest, I am amazed that I fully enjoyed this book, and I have got it!

        I hadn't heard of Scott Westerfeld before reading this book, I had heard that he was the author of "Uglies" but that was all that I knew about him. I always like stumbling across new authors that manage to spike my interest in the first few pages of one of their books. It shows a likeable writing style that interests me into exploring other books written by them. He is a software designer and a composer of music, as well as an author. He has written many books, but he is mostly known for "Uglies". Some of his books have been commissioned to become films, but whether they will or not is a different story, but we'll see.

        Uglies, has quickly become a well-known teen/young adult novel, and sometimes is used in schools. Unlike Twilight, it has failed to maintain its popularity, but hopefully it will get it back.

        Uglies follows a girl called Tally. She is almost sixteen, and at sixteen you become a "Pretty". She talks about how much fun she used to have with a guy called "Peris" who recently became sixteen and he is now a "Pretty". She can't wait to be with him again.

        One day she is really bored, and it's only a few days until she becomes a "Pretty". She meets this other girl called Shay, who has the exact same birthday as Tally. Shay is riding a hover board, and soon teaches Tally how to ride one. Their friendship grows quickly and they become best of friends. But Shay isn't sure she wants to be a "Pretty", and on the day before their birthday she makes a disappearance.

        In a desperate decision Tally goes out to find her, breaking every single rule she has grown up knowing. She finds a resistance who have been "Ugly" all their lives. And who wants things to go back to the way they were in the stories found in history books. They want everyone to look "ugly", that way everything will be civilised, and there won't be people giving a hell of a lot of plastic surgery so people all look the same.

        But will they do it? And to what drastic measures must they go through?

        This book was AMAZING. People who like "The Hunger Games Trilogy" should go and get this book. It is BETTER than Twilight, and gives that futuristic feel that you could so believe might happen in the future. It also reminds me a bit of "Tomorrow, When the War Began" anyone who have read both books would realise why I think this as they are similar.

        This is definitely a teen/young adult sort of novel; however this does not stop adults from reading it. Just look on here at the amount of young adult books that have been read by adults, such as Twilight and The Hunger Games. This is totally a book you should read!

        I found this story gripping from the start, it must have been because of the writing style, but I think because this story was interesting and different from any story I have come across, and the ending is a definite surprise. I felt intent on reading this book more and more and I loved all of it, especially the bit when they ride on an old roller coaster on their hover boards, although they only knew what it was by the school books. (I feel sorry for them that there are no theme parks! They're really missing out).

        I have to admit that I dislike the cover. The cover intentionally interests teenage girls or young adults who are girls. This usually would put the book under "chick-lit" (which in my opinion is not a genre at all since there are boys who enjoy "chick-lit" just as much), however this book is far from the usual "chick-lit" stories, and so why mis-lead the readers. However their intentions for doing this could be because they thought it is a bigger market and may interest this type of audience into reading this. However I think it is mis-leading and not something that publishers should do.

        There are a lot of vivid parts of the book that you can imagine easily, which may be the reason why Twenty Century Fox has got the rights for making a film out of this book (which is supposed to be released this year according to Wikipedia) however there's so little information about this film, that I doubt anything has really happened with it. And to be honest, I very much doubt they will make it better than the book!

        This is definitely an exciting, face-paced, exhilarating, action-packed, sort of book, it is one everyone will enjoy and a book you should go and get as soon as you can.

        Thank you all for reading and I hope that I have interested some of you (at least) into reading this book!

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          17.04.2011 23:11
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          The first in an amazing world where beauty is everything

          The first of the uglies series introduce us to Tally Youngblood, Tally is an outgoing, fun loving 15 year old, but the loss of her best friend to New Pretty Town has changed her.
          You see Tally is an ugly, uglies are kids who live in Uglyville, going to school and living in dorms, seeing out their teen years until they are old enough, at 16, to be made into a pretty. This is the way of life for everyone, except the rare ones who are born naturally pretty and there are very few of them. Everyone has to be pretty so that they all look the same, so that no one gets treated differently because of the way they look, or at least that's what the uglies are told. They are ensured that as soon as you become pretty youre live is amazing.

