Uglies is a book from the american author Scott Westerfeld. It was published in 2005 and it’s one of the well-known dystopias. Here is the story :
Tally Youngblood, the main character, will soon be 16 years old. She lives in a society where all the young girls go through a cosmetic surgery, called the Operation, at this age to join the Pretties caste. Tally wants to leave her world for this one, a world where people spend their time having fun, without worrying about anything. But the day before her birthday, she discovers the rebels world,a place called the Smoke. In this place, live people who reject the surgery. She’s going to learn that behind this perfect life we sell them lies a manipulation. She’s going to have to make a big choice that will affect her whole life : become rebellious and remain ugly for life, or succumb to perfection.
This book is simply awesome. He talks about an interesting subject : the standards of beauty. The surgery consists of closing the Ugly’s face and body into the « normal ». If you don’t do the operation, you are considerated ugly and therefore an outcast. The governement wants to change them completely to make it the ideal society, hence the importance of the physical. The character of young people is erased to make them obedient and naive so that they can be properly manipulated. Tally herself is very naive because of the education she received. They convince them that for living a happy life, she has to be pretty. It seems absurd for us.
To conclude, it’s a future society, but when we look at our own, we think our future might look like that fiction. Indeed, we notice that we also face social pressure regarding our appearance. Society also forces us to get into codes, which we begin to break. This book is therefore easy to read while conveying a strong message.