2005, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0-689-86538-5
This book was on my reading list as it has been mentioned by many as one of the keystones of dystopian fiction. It is the first of a trilogy set in a futuristic world where life in the city is not only sanitised, emotion free and stable but everyone over 16 years old is pretty. The people of the past (like us) are called Rusties and we find out that they trashed the world through war, environmental mishaps and prejudice. The world that Tally Youngblood lives in has been neutralised of these disasters and the emotions that are a cause and consequence of them.
Tally meets another 15 year old (soon to be 16) who isn’t sure she wants to be made pretty on her 16th birthday. Through Shay and her friend David, Tally finds out that the world of the pretties is somewhat sinister and faces some serious decisions – does she become a Pretty or stay Ugly.
I enjoyed this book as the premise is unlike the other dystopian texts. Although there are similarities between Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games and Uglies (Westerfeld wrote his book first in 2005) in terms of character motivation there are insufficient parallels to say either Collins or any of the other more recent dystopian authors have been excessively influenced by Uglies.
Next stop – Pretties.