On the Uglies series

Best Friends for Never

By Robin Wasserman

This whole game is just designed to make us hate ourselves.

Shay, in Uglies

I am a natural born sidekick.

I say this with neither pride nor shame. It’s just a fact of my life that for every time I’ve been the star, there have been approximately 8 million more times that I’ve been the planet, circling in orbit around someone else’s bright flame.

Because I’ve been there myself, I pay closer attention than most to the girl behind the curtain. So I can admit, after close analysis, that in many ways Shay is the perfect sidekick for Tally Youngblood. In the tradition of all the greatest sidekicks (cf. Dr. Watson, Paris Geller, Mr. Smithers, Chewbacca), Shay’s overlooked and undervalued. And no matter what Tally does, Shay forgives her. She gets mad, she gets even–and then she comes back for more. She’s the wind beneath Tally’s wings. She’s a friend in deed to a friend in need. In good times, in bad times, Tally can always count on her, for sure, because that’s what friends are–

Well, you get the idea.

Just one problem with this neat equation: Shay’s not sidekick material. She obviously thinks she is. But Shay, who’s right about so much, is wrong about this. She’s not a sidekick, she’s a hero.

A hero with the misfortune to be trapped in someone else’s story.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better . . . Not That Anyone Cares

We’ve all known girls like Shay, right? She’s that annoying kid on the playground, the  …

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