Everyone is made pretty.
What is Uglies about?
Written by American author Scott Westerfeld, Uglies is a young adult science-fiction series set in a future post scarcity dystopian world in which everyone is considered an “ugly,” but then turned “Pretty” by extreme cosmetic surgery when they reach the age of 16. The story follows Tally Youngblood, a woman who rebels against society’s enforced conformity, after her friends David show her the downsides to becoming a “Pretty.”
Conceived originally as a trilogy, the Uglies series became a tetralogy and have been extended thanks to two mangas and more recently a spin-off series called Impostors.
Uglies/Impostors Books in Order:
I. Uglies series in Order
- Uglies – Tally is about to turn sixteen. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.
- Uglies: Shay’s Story – Uglies’s story from Shay’s perspective in manga form. A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Shay eagerly awaits her turn to become a Pretty. Yet after befriending the Crims, a group of fellow teens who refuse to take anything in society at face value, Shay starts to question the whole concept. And as the Crims explore beyond the monitored borders of Uglyville into the forbidden, ungoverned wild, Shay must choose between the perks of being Pretty and the rewards of being real.
- Pretties – Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted. But beneath all the fun is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold. Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life—because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.
- Uglies: Cutters – Pretties from Shay’s point of view in manga form. With the endless parties and custom-made clothes, life as a Pretty should be perfect. Yet Shay doesn’t feel quite right. She has little to no memory of her past. When she reunites with Tally and the Crims—her rebellious group of friends from Uglyville—she begins to recall their last departure to the wild, and the headstrong leader she used to be. And as she remembers the truth about what doomed their escape, Shay decides to fight back.
- Specials – Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid. But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known. Tally still has memories of something else. Still, it’s easy to tune that out—until she’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete.
- Extras – A a cultural renaissance sweeps the world : “Tech-heads” flaunt their latest gadgets, “kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. Popularity rules, and everyone craves fame. Fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse is no exception. But Aya’s face rank is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance at stardom is to kick a wild and unexpected story…
II. Impostors Series, the Spin-off
- Impostors – Frey is Rafi’s twin sister-and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must. When her father sends Frey in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her.
- Shatter City – Frey is stranded on her own in Paz, a city where many of the citizens attempt to regulate their emotions through an interface on their arms. Paz is an easy place to get lost and also an easy place to lose yourself. As the city comes under a catastrophic attack, Frey must leave the shadows and enter the chaos of warfare.
- Mirror’s Edge – Coming in 2021.
Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider’s Guide to the World of Uglies – A guide to the world of uglies with : A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys ; The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space ; How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits…