Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Uglies

                                                                             From Goodreads: 
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

My Thought : 
I sure do love a good dystopia. UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld was another book in a long list of recommended reads that I was late in getting to. Now that I've finished it, I can't wait to get into the next book in the series! Every day people judge each other based on multiple factors, appearance being one of them. Some discussions center around the fact that a lot of this judging is subconscious - we analyze how good of a mate an individual might be based on their appearance. 

 In Westerfeld's Uglies series, he takes this one step further by creating a world in which inequality has been stripped from society in the form of making everybody look essentially the same. Yes, each individual still retains their own characteristics so the planet isn't made up of clones, but just barely. Faces are made symmetrical, features are shrunken or enlarged based on what the brain considers attractive. And of course, all the science behind these ideas is done by someone else - a government that remains fairly secretive. Everyone wants to have the magic surgery to become pretty. Life is happier and full of parties when you're pretty. Everyone does it...right?

 UGLIES follows Tally through her physical and emotional journey surrounding the idea of becoming pretty. When her friend Shay runs away the night before her surgery instead of staying and having the much desired operation, Tally is thrown in the middle of a whirlwind of events that may leave her questioning everything she knows. What I loved about this book was the way Westerfeld takes a strong topic like appearance and inequality and throws it back at the reader. He has no shame in showing the inherent issues with having everyone look "ideal." The message that I got from this story is that anyone, but young adults especially, should appreciate their appearance as being unique to them. There is no "ideal" appearance and even if science somehow devises one, having everyone become ideal may not be the best option out there.

 Overall I gave it 4/5

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