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Uglies: Uglies, Book 1 | [Scott Westerfeld]

Uglies: Uglies, Book 1

Tally Youngblood is quickly approaching her 16th birthday and the mandatory pretty-making surgery that accompanies it. But Tally isn't sure if she wants to be a placidly happy Pretty. When a top secret organization threatens her with remaining Ugly forever, she reluctantly spies on the rebels who have refused the surgery. They think it changes more than just looks and are working on a cure. But they need someone to become Pretty to test it out.
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Publisher's Summary

Tally Youngblood is quickly approaching her 16th birthday and the mandatory pretty-making surgery that accompanies it. But Tally isn't sure if she wants to be a placidly happy Pretty. When a top secret organization threatens her with remaining Ugly forever, she reluctantly spies on the rebels who have refused the surgery. They think it changes more than just looks and are working on a cure. But they need someone to become Pretty to test it out.

©2005 Scott Westerfeld; (P)2006 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series.” (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)

“Highly readable with a convincing plot that incorporates futuristic techonologies and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies. Fortunately, the cliff-hanger ending promises a sequel.” (School Library Journal, Starred Review)

“This book, the first in a trilogy, asks engaging questions about the meaning of beauty, individuality, and betrayal. Highly recommended for SF fans or anyone who likes a good, thoughtful adventure.”(Kliatt, Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1011 )
5 star
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3.9 (743 )
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3.5 (731 )
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 (179)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jami Oakland, OR, USA 04-29-08
    Jami Oakland, OR, USA 04-29-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    "Oh No! What's Next?"

    Wow, I was impressed! I downloaded this as "FICTION", but I really think is should be classified as "Kids & Young Adults", unless I'm wrong.
    It is a great action packed listen, and the ending leaves you expecting a sequel.
    I sure hope one is coming soon, and I hope that is just as long as the first.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Toledo, OH, USA 01-20-09
    Sara Toledo, OH, USA 01-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    "great book"

    This is a great story--but the reading of it is slow! It makes the adventure packed book drag out!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina 03-06-14
    Christina 03-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Doesn't live up to the hype"
    What did you like best about Uglies? What did you like least?

    The idea behind Uglies is a good one: everyone undergoes a procedure at age 16 to become "Pretty" so that no one gets any unfair advantages from being naturally beautiful, sort of a cosmetic socialism. It is a sign of a good premise that I found myself thinking that the logic made sense. However, the execution, both of the society and the story, is less than impressive. The story ended up feeling slow and plodding with long periods of very little development. I had a hard time making myself care about the main character when it took her so long to accomplish anything.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The pacing of this book was way off, briefly racing and then becoming glacial for long stretches.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator had a voice that managed to be both nasal and flat at the same time. I had a hard time keeping track of which character was speaking and I patently disliked some characters purely because of how annoying they sounded in the narration.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe, depending on how it was cast and how much action was added to the story. It would be very a very visually interesting film.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to mention that the addition of a love triangle really cheapened the story, in my opinion. The friendship between the two female protagonists was already interesting given their different views on the "Pretty" surgery and political ideas, there was no need to throw in a man for them to fight over. I'm pretty sick of that particular plot device and the implication that the only thing that makes a girl's life worth reading about is a love interest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Michigan, USA 02-17-14
    Jennifer Michigan, USA 02-17-14 Member Since 2011

    You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    49
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    1
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    "Good Book for Some. Just not for me."

    I occasionally read/listen to Young Adult Fiction. Although, I am no longer young and rarely feel adult. I have a 12 year old daughter and I like exchanging book suggestions with her. Finding good books that are age appropriate for her can be a challenge as she is a very accelerated reader. I found found several great books within this genre. We both had great fun with Harry Potter. And I was one of the masses who loved (all but the last) Hunger Games novels.

    The premise for the book was awesome and I was very excited to listen to it. Mandatory pretty surgery on your 16th Birthday... sounds super interesting. The story had action, intrigue and decent character development.

    So what could go wrong?

    I hated the main character and it grated on me throughout the book. She was whiny, superficial and (for me) completely unrelateable (<--- why does spell check say that is not a word, whatever moving on...).

    Does this make it a bad book?

