Published: February 8, 2005
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 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.
*pant pant* Oh, hello there. I was just recovering from reading Uglies. Which, if you don’t know, is just about the most enormous book ever. And sadly, it’s content doesn’t make up for it’s longevity. My poor brain hasn’t experience something more entertaining than watching paint dry for the last two-three weeks. Yep. IT TOOK ME THAT STINKING LONG. It was never ending, devastatingly extensive, infinite. Call it what you like. This book is one hunk of a novel.
Sorry to start my review out complaining, but I seriously had to force myself to get through this book. I found myself pushing through it, fifty pages at a time, bit by bit. Day by day. Week by week. Year by…ok, it didn’t take that long to read it, but when a book’s nearly half the size of War and Peace, and it’s not even that entertaining, it takes a while to read. I wouldn’t have minded the lengthiness if it had been, well, better. But it just wasn’t.
I’ve heard mixed reviews on this book. Some people like it, others love it. Some people don’t care for it, other hate it. I’m somewhere in the middle, I suppose. The overall concept of Uglies is fascinating, and the detail that the author went to in order to make his created world real were impressive. On the downside, though, the book starts out at a sloth’s pace (extremely slow!) and takes a good 100 pages or so to actually speed up a bit (but only to a turtle’s pace, mind you). I would get all excited when the storyline finally picked up, then fall to the “depths of despair” (yay for Anne of Green Gables references!) when the plot slipped back into its monotonous pace. I felt that the part about the Smoke was a bit long, as is the case with anything with this novel. The one word that describes this book perfectly is “long.” Everything about it drags on and on and on. I felt like the author was trying to reach a certain number of pages. It seriously could have been condensed.
The dialogue and the characters didn’t really engage me that much. Maybe that’s just me. I think the romance was kind of ridiculous (David gives her his gloves, and voila! He’s Prince Charming in a Daniel Boone leather jacket and coon cap), but most romances that are written by guy authors can be a bit on the unrealistic side (no offense- just my opinion about some books. This opinion makes an exception for the romance in the Maximum Ride series, though…Fang and Max FTW!).
In the end, then, the only reason I’m giving Uglies three stars is because of the amazing concept of the whole book. I’m not rushing out to the library to get Pretties, book #2 in the series, but I’m sure I’ll eventually read it, mainly because I’m interested to see if the remaining books get any better. I’m a sucker for series, and I hate putting one down without picking it back up again.
Quick Content Review:
Language: Mild (a few h-words)
Violence: Mild (An old man is killed for resisting in an invasion; also, brief description of how the “operation” works and how it’s done. Not pleasant sounding, but not exactly violent.)
Sexual: None- Mild (a kiss or two)