When everyone turns sixteen they change from ugly to pretty by means of advanced surgery. These new pretties are shallow and party all the time in New Pretty Town. Tally is almost sixteen and can’t wait until it’s finally her turn to be pretty.
Tally’s best friend turned before her and now she’s all alone. Uglies, those who haven’t had the surgery yet, enjoy playing tricks like sneaking into New Pretty Town. During one of her tricks, Tally meets Shay, a fellow Ugly whose friends have also all turned before her.
Over the course of the summer Shay and Tally become good friends and plan all sorts of fun tricks together. Shay teaches Tally how to hover board and takes her into the Rusties, the ruins of our civilization.
When it’s finally time for the two to turn pretty, (they have the same birthday) Shay confesses that she doesn't want to be pretty. Shay plans to run away to a place called the Smoke where apparently people live in the wild and don’t turn pretty. Tally decides she wants to be pretty and stays behind. On the day of her surgery Special Circumstances, the advanced police force (who are pretty, but pretty scary) tell Tally that she can’t be pretty unless she goes after her friend and activates a tracker for them to arrest all the Uglies in the Smoke.
The characters in Uglies are fine, but it’s mostly the world that I’m reading for. The author’s explanation of how the world wound up like this was unique and so is the society he’s created. I liked the idea of the hover boards and how they worked. They’re magnetic and only over metal or rivers. (Because of the metal fragments in the running water.)
The beginning of the book is interesting, but after Tally goes in search of the Smoke, things slow down and it feels like we are only waiting for Tally to get there. (Actually, if you skip Tally’s entire journey to the Smoke you won’t miss anything, because they talk about it all afterwards.)
Once she gets to the Smoke the pace picks up a bit, but I still felt like I was waiting for something to happen. It’s only half-way through the book things have to go wrong somehow. Is the Smoke all it seems? Will Tally betray her new friends? Come on, something happen already!
When things pick up, they really pick up. The end is as good as the beginning and a quick read.
Warning: It ends to be continued. (I couldn't go to bed until I’d started Pretties, which unfortunately starts slow.)
It’s hard to say anything about the sequels without spoiling Uglies, so I’m just going to give my impressions.
There are fewer slow spots in Pretties, because even the less exciting parts are fun and the plot is much less predictable than Uglies. The slang is so awful it’s funny, but I think it’s supposed to be.
Uglies hooked me with the world and concept, but I love the characters in Pretties. This book has everything the first one was lacking.
Another to be continued ending. (grumbling)
I liked the powers in Specials, but I didn't like Tally as much. (I especially didn't like her interactions with David and Zane and I wanted to see more with both of them.)
Again there were slow spots towards the middle, but the author didn't go into as much detail so they weren't as long.
It felt like everything happened too quickly at the end, but that was largely because of the point of view and the plot was wrapped up nicely. I wanted more at the end to find out what's next for Tally. (Like an epilogue.)
There’s an extra novel (ironically called Extras) that takes place after the trilogy, but it has different characters.
Uglies- 7 Stars
Pretties- 8 stars
Specials- 7 stars