Series Review: The Uglies Saga, by Scott Westerfeld

uglies_coverLike many science fiction book that are being published these days, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is centered around a teenage girl. The Uglies Saga has glamour, romance, and action compacted into four books. The books are appropriately titled: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras.

The series is set in a world three hundred years in the future. There is more focus on nanotechnology, which manipulates matter. This leads to new inventions, such as hoverboards and rotating apartment buildings (so that its residents will never get tired of the view). The populations is categorized into three groups. There are littlies (who live with their parents until they are twelve), uglies (who live in a dorm until they are sixteen), new pretties (live in New Pretty Town and have no worries), middle pretties (join a profession), late pretties (also called crumblies; they are parents who have gotten surgery to live into their two hundreds), and specials (optional and not spoken about very much).


The main character is named Tally Youngblood, and she is one of the uglies. She lives in a dorm room and day dreams about turning sixteen. In this civilization, once teenagers turn sixteen, they undergo a surgery to become pretty, thus allowing them to live in New Pretty Town. She often sneaks into New Pretty Town as an ugly, which is not allowed. Tally displays this sort of rule-breaking behavior throughout the series. Once she gets through the events of the first book, her life only becomes more difficult and more dangerous.

This book is one of my favorites because the main character is often faced difficult decisions. And like many teenagers, she doesn’t always know what would be the best choice. Tally has to struggle through big moments and she has to do things that she thinks are right thing to do. I also love Tally because she constantly finds ways to fight her city’s government, no matter how impossible it may seem. I would highly recommend this series.

-Madison M., 12th grade

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