Book - 2005
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Simon and Schuster
The first installment of Scott Westerfeld’s New York Times bestselling and award-winning Uglies series—a global phenomenon that started the dystopian trend.

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 stunningly attractive 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.

Publisher: New York : Simon Pulse, 2005
Edition: 1st Simon Pulse ed
ISBN: 9781442419810
Branch Call Number: YA SCIFI WES
Characteristics: 425 p. ;,18 cm.


From the critics

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Feb 24, 2019

Better than some teen post-apocolyptic stories. I definitely liked this first book the best of the series.

Nov 29, 2018

Rather low level Teen novel. Waste of time, I didn't finish it.

Aug 19, 2018

The 'Uglies' has overly simple characters and a dull story line. This book follows the formula of so many YA books these days with a marginalized young female or male overcoming the odds to win or lead and having a mild love interst or love triangle. But this book really has very little more. There are much better books that are more fully developed than this including Sarah Maas's 'Throne of Glass' series, Pierce Brown's 'Red RIsing' series or the classic Ender's Game. If you love this YA sci fi-fantasy genre, Good Reads has great recomendations and auhtors like Sarah Maas also tell you what they reading which is a goreat way to find new books.

Jul 03, 2018

This book is quite interesting! I really liked how there was a bit of love in it but mostly adventure! Like a spy novel!

Oct 13, 2017

I was disappointed. The premise sounded really interesting, but Tally is a bland character. I found myself wishing I as the reader could be following Shay's experiences. The plot between Tally and David was way too predictable.

While the premise is unique, I ultimately feel that it is only pushing our societies focus on beauty. This may seem counter to the point, but if you read this book, take special note of how you feel every time you read the word "Ugly" or "Uglies" and how you form what the characters look like and how you feel about them.

Sep 30, 2017

A wonderful beginning to what is probably a good series. I will definitely read the rest of it.

Aug 13, 2017

this book was okay.. i found it on a hunger games read alike list and compared to the hunger games and some of the other books on the list (the selection, an ember in the ashes, the 5th wave), this book was not that great. i was expecting a little more action and thats not what i got. ;(

Aug 09, 2017

This piece was a little like life itself. It's an interesting concept but mostly boring in reality with intermittent joy and tragedy thrown in to keep us chasing the former and running from the latter. We chase and run with drugs, sex, booze, cigarettes, TV, the NFL, food, money, conspicuous consumption, degrees, job titles, not to mention the addictive and ubiquitous Facebook like. By the time I realized I should have enjoyed it all more and worried less I was more hay than grass. My body can't do what I want it to anymore because they forgot to tell me when you're on the wrong side of 40 that your eyes go out, your injuries never, ever heal and the delusion of invincibility coupled with arrested existential crises truly come home to roost. But still mostly boring.

laurauk May 04, 2017

12+ Clean read for tweens and teens. Uglies is number one in the Uglies series. A futuristic, dystopian fantasy. Tally is waiting on her 16th birthday when everyone in society gets government imposed plastic surgery to become pretty. Tally is happy with her fate until she meets Shay who wants to run away to a place called The Smoke where people live in the wilderness without surgery. Tally chooses between betraying friendships or becoming pretty. Well written, with lots of adventure.

Jul 28, 2016

I love how this book really could happen in the future, but sometimes Tally (the main charector) makes the craziest choices. This is a great series that can deliver some great messages, too.

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Age Suitability

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Jan 01, 2019

red_ladybug_600 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

Sep 16, 2018

violet_cat_5388 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Oct 08, 2016

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 11, 2015

smileyzummy thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

Mar 07, 2015

LZhaoVIP thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 15

Dec 27, 2014

NeverEndingCycle thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 18, 2014

red_dolphin_449 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 09, 2014

ruth_ubc thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 16

Jun 22, 2014

afry882 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 22, 2014

FollenK5 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 17

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Add a Quote
Jan 03, 2019

“Your personality - the real you inside - was the price of beauty.”

Jan 03, 2019

“We're not freaks, Tally. We're normal. We may not be gorgeous, but at least we're not hyped-up Barbie dolls.”

