In this first book of a YA series, Tally is getting ready to turn 16, which means she’s about to have the surgery. In this futuristic world, everyone is “ugly” for the first 16 years of their lives. Ugly just means normal, you know, like how we all look now – different. But when they have the surgery, they’re turned into Pretties and have the features generally recognized as beautiful (symmetrical features, high cheekbones, neither too skinny nor too fat, etc.). Once you become pretty, life is a party – not a care in the world. Tally is more than ready to join her friends who have already had the surgery until she meets Shay who challenges the status quo. Shay thinks maybe it’s ok to look like the person you were born to be. And when Tally meets some of Shay’s other friends, she learns there may be a darker side to being Pretty.
I like the concept, but it’s definitely written for a younger audience. For example, grown ups don’t really need chapter titles, particularly titles like these, which are very on the nose. Even some of the names are beyond obvious: the Uglies live in Uglyville, those 16 year olds who just had their surgery live in New Pretty Town. If you like the idea of Stepford Wives, this one is definitely for you.
3 out of 5 stars.