Genre: Science Fiction/ Young Adult/ Fantasy/ and Dystopian
Author: Scott Westerfield
This book is about a young ugly, Tally, who is looked down upon by her society. She is cast into a category that she has no control over. She anxiously awaits the day when she becomes pretty, when she will have a purpose, her 16th birthday. However, weeks before her 16th birthday something happens that will change her forever.
The day Tally met Shay was a day that changed both of their lives. Tally was thrust into a life of risk and danger but also actual happiness. Shay finally had someone to share all of the danger, happiness, and happiness with. After Tally had a daring escape she met Shay, in a bush. The two vowed to stick with each other, always. Little did Tally know that this would be a promise that put lives in the line…
Tally’s society is segregated into 3 categories. Uglies, which is the lowest of the low. You are an “ugly” from when you are 12-15 years old. On your 16th birthday you are taken to become “pretty”. All pretties look beautiful but they all look very similar to one another. Pretties are in the middle of the social hierarchy. However, most people believe they are at the top because they believe the final category is a myth. Finally, at the top, there are the specials. They are a ruthless, cutthroat, and manipulative group that is only concerned with what they need/want. Only a few people have ever seen specials and if you have seen one, something bad is going to happen or something bad has already happened...Tally Youngblood is taken by the specials and is then tricked into bringing an end to the Smokies which is an organization that Shay risked her life, and the lives of others, to tell her about. The Smokies are a group that doesn’t believe is the segregation in the city. They are similar to the Rusties ( which is our civilization now) because they all work towards that they believe in. Tally is tricked into ending the Smokies because the specials are worried about the rapid growth of the Smokies. While Tally goes on a perilous trek to end the Smokies, she almost drowns, catches on fire, and almost meets her demise. Will this journey be worth the risk? Will she end up destroying a whole society? Will she ever become “pretty”? After all of this will she even want to become pretty?
There are four main characters in this book. Tally: a heroine that is very loyal and will risk her life for the people she loves. Shay: a wild girl who doesn’t care what others thinks of her and will sacrifice almost anything for her friends, which could be a blessing, or a curse. David: the son of the founders of the Smokies, an “ugly” and a man who will work for what he believes in. Finally, Dr. Cable: a doctor who has no regard for others feelings and will manipulate any situation into something that only benefits her. Dr. Cable is the leader of the specials.
I loved this book because it shows that even if it shows that even if you are placed into a category that you have no control over your category placement you can still make an difference or in Tally’s case, change who you are to let others be who they are. My favorite part of this book was when Tally went with David to save the Smokies. David and Tally grow as friends and learn what it is like to not be judged just because you are “ugly” or different.
I would recommend this book to all people who enjoy thrilling adventure. Basically, this book is a blend between The Giver and Divergent. It has the dystopian setting similar to The Giver that gives it a futuristic element and shows how unmodern our current lifestyle could seem in a couple hundred years. It is similar to Divergent because of all of the action and it shows the strong bonds the characters develop. Tally reminds me of Tris ( the heroine in Divergent) because they are both headstrong, loyal, fierce, and will do anything for the people they love.
This book is a great book if you love action, loyalty, and surprises. This book will allow you to take a break and join a world in the future, that is filled with friendship and promise. Uglies is an amazing book that makes one self reflect on our priorities in life.