What Makes Us Pretty?

Today I have a book that challenges the notion of what makes us pretty.  I published this review several years ago, but I was reminded of the book when it showed up on my daughter’s high school summer reading list.  This one may have been first published in 2005, but it remains as relevant today as it was 13 years ago.  Want a compelling summer read?  Hand this one to your kids.

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Title:       Uglieswhat makes us pretty uglies

Author:   Scott Westerfeld

Target:    Grades 6 and up

Series:     Yes

What this book is about: 
Tally can’t wait to turn sixteen.  This is when all children get the operation that turns their normal, genetically given looks into the perfect body and face type that science considers the most desirable.  Until then they are relegated to being Uglies.  However, when Tally’s friend isn’t sure she wants the operation and runs away, Tally learns that her society is not as perfect as it first appears.  Tally is faced with a difficult choice.  The authorities tell her she must find her friend and turn her in, or remain ugly forever.

Why I love this book: 
This book was published before dystopian literature became all the rage and yet it feels fresh and current.  While many of the books in this genre feel like versions of the same story, this one actually seemed to be based on social commentary.  It questions how we view beauty in a society and whether beauty is biological or social, or maybe a little of both.

I like my female characters with a little spunk, and thankfully Tally has a rebel streak in her that makes her feel more daring and adventurous.  Despite her desire to be a Pretty, she isn’t a one-dimensional character and is driven by her strengths.  There is both an abundance of action and thought-provoking ideas in this book.

Who this book is for: 
This book is quite appropriate for the middle school crowd. While there is a romance, it is quite innocent and the violence is minimal.

Final thoughts: 
What really makes someone pretty and is it the same for everyone?  Read the book and then decide.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Uglies (The Uglies)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.