Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wednesday Reads: Uglies

Scott Westerfeld strikes again.  Remember my rave review of Leviathan?  Westerfeld proves he is a master of many talents, going from Steampunk to Dystopian YA.  Uglies satisfied all of my Dystopian cravings, left in the wake of Hunger Games.  Both books are why I love Dystopian: you never know what's coming around the corner (there's a reason my mother hates watching TV with me--can you say predictable?).  Tally lacks Katniss's killer instinct (but it's really not needed in this world), but she has plenty of her own spunk.  She's very relatable to today's teenager.

Synopsis:  From Amazon:
"Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society that acculturates its citizens to believe that they are ugly until age 16 when they'll undergo an operation that will change them into pleasure-seeking "pretties." Anticipating this happy transformation, Tally meets Shay, another female ugly, who shares her enjoyment of hoverboarding and risky pranks. But Shay also disdains the false values and programmed conformity of the society and urges Tally to defect with her to the Smoke, a distant settlement of simple-living conscientious objectors. Tally declines, yet when Shay is found missing by the authorities, Tally is coerced by the cruel Dr. Cable to find her and her compatriots–or remain forever "ugly." Tally's adventuresome spirit helps her locate Shay and the Smoke. It also attracts the eye of David, the aptly named youthful rebel leader to whose attentions Tally warms. However, she knows she is living a lie, for she is a spy who wears an eye-activated locator pendant that threatens to blow the rebels' cover. Ethical concerns will provide a good source of discussion as honesty, justice, and free will are all oppressed in this well-conceived dystopia. Characterization, which flirts so openly with the importance of teen self-concept, is strong, and although lengthy, the novel is highly readable with a convincing plot that incorporates futuristic technologies and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies. "
First Sentence: "The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit."

Do I even need to comment on this?

Brownie Points: The world in which Tally lives is so familiar it's scary.  Which is what makes a great Dystopian novel.  The characters are very real and completely fun to read.

Ending: Cliff hanger!  Did I read the next book?  You bet.  The rest of the series sits on my desk, waiting for me to have time to read them.  PS do not try this at home.  If you are not a published, proven, tried and true author, do not leave your book with a cliff hanger.  The first book needs to be a stand alone.  If that is received well, go ahead and write the rest (see Hunger Games).

Would I represent it? I'd jump on it.  Grab it in my hands and dare anyone to pry it from my cold dead fingers.  That's how much I would love to represent something like this.

Happy Reading!


Amy Tripp said...

I just climbed out of an eight day hole of reading the Hunger Games trilogy. What an amazing read those three books are!!

And now you try to reel me in with more dystopia? Arghhhh!!!

Perhaps I better pretend to be part of my family again before I take on another series. :)

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Amy Tripp said...

And, yeah, I was so caught up in the Hunger Games books that I just wrote a post about how those books and the singer Jack White will always be connected now in my mind. *eye roll*

I'll definitely have to read Uglies - though hopefully it won't conjure song lyrics when I do! LOL
Thanks again!