The Uglies, a Review

This is a spoiler-free review of a book that was recommended to me by July A. Emmance, called Uglies, by Scott Westerfield.

In a futuristic society where humans undergo a surgical operation to be made extremely good-looking just after their sixteenth birthday, Tally Youngblood is having paroxysms of indecision.  She wants to be made pretty, but her best friend wants her to run away and stay ugly all her life.  After a few spoiler-ridden happenings, a plot is somehow formed.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you have your mouth hanging open right now, thinking “Suicide sounds really good right now.”  But before you go off and drown yourself in an extra large tub of Jell-o, listen to what I have to say.

This book wasn’t horrible.  It wasn’t that great, either.  I didn’t like it as much as I would have if I was, say, a teenage girl.  I didn’t get too attached to the world, the characters, or anything like I usually do with good books.  (I got attached to the hoverboards.)  Right now, I’m not sure I want to read the sequel, or that one’s sequel, or that one’s sequel.  (It’s another trilogy of four books, yes.)

The plot was… okay.  It wasn’t great, and it had too few plot twists for my liking.  But that plot was the only thing stopping me from denouncing this book now and forever.  It reminded me of a watered-down version of Mara, Daughter of the Nile, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.  That one requires a separate review that I won’t get into here, but let’s just say that I quite enjoyed it.  That one has a hugely complex plot that was absolutely amazing.  I’ve modeled a couple of characters off of that book.  Anyway, the book in question had a good plot, if not complex.  It got better as you went along, introducing a few conspiracy theories and such.

The writing was good.  In a few places the names are pretty stupid.  After a while you get tired of the “-ie” suffix.  Littlies, pretties, uglies, Crumblyville!  Who names a retirement community Crumblyville?  It seemed like a book written for airheaded teens.  It might be.  Who knows?

Was it a girl book or a guy book, or either?  It was almost definitely a girl book.  A guy could read it if necessary (like me), but it’s a girl book.

I can’t think of much else to say.  I didn’t really like this book all that much, but it was good.

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  1. Yay you read it! I totally agree with you about just about everything! It really is written for air heads…… 🙂 If you didn’t really like this book, don’t waste your time on the others. I think they are ok as the series go along, but the first one is the best (even though it’s not all that good either). By the way… I love how you put my name up there! It looks so cool in bold red in the sea of grey… Have you read “I am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore? Just a suggestion but don’t feel any pressure to read it because maybe our taste in books totally clashes… If you have time, give it a chance though! I cried at the end!

  2. seanajvixen

     /  April 15, 2012

    Interesting review. Uglies was not my favorite book in the world, but I liked it enough to read the rest. The sequel to this book and the other book after that seemed to be running low on ideas and it just wasn’t as good as the first. If you’re looking for a good book I’d recommend Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch. Before you freak from the title, it’s not like happy rainbow ponies. I did a review on it on my blog and I really enjoyed the book.

  3. Thanks for reviewing this! I saw that July suggested it recently and I went to my library to see if they have it but they don’t. They say it’s too new. It’s seven years old! I don’t want to buy it. Anyway, thanks for doing the review. Maybe, as a girl, I’d like it more than you did.

    • Mayhap you might.

      • Yes, it’s possible. Should I brace myself for disappointment?

      • Not necessarily. I can’t tell you, but it’s definitely worth a try. Read this, then read Mara, Daughter of the Nile. If not the first, definitely the second. Tell me what you think about each, please.

      • I will. It might take awhile because, as I said before, my library is kind of slow.

    • Yeah I think you might like it better than a guy person. Don’t go out and buy it though because that is a waste of your money if you don’t end up liking it. Good luck in finding it!

      • Yes, you’re probably right. I never like buying books for that exact reason. And thanks! 🙂

  4. I’d heard of Uglies before, and was not interested. Cosmetic surgery at sixteen? Yichk. Give me dragons and phasers anyday.

    • Exactly. But I don’t agree about the phasers.

      • No phasers? Okay then, what about swords?

      • Okay, swords work. But not phasers. Phasers are cliche. So are dragons, but dragons are cool and cliche, so they’re all right.

      • How are phasers cliche? Phasers are cool. Not as cool as Bat’leths, but still cool.

      • I’ll pretend I know what you mean, and will guess that it’s a Dr. Who thing.
        Phasers are cliche because they’re in Star Trek. Most things in Star Trek have now become cliche, unfortunately. If it’s copied from something you can name, I’d say it’s cliche. Phasers, yes. Darth Vader, absolutely. Wizards named Harry Potter, of course. Shriveled wretches bound to the will of the one Ring, definitely. Phasers, yes.

      • Bat’leths are Star Trek. They’re the big curved knife things the Klingons fight with. There are no good weapons in Doctor Who other than really big guns. Well, and the sonic screwdriver, but it’s not really a weapon.
        Hmm. I see your point on chiches, and it’s a good one.

  5. It surprises me that you scored it so low, admittedly I’d seen it and gave it a miss, but Westerfeld’s other series are alright (midnighters and peeps). Sounds like I’d be glad I gave it a miss though.


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