Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Uglies: Shay's Story by Scott Westerfeld

Book Jacket

Uglies told Tally Youngblood's version of life in Uglyville and the budding rebellion against the Specials.  Now comes an exciting graphic novel revealing new adventures in the Uglies world--as seen through the eyes of Shay.  Tally's rebellious best friend who's not afraid to break the rules, no matter the cost.

A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Shay eagerly awaits her turn to become a Pretty--a rite-of-passage operation called "the Surge" that transforms ordinary Uglies into paragons of beauty.  Yet after befriending the Crims, a group of fellow teens who refuse to take anything in society at face value, Shay starts to question the whole concept.  And as the Crims explore beyond the monitored borders of Uglyville into the forbidden, ungoverned wild, Shay must choose between the perks of being Pretty and the rewards of being real.


I loved getting to see Shay's perspective!  She's such an interesting character, someone who figures out the pitfalls of her society before Tally, who falls in love with Tally's boyfriends before Tally does, but who has to stand by and watch as Tally gets all the credit (and all the boys) that Shay first discovered.  That would be....excrutiating. 

It was also great to see Uglyville and New Pretty Town in graphic novel format.  All dystopias should have pictures!  Okay, maybe not all of them, but it helped getting a sense of what was different in Shay's world compared to ours.  My one quibble is with the uglies themselves...they were not ugly.  In the slightest.  They had comic-exaggeratedly perfect bodies and lovely faces.  I know that the whole deal is that even "uglies" aren't necessarily ugly, but I would have liked to see Shay's skinniness rather than curves, or maybe seen a plump kid or two.  Nope, they're all adorable.

Each chapter begins with a helicopter view of the city, with a pinpoint on wherever the Specials are looking.  It gave a nicely ominous feel to the story, since we now know that the Specials allow uglies to explore, that they watch them and use them.  It made Shay's story stand out as a new thing--while she treads a lot of the same ground that Tally did, we the readers know what will happen, so we get that information right away.  Kinda nice.

Four out of five hoverboards.

Release Date:  March 2012
Reading Level: Grade 6+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: GRAPHIC WES

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