Monday, August 9, 2010

One Paragraph Review Time!: Uglies, Scott Westerfeld

So, this is the first in what will be a series of One Paragraph Reviews on my blog.  (I'll try to make them weekly, but having a Real Job and hobbies other than reading means that I might not always have a book for each week.)  This idea came about because I have a short attention span.  (No, really)  When I read reviews on other blogs, I often stop after a paragraph or two (sorry guys!) because I'd rather read a book or work on my own WIP than read a long review.  So, for those of you who are like me, I'm inventing the 1 paragraph review.  My stepdad, the Brilliant Brady Fowler, once told me that the good, the bad, and the ugly of a book should always be able to be summed up in one paragraph, no more.  So, Brady, this is for you.

My first review will be of Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld.  (Be gentle. This is the first review I've written since my last book report in oh...1990?)

Uglies was my initiation into the world of Scott Westerfield, an author who has since earned a well deserved spot on my list of top 10 contemporary authors.  (Scott Rocks!)  It is the first book of the 4-book series that bears the same name.  I’m not sure there could be a more appropriate first line for a book of this title.  Scott opens by writing, “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.”  But he doesn’t stop there; he continues on to discuss what the preceding diet of said cat must have been.  Ugly indeed.  It sets the tone for what things are like for our heroine Tally Youngblood, an Ugly waiting anxiously for her 16th birthday present: a pretty-making operation.  After her operation, she can go join her other Pretty friends in New Pretty Town and everything will be how she’s always hoped it would be, perfect.  As you can imagine, though, things don’t go as planned (do they ever!?) when Tally makes a new friend in rebellious Shay.  Shay teaches Tally some skills that could be beneficial to all adolescents: critical thinking, questioning status quo, and independence.  Armed with these new tools, Tally isn’t so sure she wants to be made pretty after all.  What follows is an action-packed tale filled with hoverboards, romance, betrayal, and authority figures way scarier than any principal you’ve ever had.  Once you read this book, there’s no going back.  Case in point: I just got the final book, Extras, out of the library yesterday.
Front to Back time-  About 5 days of intermittent reading

Favourite character- Dr. Cable!  Surprised? 

Musical accompaniment?- I mostly listened to Metric, Kraftwork, and a Swedish band called Familjen while reading this one.  Not so much to do with the book - more like what was in my ipod at that point in time.

Overall rating- Hmm...I’ll admit that it’s not my favourite of the series.  But you’ve got to read it to get to the Even Better books later on!  And, really, it is quite fabutastic.  So, it gets 7/10.


  1. My favorite book in the series is SPECIALS. Pretty good one paragraph review! Dr. Cable is your favorite character, huh? Hmm...ha.

    P.S., I also run into furniture so you are not alone.

  2. Nice review :) I loved this series. Definitely hooked me on his writing! Now I want to read the Midnighters series. And he was awesome, really funny during the Zombies vs. Unicorns debate and nice when signing my book!


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