Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

ImageUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Series: Uglies #1

Published by Simon Pulse

Pages: 406

Format: Paperback

Source: Barnes and Nobles

Rating: 2 stars

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…


For a majority of these 406 pages, I hated this book with a passion. The story moved slowly, the characters were obnoxious, the romance was fake, and the reader beat her head against the wall. Why did I start this book despite the unapealing synopsis? I’ve heard this book is good, and the cover looked cool. Why did I even finish it if it was so bad? For this very review, followers *kisses*. Why did it get two stars if it was absolutely horrible? I guess that’s the question.

The only redeeming factor of this book was the last 25% (ish) of the story. Maybe I was just really bored, because I did finish it in the car on the way back from a boring trip, and that made it seem better. Or maybe I just have a thing for stories that take place in a hospital. (I have no idea, I’m weird like that. Don’t judge me.) I was sure I was done with this series up to that time, but the ending made me kind of want to read the next one. Luckily, the sample of the second book fixed that for me, but this is a review on just Uglies. It felt like a one star book until that point, and I’m just going with my gut on this one. So now, the things wrong with this book:

1. The main themes

I’m kind of used to feeling like an idiot when describing a book to someone. If I were to summarize Percy Jackson, it would come out sounding like a bunch of fourth graders go on an adventure on a magical boat. I’m just not good at making a book sound good.

But this book just sounds retarded, even from the synopsis on the back. “Yeah, it’s about this girl named Tally (what kind of name is Tally, anyway? Like, as in a tally mark? Yikes). She lives in this dystopian, totalitarian society where they turn you pretty on your sixteenth birthday. And she… she really wants to be pretty, so… DONT JUDGE ME GOSH!”

I can generally appreciate books that have some sort of deep meaning behind them. The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry are my favorite books ever, because they feel like pleasure reading, but they give you something to think about for a while.

Uglies was a lame attempt at that kind of book. If the “deep” underlying theme dances in front of you naked, it doesn’t have the same effect. Whenever I wasn’t gagging at the characters and plot, I was screaming at the slap-in-the-face obvious JUST BE YOU BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN messages. 

2. It was slow and repetitive.

Pages 1-131:

Pages 132-186:

The rest of the book:

3. The sad excuse for a love triangle.


Scott Westerfeld, you didn’t even try. Shay and David had no chemistry. David and Tally had no chemistry. Everything they said came out forced and cheesey.

A summary of this love triangle:

Tally (arriving at Smoke):




David: Shut up Shay Tally is more beautimus than you so I’m giving her my gloves and introducing her to my parents who will overwhelm her with information and make her doubt everything she ever believed

Shay: I thought we had something… special…

David: yeah the past few days with you were great but Tally here has shown me in the few hours I’ve known her that we are soul mates


David: Yeah it’s pretty much true love

In conclusion: This book makes a great paperweight.

~Cheshire Cat


  1. I’ve not read this book yet – but it’s one that I’ve been meaning to for years. I loved your review 😛 Made me laugh and hey – we could all do with another paper weight… except I’m not sure I even have one. :

    Books that take that long to get good frustrate me. I don’t want to invest that much time in a book if nothings happened in the first quarter.

  2. Pingback: Review: Control | The Hiding Spot

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