Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
So – my first Burning Through Books review! Who’s excited? I sure am.
A quick thank you to Inky for getting me into this sci-fi universe and sending me a copy of Impostors.
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…
(Blurb from Goodreads)
Although the title of this book did not attract me very much, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the book was in no way ugly.
Three of my favourite things from this novel:
- Culture development and worldbuilding
- Historical references and current topics
- Characters – relationships and development
The worldbuilding that has gone into this is stunning. Scott Westerfeld has created a future full of culture (that actually makes sense) and history that influences the society Tally and Shay are living in.
We see our society in the history of theirs and how stupid our mistakes are, which is very cool. Although this book was written 15 years ago (that’s a long time in my opinion) it is still really current. It, and the book after (Pretties, which I am reading right now), battle topics of deforestation, climate change, body image and racism very subtly.
The characters’ motives are clear and their dynamics and relationships complicated, especially that between Tally and Shay. They have arguments and close moments, and they have very differing views on a few subjects, which makes their dialogue interesting to follow. Tally also had a neat character arc, which I always enjoy.
I would definitely recommend reading this even if you aren’t into sci-fi.