Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
( Trilogy, Book 1)

75%

26 Critic Reviews

With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series...Tally inflicts betrayal after betrayal, which dominates the theme for the midsection; by the end, the nature of this dystopia is front and center...Some heavy-handedness, but the awesome ending thrills with potential.
-Kirkus

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.
 

About Scott Westerfeld

See more books from this Author
Scott Westerfeld is the author of ten books for young adults, including Peeps, The Last Days, and the Midnighters trilogy. He was born in Texas in 1963, is married to the Hugo-nominated writer Justine Larbalestier, and splits his time between New York and Sydney. His latest book is Extras, the fourth in the bestselling Uglies series.
 
Published May 10, 2006 by Simon Pulse. 448 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Children's Books. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Uglies
All: 26 | Positive: 21 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series...Tally inflicts betrayal after betrayal, which dominates the theme for the midsection; by the end, the nature of this dystopia is front and center...Some heavy-handedness, but the awesome ending thrills with potential.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Feb 12 2016

Teens will appreciate the gadgetry--including bungee jackets and hoverboards that work by magnetic levitation. But plausibility problems creep in...readers may lose track of the plot while sorting the many messages about how the ""Rusties"" nearly destroyed the planet.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by by Japanmomiji on Mar 04 2013

Fans of the Hunger Games will love this series. In this futuristic world, when children are fifteen or under, they are considered uglies, with ugly, deformed faces. However, when they turn sixteen, they undergo an operation to turn them pretty, with large beautiful eyes and perfectly formed faces.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by SilverRoo on Dec 30 2012

Uglies is a great book set in a future earth where humans have learnt many things, and have made the world high tech and is meant to be brilliant to live in.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by ThePinkElephant on Jun 23 2012

...with the Media driving everyone to become thinner, taller, muscular and tanned...Any young teenager can sympathise with Tally's character...

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) | See more reviews from Guardian

Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Jeanette Nadeau on May 16 2012

Uglies is a dystopian work. While that in and of itself isn't bad, the way the world ended up a dystopia is one of the most outrageous, irrational explanations ever.,,I wouldn't recommend this book.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by John Lloyd on Oct 06 2012

The premise - and its execution - bears all the marks of quality, old-fashioned science fiction. It looks at a society so stratified...Beyond this the book uses the heavy metaphor, ironically looking at our beauty industries and our society's responses to surface looks and impressions.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Teen Reads

Good
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on Feb 08 2005

With extreme makeover shows like "The Swan" transforming people into pretty clones, Tally's world seems creepily not all that far-fetched. UGLIES is not only timely food for thought, but is a breathless, can't-put-it-down read, leaving readers impatient to get their hands on the second book in Scott Westerfeld's trilogy, PRETTIES --- immediately.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

SF Site

Above average
Reviewed by Dan Shade on Jan 18 2010

This is an interesting dystopia easily open to a prequel. There is so much we don't know about the conditions that left American society as ugly (pun intended) as we find in this book.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Kidz World

Excellent
Reviewed by KidzWorld on Feb 06 2009

Uglies is a new take on science fiction, set in the distant future. The book exaggerates today’s plastic surgery trends, making it a mandatory part of life. This clever, intriguing and intense story makes you appreciate your flaws and unique traits. Who would want to be perfect when you could love being yourself?

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

New York Public Library

Above average
Reviewed by Emma Carbone on Apr 06 2009

What makes Uglies great, besides how it looks at cultural values, is Westerfeld’s use of language. The novel is not pretentious or brash. Instead, Westerfeld creates a narrative voice that is really unique...Uglies is simultaneously funny and frightening, showing how overvalued beauty can be...

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by dorkatebluecandy on Apr 25 2015

This book is a great read as either a fantasy novel or for a new view on line. Overall, the author of this book did a great job of writing a fantasy novel while still including present day allusions into the story line.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Nicole M on Apr 25 2015

Uglies is a brilliant book, full of many plot twists, well written, believable characters and a surprising ending...Uglies is a bunch of different genres rolled into one, yet it isn’t overwhelming or cheesy...I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read and even those who do not like to read.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by AlwaysAlexis, on Apr 25 2015

This is a must read book that should be on everyone’s reading list...I loved this whole book, the author did a very nice job describing things, and I thought I was in the book! There were many action scenes that made me tense up, romantic parts that made me smile and blush...

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Chans247 on Aug 30 2012

This book was very good and it taught a lot of important lessons about life and what true beauty really is. Not only does it teach necessary things about life, but the characters are very likeable and the plot is so intense that it is hard to put it down.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Devourer of Books

Above average
Reviewed by devourerofbooks on Apr 23 2009

The back story about the disappearance of the ‘Rusties’ and the emergence of this new civilization was fascinating and the discussion of the implications of being Pretty was fantastic. Tally is a great character and I think the story was told well...

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Story Snoops

Above average
Reviewed by Eden on Apr 26 2015

This action-packed book is a page-turner that will interest even those readers who are not science fiction fans... The world of the pretties is probably very alluring to most teens, but the author does a good job of letting the reader discover that this existence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Parental Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Andria on Apr 26 2015

I thought this book was fantastic! Even though the climax is somewhat predictable, I love the idea of this book. The entire book is based on our willingness as a society to follow along with what we're told, because that's just the way we do things.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

https://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by rhapsodyinbooks on Jan 20 2010

What a good story! A lot of the plot is predictable, but the book is very entertaining nonetheless. The details of the dystopia are clever, and keep your interest. You come to like the characters enough to want to know how they change and grow. I was on the edge of my seat for a good portion of the book.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

I'm Loving Books

Good
Reviewed by Sarah on Jun 24 2010

But this was a GREAT book! I was so pleasantly surprised. Not only is the story really intriguing and keeps you from putting it down, but it also has a good message in that it makes you really step back and take a look at how we, as a society, place such a huge emphasis on looks.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

SamDowning.com

Above average
Reviewed by samdowning on Nov 17 2010

The rules and hierarchies of this society are brilliantly complicated...and some of the future technology is just genius...there is a certain plodding quality to their pace. Particularly in the early chapters of Uglies, where I felt like Westerfeld deftly set up the first act then draaaaagged it out...

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Muggle-Born

Good
Reviewed by Cialina on Jun 20 2011

UGLIES definitely gives readers a lot to think about. Westerfeld is a fantastic world-builder and he absolutely makes you stop to think while reading. UGLIES is a fantastic example of what a dystopian novel should do: it should entertain but also make you question your actions and today’s society and how it could affect that future.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

https://yareviews.wikispaces.com

Above average
on Apr 25 2015

Overall, Westerfeld's book The Uglies is an original, dystopian novel that successfully challenges the norms society dictates, but it could have been even more compelling with further character development and depth of insight.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Book News and Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Lucinda on Dec 08 2012

With its original setting and original premise, this book is an enjoyable, memorable read...Well-written and wholly original, this book is worth read! I would also like to recommend the remainder of the series, Pretties, Specials, and Extras.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Book Blather

Good
Reviewed by Amanda on Jul 01 2012

In my opinion this book was very good. It had a good balance of action and surprise. while it was lacking a bit in the romance department that did not take away from the rest of the novel. I would reccomend it to anyone girl or guy looking for a good dystopian book with action and suspense.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Worn Pages and Dusty Shelves

Excellent
Reviewed by Mercy on Dec 06 2011

I like the adventures she has, I like the cast of characters, I like the setting, basically there’s nothing about this book that I dislike...With the ideas presented later in the story, it’s almost eerie to think about something like that happening in the future. I definitely recommend this one to anyone.

Read Full Review of Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)

Reader Rating for Uglies
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1807 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×