          Tally was one of the youngest of the uglies in her dorm, her best friend Peris - 3 months her senior - is enjoying himself in New Pretty Town while she just has to wait, bored and alone. That is until she meets Shay, then life is good again, playing tricks and having a laugh, all they have to do is wait a couple more months and they'll both be pretty.

          Then one day, after a terrible argument Shay drops a bombshell on Tally, she doesn't want to be pretty and she's heard about a place they can go to get away from the operation. Tally doesn't feel the same, wanting it to be her birthday so badly so she can just have what she wants, and Shay leaves. Tally waits patiently for her birthday and it comes around, she's finally going to be pretty, she's in the hospital, waiting for her dream to come true. But something goes wrong, Tally doesn't get to have her operation and she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life and it's not easy.
          The outcome means that Tally has to experience events, thoughts and feelings that she never thought she would and she soon realises things aren't exactly what they appear to be. Her life drastically changes and she makes choices based on her new experiences that go against anything she would have done before.

          The world that Westerfeld creates is amazing, it reminds me of an Orwell inspired world, where the walls will decorate themselves whatever colour you want them to be and cars and trains drive themselves. It makes me laugh how the characters talk about the "rusties" because, well, I am a rusty!

          I think my favourite part of the story has to be the descriptions, and how the new towns contrast so well against the "Rusty Ruins." I have been recommending this book to anyone I've spoken too, I really do love the world, the characters, the technology! It inspires me to read more sci-fi type books because if theyre all this good I will love them.

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          08.02.2010 18:07
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          The first of a series I am looking forward to reading more of!

          Lately, with the monotony of being unemployed, I have been reading a lot, and there is nothing I enjoy more than a good young adult book. With all the hyped-up tosh that's being raved about *cough cough Twilight cough cough* I always enjoy finding a book aimed at teenagers that's actually, well, good.

          The latest young adult offering I sampled is a bit of a bizarre concept, I'll grant you, but then again so are vampires and werewolves. And perhaps what is most refreshing is that I've never read anything quite like this before.

          Uglies is set in the future, after the decision had been made that, due to the unfairness that sometimes in life pretty people seem to get higher up solely on their looks, everyone must be ugly until their sixteenth birthday. Actually, the first stage is "littlies", when the child lives with their parents. They then move over to Uglyville when they are about eleven, and live in huge dormitories, all the while imagining how live will be when they make the move to New Pretty Town. This, of course, once they undergo an operation, usually on their birthday, to make them pretty.

          And it's not just the residents' looks which separate the two towns. Despite the fun, futuristic inventions that you or I would love to have, Uglyville is no picnic when you're constantly looking across the water to New Pretty Town, imagining all the fun going on. And there, life is all about the fun, the parties, the great clothes and the finer things in life.

          As a way to rebel, and also pass the time until the operation, the Uglies like to perform what they call "tricks", which are really just pranks such as sneaking out of the dormitory after dark. Even though they're supposed to wear tracker rings, everybody knows ways to work around this, and our heroine Tally is no exception. The last one of her friends to "turn" she is left alone in Uglyville, and sneaks across to visit her best friend Peris, a New Pretty.

          Whilst on her trick, Tally meets Shay, who has also been stranded an Ugly, and the two become great friends, until Shay drops a bombshell that leaves Tally with a big decision to make, and a long trip ahead of her.

          What I loved about this book is that it is a combination of a coming of age story, a good adventure, and an imaginative look at how the future could be. Although it doesn't give a hint to what year it is set in, it does refer to people from our time as "Rusties". The characters take great amusement from the fact that we drive around in cars and burn wood to make fire. (They of course travel by hoverboard or hovercar).

          It's really the little details that show the author has really thought about this future world. When Tally gets sunburn one day, she curses herself for not remembering to wear a sunscreen patch. Very few people know how to write by hand any more, and when Tally sees her first rollercoaster (in a Rusty ruin) she is flabbergasted as to what it is. As an adrenalin junkie, I wasn't sure about that part. Just imagine what great rides they could make given all the new technology!

          As the book progresses, we begin to understand the pressures of conforming to what is expected, and how it can break a human's spirit. Even though this is a seemingly heavy subject matter, it fits around the theme to make an entertaining and interesting read of how the world could become if everybody insists on being vain.

          This book is the first of four, the second titled Pretties. I will be interested to read what happens next, and really recommend these for adults and teenagers alike, as it's unlike anything I've read before.

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