Uglies, Pretties, and Specials: Book Review

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Have you ever felt categorized into a group of people? In high school we called them cliques. There were the jocks, the nerds, the popular people, and unfortunately the losers. There are also groups based on race, religion, and gender. We've all been judged whether deservedly so or not. In Scott Westerfeld's future, children are taught of the awful times when this happened in society, the time of the Rusties. They're told that people drove in automobiles instead of flying around on personal hover boards, they fought over petty differences, and they were extremely ugly. In this futuristic, advanced society there are different groups as well, but everyone within these classifications are the same. First you are a Littlie. Small and cute, you live with your parents until your preteen years. That's when you enter the dormitories and the next level of existence, the Uglies. The dormitories are where you learn and live, as ugly as the next person, until the coveted sixteenth birthday when the ultimate goal is obtained and you become Pretty. To become Pretty everyone goes through major plastic surgery. You can be a beautiful as your wildest dreams. Uglies even spend their free time designing their new look as they wait for the surgery. After that you become a Pretty and live in Prettyville. Everyone there is perfect, happy, and carefree, and war is just a part of ancient Rustie history.

Tally Youngblood waits anxiously for her sixteenth birthday when she can join her best friend Paris in Prettyville. He's already incredibly gorgeous while she is still frizzy haired, squinty eyed, and Ugly. All her life she has dreamed of living in this perfect society where the only thing you worry about is what to wear to the next party. Then she meets Shay, another girl her age. Shay is different than the others. She actually likes how she looks and talks about running away to the mysterious "Smoke". Tally tries to ignore this horrible flaw in her friend and concentrate on her upcoming birthday, but when Shay disappears, leaving a cryptic message only Tally can understand, her dreams are put on hold.  Dr. Cable, one of the surgeons and the head of Special Circumstances, demands that Tally find her friend and bring her home, or else be Ugly forever. Tally begins an adventure she never wanted and is forced to become a pawn and then a hero in something that will change herself, and eventually her world, forever.

I really enjoyed reading this series. Tally is a perfect accidental leader who is stronger than she knows. I love seeing all the changes she goes through and the way she is able to mature and evolve throughout the books. The author wrote this questioning the future of our society as it continues to grow in its fixation on physical beauty. He does a great job drawing you into the story and characters and creating a world that is fantasy yet also believable to the point of being scary. After he ends the first three books he follows up with The Extras, a book that is set in the same time period but in a different place and with a new and equally strong heroine. I loved the combination of sci-fi fantasy elements and the issues that our society faces today.

This book series is also rumored to be on its way to the big screen. Man, I am behind on my cast lists!

This is a pretty spiffy fan maade trailer!

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Comments 13 comments

HOLLYWOODHYPE 6 years ago from Brisbane QUEENSLAND

There is a great quote at the beginning of a great movie about teenagers called THE BREAKFAST CLUB. It says,

' AND THESE CHILDREN THAT YOU SPIT ON AS THEY TRY TO CHANGE THEIR WORLD ARE QUITE IMMUNE TO YOUR CONSULTATIONS, THEY'RE QUITE AWARE OF WHAT THEIR GOING THROUGH ! '

Barbra-Lee


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MissE 6 years ago from Texas Author

Great quote! Thanks!


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KristenGrace 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

AWESOME books. Great idea for a hub. Hope more people read these.


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<3 dreamer <3 5 years ago

I read these books a while ago and thought they were pretty good. I hated when Zane died but I thought it was beautiful at the end of Extras when Tally finally went to David!!!! I feel that was what her "ugly" form wanted before they put the lesions in her. Great books!!! But still, my all time favorite books are The Hunger Games!!!! Even on one of my school papers, we had to write about Twilight and I already read that book too. But, I put all in all, twilight was a good book but, The Hunger Games Series are wayyyyy better!! =D


MissE profile image

MissE 5 years ago from Texas Author

I love all three series. I think if I had to choose my fav I'd go with Twilight? Just because the ending was so much happier than Hunger Games. Hmmmm....


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<3 dreamer <3 5 years ago

i just didn't like the whole fantasy creatures part of Twilight.....or just the way Bella acted.....it was all just a little strange....but with The Hunger Games, i couldn't put that book down ever because it was so good and it just kept me wanting to find out what happens next. But, if there was just one thing I'd change about The Hunger Games, it would be to make the ending....the epilogue and the end of the last chapter to Mockingjay just sounded a little rushed....but, now that the kids were mentioned, i want to know more!! I want to see Gale fall in love, and when the kids get told all about what Katniss and Peeta went through, maybe even another uprising!! Maybe this time it's with the kids....i don't know.....i felt the books really didn't explain much at the end and still leaves me on the edge of my seat, just dying for more....but almost all great books do that...that's just the one bad part in books....when you read them, you get really into it....but, once they're done, there's nothing left....almost as if you're just waiting for something else to magically pop up on the page and come out at you to surround your mind once again...but, there's just nothing. That's why I love to act and perform....it surrounds your whole world and you get really into character or into a song or something and you can really connect with what the character is feeling and thinking at that time...the only thing wrong at my stage in acting right now is that once a show is done, it's done. Just like how a book is done, you can re-read it as much as you want and you can try to perform the show alone as much as you want but, you've already read the book and you already know the story and you've just got to move on....sorry for the long paragraph....just something that came into my mind at the moment! =D


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MissE 5 years ago from Texas Author

No worries! I love long paragraphs! It's true. When a book is done it's really just over. I loved the whole Harry Potter thing with the book release parties and waiting for the movies. It's sad when it's over, but it's also exciting to see what the next big thing will be. I like acting too. It's interesting to be someone else for a while! :D


<3 dreamer <3 profile image

<3 dreamer <3 5 years ago

i love Harry Potter!!! and your soo right!!! i really think having something out for too long can also make it bad......or kinda old.....but the Harry Potter series have always be soo good to me.....i still need to see the last movie out though ^.^


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MissE 5 years ago from Texas Author

The last movie will be the BEST....HOPEFULLY!!!!


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<3 dreamer <3 5 years ago

yea!! i just love to see the the kids grow up in the movies!!! each movie is making them better and it's just funny to watch the first movie then skip to the last!!!! you can really see how much they progressed!!!


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MissE 5 years ago from Texas Author

So true!


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jessramblings 4 years ago from New Jersey

I enjoyed the series, but UGLIES was my favorite. I wasn't as captivated by PRETTIES and SPECIALS probably because I didn't like the direction Westerfeld went. EXTRAS was pretty cool, though.


MissE profile image

MissE 4 years ago from Texas Author

I agree to all that.

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