I just finished the book, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It’s a young adult novel, so it’s a quick and fun read. Even though it’s a teen book, the premise of the story is set in hardcore sci fi. Our heroine, Tally, lives in a world where everyone is blessed with being pretty on their sixteenth birthday. They endure surgeries that make them beautiful. Everyone in the city is beautiful after they get their operation. She eagerly awaits the day that she can become pretty and join her friend, Peris, on the other side of the river.
While counting the time to her birthday, she meets Shay, a girl her same age. Instead of counting time until her birthday, Shay isn’t really looking forward to the operation. She likes herself the way she is: ugly and a little too skinny. Tally is given a choice to run away from the city, her parents and Peris to go to a place where you never get your operation.
This book felt like it started in the middle of a big mess, but the situation keeps getting messier and messier. I was describing it to Mike the other day, “It’s like a Lois McMaster Bujold book where things keep getting more complicated the further we get into the book.” Mike was quiet for a second and then answered, “If he solves the problems at the end of the book, he’s like Bujold, but if he leaves all the problems open for the sequel, then he’s like David Brin.”
Everything isn’t tied into a neat little package at the end of the book. The major problems are taken care of, but a new problem starts right at the end of the book. Now, I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel, Pretties.
Update 03-28-08: Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.
Here are also my reviews of other Scott Westerfeld books: