All the Things

A blog by Holly Papa.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

by | Feb 12, 2009 | Blog | 7 comments

 I really liked this first book in the New York Times Bestselling Uglies series. Tally Youngblood is waiting in Ugly Town for her sixteenth birthday so that she can finally turn pretty and join her friends. Having a late birthday really stinks in Ugly Town. It pretty much means you’re forgotten by all of your older friends who would barely be able to stand the sight of your ugly face, so wouldn’t dare come hang out with you. Desperate to have meaningful contact with someone, Tally breaks the rules and sneaks into Pretty Town, unleashing a tide of events that turn her world upside down. 

Westerfeld has brought out the ugliest inside of us as he creates a world where normal is unacceptable. The crazy thing is that in some ways, it doesn’t seem all that different to our lives now when you consider the Hollywood airbrush/plastic surgery norm to the regular folk like me. It takes the right looks to get places much of the time, even in this day and age.

So, I related to Tally’s awkward desires to be beautiful and fit in. Most of us had an ugly/awkward stage that we thankfully outgrew. Some of our stages lasted longer than others, but most of us are happy to be on the other side. I guess you could say in a way, that grown-ups live in ‘Pretty Town’. If only just in the way that we don’t have to deal with middle-school drama anymore. Sent on a top secret mission by Special Circumstances to bring her new best friend home from the Smoke, Tally starts to realize that maybe life in the pretty lane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I loved the hoverboarding- that sounds like such a blast and I really want a bungee jacket. Those just seem so amazing! Think how many lives those would save in fires! I was totally immersed in Tally’s world and felt like I was there. This would make an awesome, though difficult to produce movie.

 I am looking forward with great anticipation to getting the next one at the library very soon!


  1. Natasha @ Maw Books

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series. I picked up Pretties at the DI but am still looking for Uglies.

  2. Kailana

    I just finished Pretties, and while it was good, it has slowed down a lot from Uglies! I hope that things pick up a bit more in the next book, though.

  3. hollybookscoops

    Nathasha- I definitely think you should start with Uglies. Sometimes I start a series with whichever title I pick up first- but this one would be so much better starting with Uglies. I got my copies at the library.

    Kailana- I also just finished Pretties and it has a different rhythm to it, although I liked it once I got the feel of it. Look for my review coming soon. . .

  4. Kelli

    I liked Uglies as well, then got Pretties from the library and almost lost my interest. Though the storyline was still good, the language was just irritating to me. Luckily, the third one-Specials was much better. After reading the first chapter of the Extras and realizing it wasn’t even the same characters, I decided it wasn’t even worth reading it because that’s the only thing that kept me reading the others was to find out what happened with them.

  5. hollybookscoops

    Kelli- I almost got lost in the language or because of the language. I think it’s because I’m old-er. Than the target audience at least. The books are targeted to teenagers, so I think the click-ish, happy-go-lucky language of Pretties would definitely sit better with the generation that IMs like there’s no tomorrow and seem to have no trouble with figuring out alternate meanings to words. That said, I apologize in advance for talking about age- I’m not even going to guess yours, and I’m not totally disclosing my own 😉

  6. Tiffini

    I love love LOVE this series! It’s totaly amazing! I am now reading the bogus to bubbly. Thats te guide to the uglies. I have read all the books about a year ago. and I was waiting to see if he made a 5th one..but it was the guide instead! so now all the thing i didnt get i can understand.! scott westerfeild your amazing

  7. Tiffini

    could some one email me some of the words they used in the book… like the language i only know a few cause its been so long …



  1. Saturday Review of Books: February 14, 2009 at Semicolon - [...] krin (A Natural History of the Senses)168. caribookscoops (Little Skink’s Tail)169. hollybookscoops (Uglies)170. Heather J. (The Fall of the…

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