Uglies (Uglies, #1) by Scott Westerfeld
Summary (from back of book):
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.
Hmm… hmm. This was different. The first thing I noticed were the names of the places and Tally’s last name: Youngblood… hmm.
The names of the places are what really annoyed me: Uglyville? New Pretty Town?
At first, this book was laughable. These names were absolutely hysterical. I’d been wanting to read this book for a long time, so I decided not to close it. But I did have a hard time taking Uglies seriously.
After all the silly names died down, the book was very good. I love where the author was going with things.
The thing is, in a dystopian story, not everything needs a new name. And if you really want to make a new name for something (ex., a place), don’t make it transparent. As a reader I’d like to have some questions and I’d like to have them answered slowly throughout the story. With these names, I don’t get questions: New Pretty Town = the place where new pretties live. Uglyville = the place where uglies live.
I liked this book, aside from the names, but I can’t bring myself to rate it any higher than 2 stars. I will read the next book in the series, Pretties. Hopefully, that one will be better.