Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Published: February 8th, 2005 (Simon Pulse)
Series: Uglies, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ½
Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers 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.
I’ll just get right into it: this was a major disappointment. Not because it was a bad book, but because it was not what I was expecting it to be. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and the entire series, and I think I’ve been hyping it a bit because of that, only to end in disappointment. While I really liked the premise and the idea behind the whole story, I thoroughly disliked the lack of depth of both the story and the characters.
Let me start off by saying that the synopsis for this book sounds awesome. I had been ogling the series for a while, had the entire series on my shelves for well over a year before I decided to pick the first book up. I loved the idea for a society where people wouldn’t be judged on looks because they were all somewhat the same – when they turn 16, they all get cosmetic surgery to make them pretty. The idea is both intriguing and horrifying and I really liked the whole idea around this. Unfortunately, some of the so-called plot-twists weren't plot-twists at all, because you could see from a mile away that they were about to happen. They were needed to keep the plot going, not to throw the reader off a particular train of thought. It was obvious that their purpose was to keep the story going, especially since I already own three more books, so there needs to be something more than the beginning of the story is letting on.
Secondly, I had problems with the characters. There was no depth at all in any of them, and I had no clue who our main character was supposed to be character wise. A lot of her thoughts are about saving her own hide, constantly trying to talk herself into that what she was doing would work out in the end etc. And of course, everyone with half a brain cell knows that’s just not the case and it annoyed me to no end that she seemed to think that what she was doing was right.
And finally, I thoroughly disliked the ease of how Tally was able to do everything. Everything was so easy, went so smoothly, it was ridiculous. There were no obstacles, not real ones anyway. There wasn’t a single moment where I thought it got exciting because something was going to happen. The story really fell flat and that’s such a shame, because I really liked the idea for the story.
Having said that, the book read really quickly. When I sat down to read it, I went through it in a couple of hours because it just reads nice and smoothly. It’s just.. It didn’t really work for me because I got nothing from the story. I really wish that I could rave about Uglies as much as everyone else, but I just can’t. Since I have the other three books on my shelves, I’ll read them all – I just don’t know when.