Uglies by Scott Westerfeld | Teen Ink

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

February 28, 2012
By Chans247 GOLD, Rosthern, Other
Chans247 GOLD, Rosthern, Other
12 articles 6 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You could say this advice is priceless. Now...if you trust in yourself...believe in your dreams...and follow your'll still get beaten by people who spend their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." ~Discworld

Recently I have read a book series called Uglies. It was a very good series which I think everyone should be required to read.

The basic plot of the story is this: in the future, after humans have destroyed the world, a new system is set up. This system states that every person under 16 is “ugly”. And once you turn 16, you get an operation to turn yourself “pretty”. In this society, being pretty means looking the same as everyone else, with big eyes, full lips, high cheekbones, and small noses. The secret of the operation is that when they are doing this surgery, they put a lesion in your brain to make you think that everything is fun and games, and that life is a big party. This makes sure that no one steps out of line and questions the authorities, and that no one starts a war. This method is fine with most people because they still don’t know that they are being brainwashed. Even though everyone gets everything they want, some people still rebel.

The most important thing in Tally Youngblood’s life is to become pretty and leave her ugly past behind her. Her dream almost comes true, until she becomes friends with one of the rebels. A few days before their 16th birthday, Tally’s friend runs away to a place called Smoke to get away from the operation. Tally is forced by the authorities, or as they call them in this book, Specials, to follow and betray her friend. When Tally finally gets to Smoke, she finds out the truth about the operation, and then she has to make a choice: to either betray Smoke and her newfound friends, or to stay and forget about the world she has always known. Tally goes through betrayal, friendship, romance, escape, and finally Tally gets her wish to become “pretty”.

As it says on the front of the book, “In a world of extreme beauty, anyone normal is ugly”. It is not that normal people are really ugly; it is just that there are people around them who are more beautiful. Beauty does not stay the same over the years; it changes from generation to generation. Long ago, it was beautiful to be fat, because the only way for people to do that was if they were rich, and that was hard to be back then. Now everyone has the power for becoming fat, so now beauty is when you are skinny. Beauty it seems has to always be hard to achieve, or else there would be no one to compete with. People now have to know that beauty changes, so you should not do things like starve yourself to become beautiful, because people in the future will not always think the celebrities that are “beautiful” now are beautiful then. An example from the book is when Tally and her friends are looking through a fashion magazine left over from our time and they are laughing at our bad taste in beauty, and how they think the people now are crazy because we went as far as starving ourselves to become beautiful. One of the main lessons in this book is that beauty is not really how you look or how much you weigh: it depends on whether you act like yourself or not, and if you do what is really in your heart.

Another point in this book is that you have to be your own person. You cannot let other people control what you think, either by persuasion or by putting a lesion in your brain. Some people fake who they are just to become popular, but then no one likes you for who you are because no one knows the real you. At first, Tally is fine with people changing her through surgery, but then Tally is very against the surgery because she found out that true beauty is not what is outside of you, but what is inside your heart. Helen Keller put it very well when she said, “The best and most beautiful thing in life cannot be seen or ever touched, they must be felt within the heart”. The beautiful things in life cannot be found on the face or anywhere on the earth. The most beautiful thing has to be found within one’s heart. What you do and what you think is what makes you beautiful. Everyone’s heart is different. It would be unnatural for all of us to think the same things like they do in the book, so being your own person is very important.

This book was very good and it taught a lot of important lessons about life and what true beauty really is. Not only does it teach necessary things about life, but the characters are very likeable and the plot is so intense that it is hard to put it down. This is a book that I think everyone should be required to read because it teaches that no one should be controlled by others and no one should hide who they truly are.

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This article has 10 comments.

