Thursday, September 18, 2008
I bought this teen fiction book as a stocking stuffer for Jacob this past Christmas and decided I needed a quick easy read after 'Wuthering Heights.'
"Uglies" by Scott Westerfield is set in the far, far future. Humans have pretty much destroyed and rebuilt Earth, including our physical selves. At the age of 16, everyone gets made pretty. You undergo an extensive operation that makes you a "Pretty." Everyone over the age of 16 is a Pretty. Young kids are called Littlies, and when you hit 12, you are taken to a boarding school for you and your fellow "Uglies." It's society's way of making sure everyone is equal and there is no discrimination.
The book follows an almost-16 year old girl Tally, who is very anxious to become pretty and join her friends, who have moved into Pretty Town already. She meets another girl who will turn 16 the same day as she. Shay is an independent thinker who is really not sure she wants to be pretty. She's happy the way she is. Shay reveals a secret; there's a place you can go where no one gets made pretty. A commune of sorts, and Shay's going there. She invites Tally, who refuses, and leaves Tally cryptic clues on how to get to the commune known as The Smoke.
The rest of the story deals with a creepy government, blackmail, searching for Smoke, re-evaluating this society and her ideas, etc. It's a great teen book. Don't expect "The Grapes of Wrath," but expect a good time. The book ends in a cliff hanger.
It is one of four out right now. It was supposed to be a trilogy, but it's expanded. I checked out the next one "Pretties," but....I'm reading 'Don Quixote' right now. All 954 pages! Help! But once I am done with Don Q, I will pick up "Pretties."