I'm basically hate-reading this series. So many plot contrivances, so many gaping holes in the world Condie is trying to build, so much resting on anI'm basically hate-reading this series. So many plot contrivances, so many gaping holes in the world Condie is trying to build, so much resting on an uninteresting love triangle. Nice try on being the next Hunger Games. ...more
I love a good young adult novel about dystopian futures, and Uglies is undoubtedly my favorite so far. Set hundreds of years after Americans finally sI love a good young adult novel about dystopian futures, and Uglies is undoubtedly my favorite so far. Set hundreds of years after Americans finally self-destruct at the hands of foreign oil dependency, Scott Westerfeld's future seems, at first glance, a neo-liberal paradise. All energy is clean and renewable, all materials instantly recyclable; all citizens are vegetarians, appalled that their ancestors ever wasted acres of South American farmland on raising cattle. There is no war, no hunger, and no poverty. And there is no racism or discrimination - because everyone looks the same, thanks to an operation that renders every 16-year-old "pretty," a work of biological beauty, with perfectly proportioned and symmetrical features.
The idea is that because everyone is the same, there is no basis for hate. But of course, as lovers of dystopian fiction know well, this ideal seldom works out as planned. On the verge of her surgical rite of passage, 15-year-old Tally meets a community of rebel citizens who persuade her that being pretty isn't all it's cracked up to be. Tally's dilemma over an order from the department of Special Circumstances to betray this rogue cell is absorbing, and the novel's conclusion risky and refreshingly complex. I finished this book days ago and I'm still mulling over its implications for how we live now, and the fact that even noble liberal principles have a dark side. Highly recommended....more