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by Scott Westerfield

genre: YA, dystopian, adventure

I loved the world but the character’s weren’t my cup of tea. Find out why I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars!


24770(Taken from Goodreads)

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. 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 the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

The choice Tally makes changes her world forever..


This is one of the go to YA reads. I’m glad I was able to read it but I wasn’t all that impressed. The dystopian world was fantastic and I loved the concept. Since we live in a consumerist society that is obsessed with beauty, I loved how this society became fixated on this unrealistic and unhealthy ideal. But you can’t just review a book for it’s cool world and for-the-most-part interesting plot. Minor spoilers will be included in this review.

I didn’t like Tally that much. I could have enjoyed the book more even though I didn’t like her all that much but then David came into the picture. I really liked the relationship Shay and Tally had (as friends) but then when Tally arrives at the smoke and David enters the picture…I just got annoyed. Their relationship turned catty. And for a guy? And Tally knew that Shay really liked this guy. It just felt wrong and petty.

I suppose this friction fuels Tally’s need to help Shay later on in the book, but I just didn’t feel like it was necessary. I rather books promote friendships rather than pursuing relationships (that may not even last). And I didn’t even care for David either. I liked Shay the most out of all of them.

There was a lot of ‘pretty’ and ‘ugly’ words used every page. This annoyed me because it once again reminded the reader about beauty. Even though I felt like the book was trying to prove a point that people are more than their looks. And yet…we still got bombarded with these words constantly. It kind of felt contradictory to me.

It’s not a bad read. I could finish it but the connection to the characters definitely wasn’t there for me. The best part of the book was the fascinating society. I wish there was more plot and less character drama. I don’t think I’ll be picking up more in the series.

3 out of 5 stars

amazonbutton2 copyThis book is for you if you:

  • Love fictional societies that reflect a part of our current society (i.e. beauty)
  • Enjoy reading drama between friends
  • Live for love triangles

This book is not for you if you:

  • Want the dystopian society to be the centerpiece of the novel
  • Hate when girls choose romantic partners over their friends

 Ermisenda Alvarez

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