Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras by Scott Westerfeld
Published by Simon Schuster
******this is a review of all four books, there maybe spoilers******
Despite the name, the Uglies series is anything but. All four books stand aloe as brilliant stories, put them together And its a groundbreaking series.
Uglies sets the scene: Tally and Shay are ‘uglies’. Everyone under the age of 15 is. When they turn 16 they undergo an operation to become ‘pretty’. The pretties have everything the uglies want, besides the obvious beauty, they party all day and night and are perfect in everyday. Granted this doesn’t sound like the most thrilling of concepts, but Westerfield has managed to stay away from the obvious and has created two lead females that are strong, independent and often selfish. There are no ‘goodies and badies’ (for lack of a better term) in uglies. In fact the reader follows Tally on her journey and never know if she’s right or wrong.
It’s been a while since I have read a book with two female leads that I really like, too often the girls are painted as the weaklings that fall in love and are blinded to everything else. There’s no place for that in Westerfields writing, the plot is too busy and exciting. That’s not to say there isnt romance In The book, it’s just not the main focus of the story, friendship is. I can happily say that Tally and Shay are two of my all time favourite characters in modern YA fiction.
The books follow the girls as they betray each other, their friends, their loves, over and over again. it also sees them redeeming themselves, doing their best to fix the mistakes. there are many occasions where the reader feels like yelling at the book, because Tally has been stupid, yet again!
Extras is set in a different time, a few years after the excitement of Tally and Shays rebellious years. but they make an appearance, and their legacy is clear to see.
The stories are not your usual YA read, they have broken the moulds and take the genre to new levels. Must reads.