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Uglies (Uglies Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Scott Westerfeld
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Tally lives in a world where your sixteenth birthday brings aesthetic perfection: an operation which erases all your flaws, transforming you from an 'Ugly' into a 'Pretty'. She is on the eve of this important event, and cannot wait for her life to change. As well as guaranteeing supermodel looks, life as a Pretty seems to revolve around having a good time. But then she meets Shay, who is also fifteen - but with a very different outlook on life. Shay isn't sure she wants to be Pretty and plans to escape to a community in the forest - the Rusty Ruins - where Uglies go to escape ' turning'. Tally won't be persuaded to join her, as this would involve sacrificing everything she's ever wanted for a lot of uncertainty. When she is taken in for questioning on her birthday, however, Tally gets sent to the Ruins anyway - against her will. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she could ever imagine: find her friend Shay and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. What she discovers in the Ruins reveals that there is nothing 'pretty' about the transformations... And the choice Tally makes will change her world forever.

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description


    With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series. Tally is almost 16 and breathlessly eager: On her birthday, like everyone else, she'll undergo extensive surgery to become a Pretty. She's only known life as an Ugly (everyone's considered hideous before surgery), whereas after she "turns," she'll have the huge eyes, perfect skin, and new bone structure that biology and evolution have determined to be objectively beautiful. New Pretties party all day long. But when friend Shay escapes to join a possibly mythical band of outsiders avoiding surgery, Tally follows-not from choice but because the secret police force her. Tally inflicts betrayal after betrayal, which dominates the theme for the midsection; by the end, the nature of this dystopia is front and center and Tally-trying to set things right-takes a stunning leap of faith. Some heavy-handedness, but the awesome ending thrills with potential. (Science fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)

    About the Author

    'YA's hippest author' Scott Westerfeld is the author of the hugely popular Uglies series. As well as the Midnighters series and three stand alone YA novels, he has written five science fiction novels for adults. He and his wife, Justine, divide their time between Sydney and New York.

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    More About the Author

    Scott Westerfeld's teen novels include the Uglies series, the Midnighters trilogy, The Last Days, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the sequel to Peeps. Scott was born in Texas, and alternates summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    By Amanda Craig HALL OF FAME
    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.
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    17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Meh... 11 April 2011
    I was really looking forward to reading this book when I bought it, I thought the concept seemed really interesting. However for me it wasn't anything special. It wasn't awful, it had a decent plot and I liked how it confronted how society is obsessed with being 'beautiful', but I found myself not really caring about the characters. I'm 18 and I'm guessing this book is probably aimed at a very slightly younger age group than me. I'm not normally a person to nitpick at books but some things in this book just seemed to come far too easily to the characters, and I never really worried about the characters survival either, it just seemed like a given that the main ones were going to survive.
    Overall it was a decent book but I didn't find it anything special. It'd probably be better suited for ages 10-16.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent YA Dystopian Novel 4 April 2011
    I picked this up based on dozens of recommendations from friends and people on the internet, and it's one of the best YA Dystopian Novels I've ever read (and I've read a lot!).

    Uglies, the first in a quartet of books, is set in a fairly distant future, after some cataclysm destroys the world in which we modern day people (referred to as Rusties in the book) live. The world is now split into many smaller cities, in which people are segregated according to their age: until you are 11, you are a "littlie" and live with your parents; from 12 to 15 you are an "ugly" and live in a dorm with other young teenagers; and from 16 onwards you are a "pretty" (new, middle, or late depending on your age) and live with other pretties.

    The protagonist is Tally Youngblood, who has just lost her best friend because he turned 16 a few months before she did, and thus has already had the prettifying operation and been moved into New Pretty Town. Tally has been left behind in Uglyville, but she soon makes a new friend (Shay), who happens to have the exact same birthday as Tally. This initially fills both girls with excitement, as it means neither will be left behind. Or does it?

