Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

From the back of the book:

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she cant' wait. Not for her license-for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. 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 the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

This is the first in another Triology. I know! What's with only being able to tell a story in 3 volumes these days? This is an intriguing futuristic society. I'm not sure exactly HOW this society came into being, with the idea that we, right now, are what they refer to as "Rusties" had become extinct through some stupidity on our part, our lack of technology and our lack of being able to get along. Not to mention our dependence on natural resources such as oil. Anyhow, on reason why they make everyone pretty is to create equal ground for everyone, more fairness. If EVERYONE is beautiful, then a bigger equality would persist. There would be no racism. We wouldn't kill people just because they looked different, because no one would look different. However, for me, this is a band-aid on the amputated limp idea. People can't-or won't-learn to get along, we will just force sameness instead of trying to teach about treating people equally. I can see how it would be tempting, but then there's that issue of freedom to choose thing. What freedoms are being taken away from these people in exchange for ultimate physical beauty? You only begin to understand when this novel ends. 

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