Friday, February 28, 2014

The Uglies

The Uglies- By Scott Westfeld (Book 1 of 4) 

Uglies (Uglies, #1)Synopsis- 
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...

uglies tally - Google Search
So I'm a little thrown on how to rate this book. I want to give it a 2 and a 4 at the same time, for very different reasons, and so I ultimately gave it a 3 on goodreads, but in reality, Im not rating it at all.  Frankly, I really didnt care for the first half of this book, but fell in love with the 2nd half of the book, the initial plot line disgusted me, but the underlying story and purpose of the series which comes out towards the middle of the book is what really piqued my interest and is what makes me want to read the series. Below is my critique. 
I have quite a few problems with this book. 

First of all, the issue of WHY it is that at 16 people are turned "pretty" is NOT explained at all in this book. (I haven't read the others so maybe its there) I understand the monoculture ideal to ensure no individualized thinking, which is ultimately the plot point of the book, learning to be your own person and not follow the lemmings. Im also confused as to WHY they even need to turn "pretty"…given the ending twist. But these issues were overlooked. 
david --uglies
I enjoyed the ride of the book overall, I wasn't enthralled, instead I was only mildly disgusted. But as mentioned above there were problems. But let me start over and explain the good. 

The imagination and creativity in this book were really surprising (I say surprising, because look at the title and premise of the book, its extremely simple minded. No offense). I really enjoyed all the different landscape and adventure scenes that Tally and her crew went through. I was fascinated with the hoverboard. I  didn't mind Tally that much, I found over time I started to like her, which was likely the point in this story. The general storyline - everyone is considered ugly until they turn 16 and then they get transformed to be pretty- in the end is really just background. This book appears to be more of an introduction to the series than anything else.

jessica-stroup-of shay uglies
I REALLY dont like the premise, considering the age group this is directed towards its truly bothersome how frequently Tally reminds the reader that she is ugly and that those around are ugly. Im also considered with the fact that the man who wrote this doesnt truly understand how women think or feel about their bodies. What I consider beautiful, is not to other people, or I consider some one better looking that you. (i.e. I prefer Jennifer Aniston over Angelina Jolie.) So really,the "eye of the beholder" is not addressed enough. I would have preferred that Tally NOT mention in every conversation or thought in the first half that she was ugly and give whats wrong with her. Regardless of the ending or purpose of this book, considering the next book starts with the pretty talk again, it seems to set a bad example.

IF not for all the pretty/ugly talk, I think the rest of this book is quite good. The overall, ending plot of the series is actually interesting, (dont want to give it away by discussing it thought!) I was surprised by this underlying plot and storyline that eventually will make up the series. I found this to be intriguing and pulled me in a lot. Also, Tally and Shay's relationship seemed quite genuine and sincere, even Shay losing David to Tally seemed completely normal and understandable. David's role was really where the book started to get interesting, and I found myself enjoying the book far more. And not because of the romance, but because he brought about the change in Tally, no more pretty talk. Once she met David the plot really turned for the best with lots of mystery, action, adventure and some romance. The second half of this book is what made it good, and what makes me interested in reading the others. 

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