Book Review – Uglies

by Scott Westerfeld
Started: 11th July 2014
Finished: 15th July 2014

I love Dystopian fiction, so when I came across Uglies a couple of years ago it sounded like the kind of book I’d love. I’ve finally found some time to read it and I must say… I was actually quite disappointed with the novel, it wasn’t what I was hoping it to be.

All Tally Youngblood has ever wanted is to be like everyone else and turn pretty when she reaches sixteen. Especially after best friend Peris left Uglyville for New Pretty Town, leaving her behind until it’s her turn. After sneaking into New Pretty Town to visit him, Tally meets Shay a girl who doesn’t want to turn and knows more tricks than a lot of the other uglies in town. But when Shay runs away and Tally is the only one who knows where she’s gone, Tally is made an offer she feels she can’t refuse…

One of the first things that didn’t particularly sit well with me were the very basic names that things and places are given. “Youngblood,” “Uglyville,” “New Pretty Town” and “tricks” to name a few. On the one hand it can show how much simpler these people have tried to make life for themselves, and show the clear divide to make everything fairer… But, to me it felt like not much effort had been put into it. I understand that’s most likely not the case, but that’s just how it feels to me. After reading other dystopian novels I was expecting something a little more clever.

When it comes to the characters themselves, the only one I really liked was David, who doesn’t make an appearance until nearly halfway through the novel. He seemed to be one of the only ones talking any sense, however I didn’t understand his quick development of feelings towards Tally. As for Tally I found her rather annoying and not a particularly strong female protagonist that is usually found in his genre. There are moments towards the end of the novel when I found her more likeable but it took nearly the whole novel for that to happen. I didn’t like Shay, like Tally I found her rather annoying however she got worse towards the end rather than better. I also couldn’t really understand the bond they formed rather quickly, as there’s not many friendships to compare it to at the beginning I didn’t really know how friendly people are with each other in these towns. Is a quick, strong friendship normal or not?

The plot has loads of potential and after reaching the halfway point it did become more interesting for me and more fun. The element of mystery surrounding the operation to become pretty was enough to keep me reading the book. Although, I’m currently unsure whether the ending is enough to make me want to read the next one. I think I will look more into it first and then make a decision – but I do hate leaving a series unfinished.

All in all I was disappointed with a lot of this novel, however the aspects of it that I liked make me want to pick up the next book in the series; just to see what happens and just to see if it gets better (as a few things did get better towards the end of this novel).

Rating: 2/5


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