Author: Scott Westerfeld
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Uglies takes place in a utopian/dystopian (yes, it can be both) America several hundred years in the future. In this future, everyone turns "pretty" (ie, has a surgery to bring one's body and face to a physical point which is very close to average, and biologically pleasing) on their sixteenth birthday - and pretties are not only beautiful, but vapid, vain, and entirely focused on having fun.
Tally is looking forward to the operation and being able to rejoin her friend Peris, until her friend Shay shows her a different option: run away to the wilderness and the Smoke, never turn pretty but keep your own choices. When Shay herself runs away to the Smoke, leaving Tally behind to have the operation she is so looking forward to, the authorities (Special Circumstances) offer Tally a terrible choice: go after Shay and turn her and the Smoke in, or never. Ever. Have the operation and turn pretty. The choices she makes and the information she discovers changes her life forever.
I found it hard to get through the first few chapters. Until Tally meets Shay, she is as vapid as the pretties she is eager to join. However, once the two girls meet, the book just FLIES. The only reason it took me two days to finish it instead of one is because I started it very late in the night and didn't want to stay up until dawn.
This is truly a book I would recommend to any fan of young adult fiction and/or sci-fi.