Book Review: The Uglies Series

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…

Uglies
This first book was a great introduction into the world of this series, and I thought it was all described really well. I definitely had images in my mind, and honestly that’s something I can struggle with. The whole concept of the Uglies and what goes on is really intriguing too, and it was definitely different to any dystopian that I have read before. Considering this series started 10 years ago though, it’s probably one of the oldest out of the dystopia I have read!

So yeah, I liked the characters. I wouldn’t say I could completely emphasise with Tally. Like in most YA Dystopia, as a main character she was headstrong and made rash decisions – something that isn’t natural to me! A few times she annoyed me, for the most part she was okay. Her supporting friends were great, and there was plenty of action between them all.

With the concept, I think the whole pretty/ugly thing was great, and quite an important message really. I mean, it’s about brainwashing and having the ‘pretties’ being above the ‘uglies’ and well, isn’t that what media is like? Constantly telling us we need to look or act a specific way. Maybe the society as a whole, and the people in charge could be a little unrealistic at times, but that’s what happens in dystopia. I couldn’t wait to get onto Pretties after reading this one. 4/5.

Pretties
As sequels usually go, I didn’t think this was as good of the first book. That said, I still really enjoyed it and I read it pretty quickly! Again, there was a lot of action in this book spread throughout, and it always felt like something was happening. I think the great thing about these books is that they do bring in real life problems, as I touched on above. In this book we hit on body image, eating disorders and self harm, and I think it’s so important to understand things like that.

In Pretties we see more of the Pretty world, and with that, we get a lot more of the strange language. Like we would use slang, the Pretties do, and the word that really comes to mind is bubbly. It’s used so often. It’s a bit of a shock at first, but you soon get used to what everything means. As the characters change between ugly and pretty, everything changes with them, including their minds… I like Pretties because you knew what had happened in Uglies, and were just waiting for that aha! moment to hit Tally. Yet again, after reading, I couldn’t wait to get onto Specials. 3/5.

Specials
Another new form, more weird language. Like as a special is completely different. We’re still following the same mission, but with this new form there are a lot more complications. It’s harder to focus and it’s harder to stay clear. I liked it, but the characters annoyed me more in this form. I liked how all their abilities increased and the whole idea was still super interesting though. 3/5

Extras
Well, I didn’t particularly like this one. We meet a whole new set of characters, and Aya is our main. They’re in a city that has gone crazy with all the new freedom. People look completely different and there are new things that they can do to themselves. This town has the tech-heads, the kickers and the surge-monkeys (obsessed with surgery). Aya is one of the kickers, and is obsessed with (what we would call) social media. People have their own feeds, they have a face rank and basically the goal for the kickers is to spread as many stories as possible, get famous and get to the top. Remind you of anything? Yeah, I actually thought this bit was real interesting, but I just didn’t enjoy these characters as much. It just kind of felt like a filler story. Tally appears half way through, and some weird inhuman things are about and we’re basically trying to discover more about them and what they’re up to. 2/5

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