Publisher: Schibsted (Norwegian publisher)
Release: First published in 2005, this edition in 2011
Source: Review copy
Good to know: Uglies was awarded the prize Best Books for Young Adults, when it came out. Fox has optioned the film rights
The tyranny of beauty
Uglies is a thrilling dystopian about what may happen when society gets to obsessed with beauty and good looks. Even though this is a made up story, it may serve as a critical loook at where out society today is headed, if we are not there already...
Tally is looking forward to turning 16 years, because that is when she will get cosmetic surgery and become pretty. Tally's best friend have already had the operation, and she is eager to meet him again in the city where all the beautiful people live. Whilst waiting for the operation, Tally spends her days doing pranks and going out on adventures. One day she meets Shay, and her life will never be the stame. Soon Tally is presented with a dark view on the world she lives in.
Uglies is a pageturner, written in an effective language. The chapters are short, and a lot of them ends with a cliffhanger. This makes the book a read I believe a lot of teens will enjoy. The story is not very obvious, and there is a lot of surprises. The characters are two - dimensional, and has depth.
Uglies is a coming of age story about finding your place in the world and in your own society. It is a book about growing up, and realising that your innocent view on the world has been just to innocent. The book talks about what happens when you leave your childhood behind, and see the world with different eyes. It is a book about friendship and loyalty, and the main character, Tally, is confronted with a lot of difficult choices.
Uglies was written because Westerfeld wanted to help teenageres love themselves. He also wanted to show what may happen if we just tag along and don't ask questions. The extreme reality that is Tally's world, is a harsh reminder of what may happen in a society that favors beauty before other qualities, and where no one can be different. Is that the place our world is going to in the future, or are we already there? The truth is that we live in a world where people can order babies from spermbanks, and where the intelligence and looks of the donor is important. A world where we are able to terminate a pregnancy if there is a prognosis that the baby will not be born healthy.
Our society loves beauty, and the more beautiful you are, the more sucessful your are likely to be. If your are skinny and beautful, you have succeeded in life. But if you are fat and ugly, you are look upon as lazy and as a loser.
Uglies makes us reflect on important questions, and that makes the book, not just a thrilling read, but also an important story well worth spending some time with.
To change the world, we need to start with our selves. Maybe this book can make you take one step in the right direction.
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25 Hour Books
Scott Westerfeld's website
Westerfeld on Goodreads