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.
What I Have to Say
I've fallen completely in love with this series. It just feels so real. All of the new ideas that Westerfeld has come up with have a basis in today's society. The whole "Size Zero" thing that we have today seems like it could really grow into the "Pretty" society that Westerfeld describes.
But I think the scariest thing about it is that the logic behind it is understandable. I'm not saying that it would be good, just that you can see where they're coming from. Mostly, it's the making people Pretty so that everyone looks the same thing. It's true that a lot of conflict comes from differences in appearance and one way to stop those arguments would be to somehow make everyone the same.
I think that's the way to make a good realistic "Utopian" society. Start with one thing that could make the world a better place and then find all the problems with it.
Secrets also tend to be good, 'cause they give a mystery into the plot. It's especially so because when you see a Utopia you instantly start looking for underlying problems.
Anyway, I think this is a really, really interesting story world and I'm looking forward to reading more of it.
In a few weeks they'll be another review for the next book in the series. In the mean time, I really think that you all should get Uglies, because it's just an amazing book.