2000 - 2007 Science Fiction YA

Uglies – Scott Westerfeld

I have a love-hate relationship with YA novels, so approached this one with extreme caution. I was prepared for a thought provoking plot, but I was pleased to discover that it was also a gripping, page turner that I’d happily recommend to everyone.

The book is set approximately 300 years in the future, in a world where everyone is ugly until their 16th birthday when they are transformed in adults of uniform beauty. The central character, Tally, is fast approaching her 16th birthday and is preparing to be re-united with her childhood friend, Peris, who has already undergone the operation. Everything changes when Tally meets Shay, a fellow Ugly, who wants to avoid the change, but Shay runs away, leaving Tally to make some difficult decisions….

The book started off quite slowly and after the first few chapters I was beginning to wonder why so many people rave about this book, but then I slowly became immersed in the story and it wasn’t long before I couldn’t put it down. I love dystopian fiction and this world came across very realistically. The book mocked our society in which tall people have an advantage at job interviews, or fights break out over the colour of someone’s skin and their observations of skinny models on our magazine covers were fantastic! I can easily imagine someone deciding to give us all a uniformly pretty appearance in a few hundred years time and it was these thought provoking issues that made the book special for me.

I loved all the characters in the book, the plot was fast-paced without losing any atmosphere and I thought that the twists were great and often unexpected.

This is what YA writing should be like – a fantastic, light read which can be appreciated by all age groups. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.



Have you read Uglies?

Will I enjoy the rest of the series?