BreDayle1 said...
on Dec. 16 2014 at 10:37 am
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is a beautifully written book and I would suggest it specifically to young adults. In the book, you realize how unperfected things can actually be. You also learn how sometimes you have to run blindly, unaware of the results and hope things turn out like you want them too. I liked how Westerfeld implied secrets, lies, and even love in the story. If you enjoy thinking and analyzing things, Uglies is a book you need to read.  Tally Youngblood is a young girl who’s desperately waiting to turn 16 so she can receive her surgery. Since she was a “littlie,” Tally has been sneaking over the bridge to New Pretty Town. Tally envies the new pretty’s perfectly circular, sparkling eyes and dazzling tan skin. A few weeks before she “turns” she meets a girl named Shay. Tally and Shay end up having the same birthday, meaning they will become a pretty together.  When Shay runs away and Tally can’t become a pretty until she’s found, what will happen? The details of the story were vivid, yet I found myself reading the same ones again and again. Also, whenever Westerfeld would have two characters speaking, they seemed to not acknowledge certain parts of the book. I thought that when they didn’t acknowledge them, Westerfeld would just be leaving you to wonder. That’s something I enjoy, but I despise cliffhangers, which I was left with in Uglies. I also hated the romance, I am a teen girl, and it was sweet, but also disgusting. Shay and Tally practically betrayed each other after they said they were “best friends.” When David was stupid enough to play Hopscotch between the two and that made me even more infuriated. Even then, I still think the book was packed with an underlying story that was brilliantly written and thought out.  Some people have told me, “that book looks so cliché, I would never read it.” I believe that this book has a little bit of everything, from love to daredevil tricks. This book was amazing! I will certainly be reading the next three!

on Oct. 4 2013 at 12:43 pm
I thought this book was cliche and cheesy and pathetic. I mean c'mon at least make it interesting, I thought it was way to predictible and i didn't "touch me in anyway" with the feeling that everyone is special in there own way, which is another way of saying no one is. This book is just sad, I mean they should get better conflicts and events...boring!!! didn't interst me at all. 

katelyn said...
on Sep. 3 2012 at 7:51 pm
I have just finished reading the book uglies. I reacon  the book was great and I liked how all the parts of the book worked together to make the book right. my favourite part was when shay and tally became friends and tally learns to hoverbored, and my least favourite part was when tally betrys her friend and the smoke. I think this book was a way of sending out a message to others about how " being pretty is not what you look like on the outsude its how you are on the inside". In other words I think uglies is a good book to read and think other people should read it aswell.

Chantell said...
on Sep. 3 2012 at 7:40 pm
I think heaps of people should read this book because they can learn heaps of things in this book that everyone is pretty in their own way. You dont have to get planstic surgery to make yourself look pretty  

emily said...
on Sep. 3 2012 at 7:39 pm
i like this book because i know everyone is not pretty but they are pretty in there own way  it is very romantic and sweet i liked reading it with my class i like how they made it like it was the futre like where they have hover cars and stuff i just hope this really dosnt happen i just want to read this book over and over again and i liked it because it different to all the other books i read it more like realty and stuff but i know it not real but likein class every time we finsh reading its so tepting to know what happens next i think every teenage should read this book even adults because it will probly tell them that not everyone is pretty  and they shouldnt judge people for what they look like  thanks :)

Dr. Melons said...
on Sep. 3 2012 at 7:39 pm
I agree with you 100%, more people should be reading this book so they can become more comfortable with who they are, and not try to measure up to other peoples expectations. You should always be your own person, no matter how "Ugly" or "Unpopular" It makes you. If you aren't comfortable with who you are, then you are just plain silly. You should always embrase your personallity, no matter how much others dislike it. I agree with your point that it is unnatural for all of us to think, look, and act the same. It would just be so boring and, well, normal. If we were all the same, doing the same routine, everyday, there would be nothign interesting or new happening to anyone.

Thank you Scott, for writing such a wonderful novel 

on Sep. 3 2012 at 7:30 pm
I think that this reveiw sums up the whole story .

bobby said...
on Aug. 30 2012 at 11:53 pm
my name is bob marley this book is devine ily guize.

Hey big boii said...
on Aug. 30 2012 at 11:45 pm
Mikey how are you i dont care any way. i disagree it was good at start then it got boring as ?

jghiuyokyfe said...
on Aug. 30 2012 at 11:42 pm
i hate this book