©2005 Scott Westerfeld; (P)2006 Recorded Books
“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)
I know, I know, you read the description and you can already cut the metaphors with a chainsaw. And, yeah, the symbolism is obvious, but surprisingly not as heavy handed as you'd think.
More to the point, it's extremely well done. The universe is well developed without having to have characters stop and explain the history to each other every five minutes. You actually care about the people in the story, and the author succeeds in writing for young adults and about young adults without forgetting that young adults aren't eight years old. Furthermore, the science fiction aspects aren't rammed down your throat, and aren't spread thickly. Lastly, the characters are utterly believable in the culture they inhabit, and the culture is really thought out.
I accidentally had one detail of the book spoiled for me-- a big aspect of the ending-- but I found that I had forgotten about it by the time that it happened.
The reader is talented, although some of the voices can be a little annoying until you get used to them, then you like them. You can HEAR the characters' facial expressions at times.
I was very upset that I finished the first book while 30 minutes from home, then I had to wait while the second downloaded, and now I have to go to bed. I am considering buying the third already so that doesn't happen again.
The story was wonderful, but the narrator is awful! All of her character 'voices' sound drunk or brain-dead, and the droning monotone of her voice is terrible. I almost gave up listening to this book just because of it - even though I was intrigued by the story. I can see buying these books and reading them, but I probably won't be purchasing another audio book with this narrator.
This is book one of a trilogy containing Uglies, Pretties and Specials. I downloaded this book based on the recommendation of Kristine Kathryn Rusch (posted here on Audible) who writes the Retrieval Artist series which I love.
I found that parts of this book dragged a bit half to three quarters of the way through but then at the end you are left with the cliffhanger which makes you want to listen to book two.
The premise behind it was unique and interesting and it is definitely a young adult novel. I did not find it as gripping as Twilight, Hunger Games, Graceling or Fire but still enjoyed it.
The only thing that I did not like about this series was the repetition of some of the language -in each book they seem to have one expression that they repeat over and over and it got annoying.
If you do listen to this series though do NOT read the descriptions of the upcoming books on Audible as they will give away huge spoilers!!!
Its a pretty good story...it throws you in and assumes you kinda know what is going on...I wish they would have explained a little more.
Shay is soooo nasally its almost unbearable
I'm into book two now...and am beginning to wonder if I'll even listen to book 3 ;P
I never knew where Scott Westerfeld was going to take this action-packed story. As an adult reading a YA title, I have to say that I was constantly irritated by our heroine, who starts out self-absorbed, self-pitying, insecure. You can count on her to always make the worst move. At the end of the whole series, in my opinion, she has not matured a whit. So why five stars? Because the author is so darned good; lovely similes page-turning plotting, and intelligent handling of complexity. He has created a very real world that we want to know more about. Our narrator also does a lovely job. Oh, one quirk I am not sure Westerfeld noticed when he was doing his plotting: Our heroine, Tally when in trouble, which is all the time, has an amusingly predictable response... and that is: "Jump!"
The narrator's voice is irritating to distraction. Instead of the voices of teenagers, the narrator sounds like an annoying substitute teacher with a cold. It really takes away from the story.
I like the story and the characters. I had a hard time listening for a bit and then got used to the narrator.
I like how our modern social norms are distorted and exaggerated. It really makes me think about the way I see myself and others. I find myself being hard on people and hard on myself sometimes. This book made me more kind to myself and others. I realize that our views and judgements of things are sometime skewed.
I did get used to the narrator. But it did take some time. The nasal voice of Shay made me think of the obnoxious voices we used to do as kids.
This is a brilliant book to listen to on family vacation if you have teens or tweens.....the basic premise is that absolute beauty comes at a price, and that perhaps individuality and uniqueness is undervalued in this world. Good action, Teen dialog, and sequels!! Rah!! While on a road trip you have a captive audience....use it to your parental advantage and build their self-esteem. LIsten to this book.
I loved the story, although I never felt as though Tally was quite the heroine she is made out to be. She was pushed around and coercerced into doing everything, whereas I would have liked to see her be more assertive, brave and adventurous on her own. I do like the concepts the book implies about our society and where we are heading, both environmentally and with plastic surgery being used more frequently for purely cosmetic reasons. The story was well written and a great listen no matter what I say or complain about though, and I enjoyed the whole series and was never tempted to stop due to lags in the plot line.
I was very skeptical about this book but I actually LOVED this. The references to the real world are obvious but that doesn't make them any less powerful or insightful.
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