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Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials (and Extras)

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Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials (and Extras)

Old 10-18-07, 07:19 PM
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Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials (and Extras)



My sister and her friend were going crazy over these books and from a cursory judgment of the book's content via the aesthetics of the cover (this always works) I deduced it to be some sort of cliquy teenager book. I mean, c'mon... Pretties? Are you kidding me.

Fast forward a few weeks and my friend lends me Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I like it, and soon enough I see the author (via BoingBoing) recommending Scott Westerfeld's work.

I'll let Cory explain further:

Uglies is the story of a dystopian world where children are raised by the state and subjected to mandatory cosmetic surgery at 16, wherein they are rendered physically "perfect" on the basis that symmetrical, statistically average people with giant eyes are charismatic, convincing, and are afforded advantages by their peers; in the twisted logic of the Westerfeld's state, imposing this surgery on all creates an egalitarian basis for society. No one is heeded merely because she is beautiful; no idea is disregarded because it originates with someone who is ugly.

The novels tell the story of Tally Youngblood, a 16-year-old small-time rebel who becomes embroiled in a scheme to avoid the surgery, leading to her exile and eventual encounters with outsiders, secret police, and the gradual, sinister unravelling of the dark secret of the compassionate society.

The Uglies books are the perfect parables of adolescent life, where adult-imposed milestones, rituals, and divide-and-rule tactics amp children's natural adolescent insecurities into a full-blown, decade-long psychosis. They're the kind of book I loved reading at 15 or 16: damned fine science fiction and damned fine yarns.
I've finished the first two books and I'm working my way through the third. It's not especially challenging (since it is a young adult novel) but the themes in it are pretty interesting (no pun intended).

Has anyone heard of these or read them?
Old 10-21-07, 09:21 PM
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I've read the first 3 in the series, just waiting for book 4 to come in from the library. Excellent books, even if they are YA. Westerfeld has a number of other books as well that are very well done, "Peeps" in particular.
Old 10-23-07, 12:21 AM
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Haven't read them, but I read his The Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds, which were quite enjoyable.
Old 10-23-07, 02:41 PM
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I'm midway through the third book in the series and it is not going well. I won't spoil the books but the way they are structured is more interesting than well-executed and the third one is pretty brutally boring. The fourth book, Extras, is set in the same world but a different society so I'll give that one a chance.
Old 10-15-09, 09:53 AM
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Re: Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials (and Extras)

I know this thread is a few years old...however....

Scott Westerfeld has a new book out called LEVIATHAN. My daughter and I went to his booksigning and talk last nite, and he is absolutely so down to earth, so nice and really hilarious!!! There are illustrations in this book, and it was very interesting to listen to Scott tell how they came to be.

I bought a copy for my friend's grandson and started reading it. I was hooked from the first chapter. Now...my friend may end up giving her grandson a USED personalized book! ( LOL JK!!!)

If you get the chance, we recommend going his. Well worth it!

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