Friday, 11 May 2012

Book Review: Uglies Trilogy

Series title: Uglies Trilogy
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Year Published: 2005-2007
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Trilogy titles:
  • Uglies
  • Pretties
  • Specials

I’ve always been a fan of Young Adult science fiction novels. They tend to be simple, creative and carry a message. The Uglies trilogy has all of the above.

This story is about 15 year old Tally Youngblood. She lives in a future society where our world has come to an end due to our own negligence. New cities have been built with a new order, an order of the ‘Pretty’. In this new order, when one turns 16, they have an operation that turns them from an ‘Ugly’ to a ‘Pretty’ where a high-tech paradise awaits.
(Yes, the author uses the words Ugly and Pretty to separate the society.)
Unfortunately for Tally, her friend Shay decides to run away from it all just before they turn 16. Hearing this, the authorities force Tally to choose between finding Shay and bringing her in, or never turning ‘Pretty’.

I enjoyed this book. There’s an interesting/absurd idea for a plot, future kids being turned pretty. Obviously the twist involves the lead characters' perception of beauty and how they over come the idea of being ‘unpretty’.
So there’s a moral behind this story. Is the moral clear? Yes. Was it written, in terms of story telling, well? I’d say so. Was the novel itself entertaining? Yep. Would I recommend it to anyone? It depends on who you are.

This book is definitely entertaining for the young readers out there who enjoy science fiction novels that are ‘grounded’ or ‘light’. There’s no need to think too hard or to try and join long twisting plots. The characters are your typical teenagers up against the evil adults who run the cities.
As for adults, this book is not deep enough. There are no aliens, no time travel, and no dimension portals. No powerful descriptions of  relationships being torn apart, no in depth detailing of the cities ‘evil ruling’ and no big destructive war that threatens human kind.

Having explained all that, this novel was not meant to be a full fledged massive adventure. Scott Westerfeld was clear on who his audience was and delivered perfectly. A plus to this book, considering the writer is male and the genre is YA science fiction, he creates a female lead that is first thought of as just another naive teenager but turns into a strong tough lead character. It is rare to have a man write a science fiction novel with a female lead without there being an equally strong male character.

I also enjoyed his cliff-hangers between the 3 books. It was continuous without feeling forced or choppy like he just came up with it on the spot. It made me want to follow on to see what will happen next.

Overall, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies Trilogy hits the mark with his target audience. Even though I am not in his target range, I still enjoyed it from book 1 to the last. There is not much more I can say about this novel. If you would like a light read or just want to live the more simple days of science fiction books, I recommend this book to you.

Terri's Rating: 3/5

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