On the Uglies series

Beauty Smackdown

Our Society Versus New Pretty Town
By Janette Rallison

I belong to a book club. We generally spend fifteen minutes talking about the month’s book and the rest of the two hours talking about our kids and husbands. (Plus we consume large amounts of chocolate. This is why I go.) When we read Uglies, we spent the entire time talking not only about the book, but about the series as well. Like many of the women in the book club, I couldn’t stop at just one book. I had to find out what happened to Tally, David, Shay, and Zane. I also had to see who ended up pretty and whether or not it made them happy.

Science fiction authors are known for taking aspects of our society and magnifying them in their books, giving readers a chance to see what would happen if our present attitudes and practices were taken to the extreme. And as the titles suggest, one of the biggest issues in the series is how we view physical beauty. So what is Scott Westerfeld saying about beauty, and more importantly, is he correct?

In Uglies just about everybody wants to be good looking because attractive people have more benefits. And I’ll admit right off that for the first few chapters of Uglies, I thought New Pretty Town was a great idea.

I don’t mean the endless partying, the being drunk half the time, or the obsession with fashion. I just admired the fairness of it all.

New Pretty Town came to be because in the past, “everyone judged everyone  …

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