Author: Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 448 pgs
Reading Level: YA
Published: May 3rd 2011 (new cover)
Review Source: Library
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Borders
Summary: (from goodreads) 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.
I listened to the audio book for this book in my car on the way to/from work. Scott Westerfeld describes this futuristic society in such a way that you feel like you could step right into that world. The characters were well developed and I liked watching them grow throughout this story. A customer of mine from Etsy recommended this series to me and I thought I'd give it a try.
I enjoyed getting to know the characters in the first story in this series. Tally Youngblood really only wants to become pretty, like her best friend Paris. Paris had the operation when he turned 16 to turn from an Ugly to Pretty. He moved from Ugly-ville to Pretty-town and left his "best friend forever" behind. Tally counts down the days until her operation, until she meets a new friend, Shay. Shay doesn't want to become Pretty, she likes her Ugly face the way it is. Shay ends up running away to the Smoke (rebels of the City who are against the operation that turns Uglies into Pretties). Tally is forced by a secret society to follow Shay and spy on her and the rebels of the Smoke. Throughout the story Tally begins to question everything she was taught, what she wants and what she believes in. She makes new friends, fiends love and commits the ultimate betrayal. I am one of those people who love a happy ending, so dystopian lit isn't always my favorite, but I enjoyed this story and couldn't wait to see what was in store for these characters in the next installment of the series-Pretties.