    Shay runs away, and Tally has to choose whether or not to follow her. Her choice will change everything.

    The book is, simply, fantastic. The characters are more interesting and three-dimensional than those in 90 % of other YA books I've read, and the discussions of what beauty is are rather breathtakingly deep. You'd think it would be very simple - an operation to make everyone look the same sounds horrifying! - but there are some fabulous arguments regarding the body image of Rusties that make it sound almost reasonable.
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    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read for pre-teens. 8 April 2006
    'Uglies' is a truly fantastic read. An incredibly fast-paced thriller of a story,where every moment is valued. Having not read sci-fi before,I was expecting hordes of alien tribes to come cavorting through a galaxy in outer space at some point, but instead, as I read on, I found only a really satisfying, thought-provoking tale of unnatural beauty and its vices.
    Tally Youngblood lives in a world where she gets everything she wants and more, what with the miraculous turnover from ugly to pretty at the age of sixteen. Her perfect world remains in its bubble until she meets Shay, an intriguing new character who changes Tally's life forever, leading her on a strange adventure in which she encounters smokies, specials and learns what really happens in the operation theatre. The novel ends with a shocking cliff hanger which has left me waiting anxiously for the next book in Scott Westerfeld's powerfully written trilogy.
    I thoroughly enjoyed 'Uglies' and would highly recomend it to other pre-teen girls like myself.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Uglies 15 Jan. 2011
    By S
    I'm always up for a good dystopian novel and I'd heard from pretty much everybody in the blogosphere that Uglies is one of the best. Yes, yes it is.

    Tally Youngblood is our heroine here. Desperate to become Pretty and join her best friend Peris in a life of partying, having fun and generally being beautiful, Tally is counting down the days until her sixteenth birthday, when she can turn her back on being Ugly forever. At last. She's spent years perfecting what she wants her new face to look like and is determined that nothing will stop her becoming Pretty. That is, until she strikes up a friendship with Shay, a girl who is due to turn Pretty on the same day as she is.

    Together Tally and Shay spend their last few weeks of being Ugly breaking all the rules but things take a serious turn when Tally takes Shay out of the city borders and away from everything she knows. Shay tells her that you don't have to become Pretty. You can stay Ugly and stay true to yourself. She tells her about a group of people who never became Pretty and, instead, started a new settlement where people are free to think and be who they want to be. She's made the decision to go with David, the enigmatic leader of these people and asks Tally to go with her.

    When Tally is given an ultimatum - either find Shay or stay Ugly forever - she leaves in search of Shay and her new people. However, what she finds on her journey changes everything she ever thought she knew about her world.

    Tally is a wonderful heroine. She's so likeable and is definitely one of the most memorable characters I've come across in a long time. She's sweet but not a pushover and she delivers some brilliant lines. She's also very real.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    My daughter enjoys this book
    Published 9 days ago by Ms. K. Atkins
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Published 1 month ago by mark stevens
    4.0 out of 5 stars .
    fantastic read, great story. Would definitely recommend the whole series. Have read them all in a matter of days and will more than likely be reading again!
    Published 1 month ago by Morgan Rose Seaton
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 1 month ago by jan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Uglies- absolutely amazing!
    This book was definitely one of the best books i have read. Tally is a really likeable and unique character and the whole plot is very well structured and hooks you in. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by C. Baer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    such a great book
    Published 3 months ago by nikki
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great product, would recommend it! This seller is first rate.
    Published 3 months ago by Susan
    3.0 out of 5 stars Uglies
    I'd heard of this book before, but I didn't realize it was futuristic. The story line is one you've all heard before--in the future, everyone is forced into some nutso plastic... Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Hasan Tariq
    4.0 out of 5 stars A good Read
    I was a bit hesitant in buying this book at first as Im 28 years old and thought it might be a bit young for me but I loved it. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Sarah helm
    2.0 out of 5 stars html Let me start by saying that I was highly disappointed with this...
    Review from my blog: Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Tahlia
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