Uglies

by Scot Westerfeld

Read time: about 4 minutes

It has been some crazy couple of weeks at work. So much so that I have been craving a break from monotony. Uglies was just that for me. I was looking for an easy read which I did not really need to put efforts to comprehend.

Uglies has just the right amount of dystopia and drama that you need to get your focus off work.

Cover: Uglies

Cover page

The cover page works but it is not very pretty. The graphic is not very eye catching and the silhouette of the lady takes away all the attention from the dystopian world in the nooks of the image. The cover comes across as generic that may work with any sort of mystery novel.

Characters

Tally Youngblood is an ugly in ugly-ville. She cannot wait to get pretty and meet the love of her life/boyfriend at the other side. She is a naïve innocent girl who goes on to discover a massive play that spins her world around. There is a whole lot of transition in the story but the character does not seem to develop. In the first half of the book she is seen dying to get pretty and in the second half she is seen dying of guilt. Only situation changes, she doesn’t. Tally Youngblood reminds me exactly what Catniss Evergreen was not.

David has a great part to play in the story but unfortunately even his character is not well harnessed. He remains a love interest without any might of his own. When he actually takes the center stage it comes across as shallow. There could have been so depth in both the characters but both of them fall flat. You will find yourself not sympathising with any of the characters.

Content

The book is set in a world about 300 years ahead of the current timeline. In this world, the physical beauty is seen as coming of age ritual. As soon as a child turns sixteen he/she is put under knife. Some bones are stretched, some grafting is done and some major operations are performed to make each one of them pretty. This is world full of parties and dress ups. Their only job in life is to have fun.

In this pretty shallow world, our protagonist, Tally Youngblood cannot wait to turn pretty so she can join her could be love interest on the other side.

She would join him soon too, had it not be for a friend called Shay who escapes to the smoke city leaving clues for Tally to follow. Not that Tally wanted to follow but now she will have to. Because Smoke is a city where rebellious Uglies escape to. They defy the norm. They disobey the government and are at a verge of starting a revolution.

It is a story of a world in which extreme beauty is normal. Anyone less than that is not acceptable. There, of course, is a massive secret that the government is trying to protect.

What I loved the most about the story is the world that is created around. It is like someone is introducing you to yourself. You are seeing yourself as an outsider would.

You almost couldn’t believe people lived like this, burning trees to clear land, burning oil for heat and power, setting the atmosphere on fire with their weapons.

The content is highly fast paced. The events unfold rather quick.

Language

The language is very simple. The beauty is in the storytelling. The author comes across as an excellent storyteller. 

Good points

I really like the world that is created in this piece of literature. The perspective of someone who is seeing our present world from 300 years far ahead is beautifully portrayed. The language is simple. It is great when you are just going with the flow, not struggling to understand sentences.

Bad points

The cover is not a least bit attractive. It works, but it’s not beautiful. The characters are forgettable. I did not find any of the characters interesting. None of them had any sort of depth.

Overall

It is a great one time read.

Whom do I recommend this to

Those who like simple stories are going to enjoy this one as well. Dystopian enthusiasts are going to love it too.

Quotable Quotes

‘Maybe it’s not complicated. Maybe the reason war and all that other stuff went away is that there are no more controversies, no disagreements, no people demanding change. Just masses of emailing pretties, and a few people left to run things.’ >

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com