    Not really, it just makes it a book that is not for me. I got to the end which ***VERY MILD SPOILER ALERT*** was a bit of cliff hanger and I found myself just not caring enough to want to read the next in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pennalie Texaco Flats 08-23-13
    Pennalie Texaco Flats 08-23-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    12
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    "Narrator's voice is a problem"

    Though the story is intriguing, Monebetrand's voice is so terribly whiny that it distracted me throughout the story. I would recommend the Kindle Edition instead so you can create your own voices. Because once you spend a few hours listening to variations on the teenage whine - shrilly and slightly congested for Shay, morose and nasal for Tally, sulky and overly-tired for David, Cruella DeVille meets Gilbert Gotfried for Dr. Cable - you will never be able to enjoy these characters ever again.

    Read other reviews for comments on the story which is suspenseful, and the writing with is tight, and the love triangle which is a bit predicable. The, if you decide this is the book for you - READ it yourself, and prevent these voices for taking up residence in your imagination.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 04-06-13
    Wendy 04-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Premise killed by a TERRIBLE narrator"
    What did you like best about Uglies? What did you like least?

    Despite the potential for this premise to bury us under a mountain of silly metaphors, the author does a great job of making you constantly question which side you might come down on. The plot twists are great....which is what got me through this absolutely abysmal narrator. Most of her teen voices sound like some whacked out hippie doing a "scary" voice and her adults are equally cartoonish. Now I get that the point of the book is about stereotypes....but a little subtlety would have gone a loooooong way. I did manage to make it through all three books, but it was a real struggle. I wish that I had just given up and read the books. She does a good job with the emotional content, (ie there was never a moment when I thought..."that's clearly not how the author meant that to come out") but I haven't met that many teenagers that sound like they just smoked an entire field of weed.


    What other book might you compare Uglies to and why?

    Why yes! they doo remind me a lot of The Hunger Games. I would LOVE to read a book of this genre that did NOT contain a love triangle.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    see above


    Could you see Uglies being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, this would make a great set of movies. I suspect they will be after The Hunger Games have run their course.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 12-19-12
    Amber 12-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Somewhat Annoying and too Juvenile"
    Any additional comments?

    I won't be continuing with this series. I read the reviews- many voicing their dislike for the narrator- but I felt that I would be amongst those who got used to it as I listened...that didn't happen. I found myself in a constant state of annoyance. I was eager to read Uglies because I'm a fan of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Delirium series. Though the age of the main characters are the same in each series, the voice of Uglies is much more juvenile than the rest and it's only exasperated by the narrator's performance.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mother of Pearl Spokane, WA 10-14-12
    Mother of Pearl Spokane, WA 10-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "That Voice Makes me Cringe"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I believe that the paperback book would be worth the money. I would tell anyone to skip on the audio version. This is solely based on the voice. It does not match the voices of the characters. She does okay for the main character, but when she attempts Paris' voice, I wanted to laugh out loud. It was terrible, laughable. I think she would be better matched to read a fairytale or older fiction. She didn't do justice to this otherwise decent book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Her voice was an ill fit.


    Any additional comments?

    The book itself is reasonably good. I am a early thirties woman who enjoys YA fiction, but this is a little young for me. It was not at the level of The Hunger Games or Divergent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meagan 05-01-15
    Meagan 05-01-15 Member Since 2015

    Loving books :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great read!"
    What made the experience of listening to Uglies the most enjoyable?

    The book is well written. Great story.


    What other book might you compare Uglies to and why?

    Cinder and Divergent


    Have you listened to any of Carine Montbertrand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never heard this narrator before and honestly her voice annoys me but the book is good so it balances out.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Cleaver


    Any additional comments?

    I really like this book ready for the 2nd.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    linda 04-08-15
    linda 04-08-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my cup of Tea"

    I couldn't get past the narrator. I found myself tuning out and not able to care about the characters or pay attention to the plot. I have seen Author bashing reviews of this series. That is not right. Just move on people.....I cross reference books I am interested in with the site "Good Reads" for a comprehensive synopsis. Beware, people can and do utilize their free speech in their reviews on that site.
    I may buy the print version to see if I can relate that way. If not, I'm movin' on to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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