UGLIES is one of the best children's SF novels I've come across for a year, and as it will get nothing out of its publishers but word-of-mouth I strongly recommend you buy it if you have a daughter going through puberty, because it dramatises the sick, looks-obsessed world we live in like nothing else. Tally can't wait until she's 16 and can be changed by plastic surgery into a Pretty, whose life like that of her best friend, will be filled with parties and fashionable clothes. In the future, everyone looks like a supermodel, and nobody stops to think whether this is a good thing - after all, there are no more wars, are there? But when Tally's new friend Shay takes off to live with the rebel Uglies, Tally is told she will never be made Pretty unless she follows the cryptic directions her friend left for her and betrays the rebels. This Tally is all set to do - until she not only falls in love but discovers just what the surgery awaiting her will do to her brain as well as her body.
Uglies is a really clever and pertinent dystopian fantasy of a kind that asks children whether they really want to give up their individuality to become a blandly perfect being. Exciting, fast-paced and easy to read it tackles the propaganda pumped out by glossy magazines and shows how ugly extreme beauty would be.