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Uglies (Uglies Quartet) Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
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"Fun, and the many by-the-skin-of-your-teeth escapes and hoverboard chases, plus the non-stop action plotting were enough to catch my attention and have me eagerly wanting more."
-- The Book Smugglers, 6 Aug 09 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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.
Top customer reviews
Tally is about to turn sixteen and cannot wait to turn pretty, until she makes a new friend. Her new friend, Shay, doesn't want to become pretty and is very keen on exploring the ruins of the old cities ran by 'rusties' (the people of today's society - you and me) and living life away from the sheltered community they currently live in.
I've read a lot of contradicting opinions on the book, but mine is fairly straight forward. I really enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait to read the others in the series. The story, in my opinion, was well written and whilst slow at times, was entertaining throughout. It isn't a difficult read, it's quite simple to follow and can be read within a short period of time. If you look deeper into the book, there is a social commentary present and it made me question the ways in which we see ourselves as a society and the impact appearance has on our daily lives. I would definitely recommend reading this book as it's entertaining and an interesting concept to think about.
UGLIES sets us up in perfected future that has risen after the great devastation that has destroyed much of the earth leaving behind collapsed stone and haunted steel skeletons. We follow Tally as she wakes up on just another day in her life when one risk, one slip, one decision turns everything she thought she knew inside-out. Those she trusted hold a gun to her head and those she feared give her courage and strength. In a world where everyone is ugly until their sixteenth birthday when they undergo surgery to become pretty and move across the river to live with the other pretties, serious ethics and societal norms are called into question.
Westerfeld takes the rapidly growing trend of plastic surgery that is becoming more and more commonplace in our society and pushes it a step further, a step darker. Sure, wouldn’t we all love to look gorgeous and perfect with 20/20 vision, creamy flawless skin, large luminescent eyes, and the grace of a gazelle? Duh, but everything comes with a price and how much would you be willing to sacrifice for such an offering?
Please, dear readers, this is a series you don’t want to miss out on.
Read my FULL review: [...]
Unfortunately, work hard it did. Primarily, there are four problems with Uglies that stop it being a good book.
The first is the pacing, which is dreadful. I'm all for a novel that keeps the tension up, but Uglies swings wildly from catastrophe to resolution to mundanity to catastrophe back to resolution, all within the space of a few pages. There's never any opportunity to really revel in the emerging situations, rarely pauses within which we are encouraged to reflect upon what's happening. All of this is wrapped up in a plot that is so pedestrian and predictable that you can see what's coming a mile away.
The second is the characterisation, which is woefully shallow - none of the characters are believable, none of them seem more then the most shallow caricatures sketched out in the lightest pencil. There was a possibility, within the early chapters of the book, for that in itself to be some pretty cutting commentary on the Pretties society. Unfortunately, as we find out later, the 'real' characters are just as vapid and uninspiring, just as half-hearted and unbelievable.
The third is the basic premise - in order for a book like this to work, the premise has to be at least credible. There's none of the necessary context or world-building to make the concept of the book even slightly believable. None of the explanation that eventually makes their way into the book stand up to even the most cursory of logical examinations. The structure of the society described simply doesn't work, and too much of how it's *supposed* to work isn't even addressed. The result is a word so thin that you can't help but see through it.
Finally, there is the heavy handed moralising. I'm all for books that include a social message, but the 'humanity destroyed itself through exploiting the planet' theme is just - urgh. It's so anvilicious that it betrays something close to contempt for its readers. I know it's not aiming to be high literature or anything, but you don't have to be a bearded literati to hanker for at least a little deference to subtext.
The book ends on a cliffhanger. It's very telling that I won't be bothering to pick up the second in the series to see how it turns out.
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A very easy and enjoyable read, with well thought out concepts for one...Read more