Jan 03, 2019

"Ninety-nine percent of humanity had had something done to their brains, and only a few people in the world knew exactly what."

Mar 13, 2018

"The early morning sky was the color of cat vomit." - Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Jul 19, 2016

"It's not culture, it's evolution!"

Jul 19, 2016

"That's the worst thing they do to you, to any of you. Whatever those brain lesions are all about, the worst damage is done before they even pick up the knife: You're all brainwashed into believing you're ugly."

Jul 19, 2016

"Shay! Come on. It's just for fun."

"Making ourselves feel ugly is not fun."

Jul 02, 2015

"You're all brainwashed into believing your ugly."

Jun 12, 2015


Jun 01, 2014

the sky was the color of cat vomit

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Add a Summary
Jul 02, 2015

Tally wants to be a "Pretty" but her friend, Shay doesn't want to become a "Pretty so she runs away. The only way for Tally to become a "Pretty" is for her to bring Shay back from the "Smoke." But when she reaches the Smoke she has to decide whether she should stay in the "Smoke" or betray her friends.

vpl_childrens Aug 15, 2014

The first in a fascinating series set in a future where EVERYONE undergoes extreme body modification surgery to become "pretty" at age 16. But that is not all that is modified. Come along on this amazing journey with a group of young people who seek the truth about the becoming "pretty". Part two: Pretties, Part three: Specials. All highly recommended, swift and fun reads. -

ziqiguo Aug 19, 2013

Tally Youngblood lived as un ugly and dreamed about being an pretty. At this distinctive town people were born "Ugly" and when they turn sixteen they endure a surgery to make them pretty. As Tally knew more about the town and the outside world, her knowledge deepen and the desire of becoming a pretty declined.

Anita Popescu
Jul 10, 2012

In a future society, where mankind has had to rebuild, teens live in the bland residential zone of the Uglies - until they turn sixteen and undergo a surgery perfecting their physical features and enabling them to live happily in the world of Pretties. Tally Youngblood, who is about to turn sixteen, is ecstatic to get this perfect life until she meets Shay, a girl of similar age. They get along well except for the fact that Shay doesn't seem to want to have the surgery done to her and tells Tally how they can escape. Tally wants to forget about her: However, when she disappears, Special Circumstances wants to find her, and they plan to use Tally by threatening that she won't get the operation unless she does what they want.

Dec 13, 2011

Tally has been waiting all her life for the operation that will make her pretty: gorgeous features, perfect body shape, big beautiful eyes, so that she can look like all of the other sixteen-year-olds and join them in their eternal pretty party across the river. Right now she feels ugly and petulant, and has nothing better to do than sneak out and break the rules by trying to find her best friend, who already turned pretty and lives in that other glittering world she is waiting to join.

Then she meets someone else, someone who isn't sure that turning pretty is all it's cracked up to be. Pretty soon our heroine is entangled in intrigues, underground resistances, espionage, betrayal, and even gets to fall for someone along the way.

Aug 15, 2011

Tally is an ugly. She wants to be Pretty. After her best friend runs away from a surgery that every 16 year old undergoes to become "perfect", Tally is blackmailed by Special Circumstances to find her friend and the town of runaways- or stay ugly forever.

Tally lives in a world where everyone receives plastic surgery to look beautiful and almost identical. She makes friends with someone who introduces her to the possibility of life beyond the shallow world of parties she has been looking forward to after her mandatory plastic surgery that she will have on her sixteenth birthday. She turns down the offer, not understanding how anyone would want to stay “ugly” but is blackmailed into going along as a spy for the Specials who enforce the falsely beautified and ditzified life of the city. Her plans to expose the rebels dissolve as she finds that individuality and aging aren’t so horrible after all

Oct 05, 2010

tally is going to get a operation to turn her pretty (perfect) which is the norm. she becomes friend with a girl who runs away from the city/operation. tally cant get the operation till she brings shay home to the city against her wishes. so to become normal/pretty/what shes always wanted, she has to betray her friend and the smoke, a group that lives on the outside which full of those who want to don't become pretty.

Sep 02, 2010

All Tally wants is to be a pretty, but is it really all its cracked up to be?


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