By Scott Westerfield
Imagine living in a world where everyone looks virtually the same. Everyone is beautiful, slim, without a care in the world. This is the world Tally and Shay are born into. Until age 16 they are uglies, unaltered by surgery as they grow up. But once they hit that magical age they will become pretty with all the fun benefits that come with it. But what is the price of becoming pretty? Is it more than just a surgery that makes them pretty on the outside? Tally and Shay begin to realize that maybe there is more to life than being pretty, maybe there is more to life than following the rules.
Uglies is set in the future, after the world we know is destroyed by our own follies, and rebuilt by those who decide to curb societies more ruthless impulses, including the ones which lead us to destroy our own planet. But the book also acknowledges the cost of going to far to protect one thing from another. To prevent conflict minds are altered. To prevent forests from being destroyed no one is allowed in them. The books are well written and engaging, allowing the reader to identify with Tally as she struggles between wanting to be pretty and live a carefree life or whether she should live in the wild unalered.