The Uglies is a series of books that falls under the genre of science fiction. The first of these books was published in 2005. In this series of four books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras, the definitions of utopia and dystopia are stretched, twisted, and questioned. A utopia is an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect while a dystopia is an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad and is typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
In the first three books, the main character, Tally Youngblood, has to overcome her own views and the views that she has been taught to see. In this futuristic city, all prejudice and violence is removed by making everyone “pretty” and if everyone is satisfied with being pretty then there wouldn’t be any prejudice feelings or sideways glances at differences, right? In this city, like the others in the rest of the world, there is a committee that is in charge of all the standards and limits that a person is allowed to go with for their operation.
When people in this society are born, they are born to a pair of middle pretties and are referred to as “littlies”; therefore a baby is classified as an ugly because he still has his biological random face that is most probably asymmetrical. When a child reaches a certain age, usually around 12 years-old, they move away from their parents in Crumblyville and into the dorms of Uglyville where they go to school until they turn 16. At this age, the operation is performed to make them a new pretty so that they can move to New Pretty Town where the youth get to have fun and party all day and all night. When it is time to become an adult, the teen will go through another surgery to become a middle pretty which is the stage in their life where they get a job, find a partner, and have children. After the cycle is finished, the person will die and the world will go on. Tally, just like every other 15 year-old at the time, can’t wait to be a pretty on her birthday so she can be with all her friends in New Pretty Town. Everything changes, however, when she meets someone who makes her realize that being a pretty is not all that it’s cracked up to be.
This book will captivate young minds who wonder about the meaning of beauty and about the lengths that people will go in order to be socially accepted. Not only is this book powerful, but it is also romantic and entertaining. This series is a great read for those who enjoyed The Hunger Games and The Divergent series.