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Ugliesby Scott Westerfeld
Out of Print
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"In this launch title of a planned trilogy, teenager Tally Youngblood is living an unexamined life in a world unlike ours, hundreds of years from now. She's impatiently awaiting her birthday because in her town, Uglyville, everybody gets the same gift at age 16: cosmetic surgery which transforms them into gorgeous creatures. They also move into 'party towers' in New Pretty Town. Tally's best friend has already made the transition and, motivated by her desire to see him, she sneaks into town. Her near-capture leads to a new best friend, Shay, who has the same birthday. On the eve of their operations, Shay reveals a plan to escape to a renegade settlement called 'the Smoke.' When Shay disappears, government agents blackmail Tally into leading them to the rebels. Once in the Smoke, Tally has a crisis of conscience when she learns the surgery is more sinister than she imagined. Teens will appreciate the gadgetry — including bungee jackets and hoverboards that work by magnetic levitation. But plausibility problems creep in, such as Tally leading a breakout of Smokeys from a high-tech compound while wearing handcuffs. As in his So Yesterday, Westerfeld introduces thought-provoking issues, but readers may lose track of the plot while sorting the many messages about how the 'Rusties' nearly destroyed the planet. They may also feel cheated when, after 400-plus pages, the ending leaves loose ends to be tied up in the next installment, Pretties. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[H]ighly readable with a convincing plot that incorporates futuristic technologies and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies. Fortunately, the cliff-hanger ending promises a sequel." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"[T]eens will sink their teeth into the provocative questions about invasive technology, image-obsessed society, and the ethical quandaries of a mole-turned-ally." Booklist (Starred Review)
"With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series....Some heavy-handedness, but the awesome ending thrills with potential." Kirkus Reviews
"This book, the first in a trilogy, asks engaging questions about the meaning of beauty, individuality, and betrayal. Highly recommended for SF fans or anyone who likes a good, thoughtful adventure." Kliatt (Starred Review)
In Tally's world, one's 16th birthday brings an operation that transforms them from a repellent Ugly to an attractive Pretty. Tally wants to turn into a Pretty, but her friend Shay would rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, the authorities give Tally a terrible choice.
About the Author
Scott Westerfeld's books for teens include Peeps and So Yesterday, which were both named ALA Best Books for Young Adults. He is also the author of The Secret Hour, Touching Darkness, and Blue Noon, the books in the Midnighters trilogy. Scott alternates summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City. Visit his Web site at www.scottwesterfeld.com.
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