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Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

In Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, the main character Tally goes through a conflict regarding her conforming to society’s expectations. Everyone in this dystopian novel is considered to be ugly until they get an operation at age 16 that turns them pretty. Tally is faced with either conforming to the norm or going against everything she’s believed in.

            Uglies is a good read and a very inspiring novel for many reasons. I enjoy how much I can relate to the characters’ needs to feel pretty. Teenagers today are so focused on self-image that they cannot see past the surface. This book makes me take a step back and reevaluate my view on myself and value my body the way it is. This book reveals the unimportance of “perfect bodies” and makes the reader view himself in a more positive light. Another thing I like about this book is how it shows the effect just one individual can have. Tally’s best friend Shay teaches her that it is okay to step away from the norm. She discovers that she has the power to decide her own destiny rather than conforming like those around her. I think many teenagers need to learn this lesson as well. Everyone has a voice to be heard and a path to follow but it starts with taking action. This book is full of life lessons and inspires young readers to be themselves no matter what.

            While this book is good there are a few things I do not like about it. One thing I do not like is how the author never wrote a foreword to describe how the world came to be. The history of Uglyville is never revealed or how the original population of Rusties ended. I feel if the author would have included a foreword then some parts of the book would be clearer. Another thing I do not enjoy is I find it hard to like the main character. Tally feels more like an antagonist at times and I often find myself routing for other characters instead of her. Ultimately though, there are not many things I dislike about this novel.

            I give Uglies a four-star rating because while I think it is a book all young adults should read, the author could have had more thought go into the writing process. Ultimately I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to teenagers who struggle with self-identity.