by Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies #1
425 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Cheep-A-Reep

It's a new and interesting way to look at the world, but there's no Christianity at all.


This book is about how the world could be if it was based on technology and self-image; you start out being an 'ugly' and then become a 'pretty.' Shay and Tally are two uglies who become friends. Shay knows about a part of the world called the Smoke that still lives the old-fashioned way. Everyone at the Smoke is separated from the Specials, who are in charge of taking care of and protecting the world and who want to find and destroy the Smoke. Shay leaves to join the Smoke and wants Tally to go too. Tally wants to stay behind and become pretty, but the Specials want her to help them find the Smoke and destroy it. Now Tally sees that there's more to the world than just becoming pretty, and she's caught in the middle.


The Specials are the rulers of the world. They try to keep everyone under control and everyone obeys them. They destroy or try to change anyone who is against them. There's distrust between the Smoke and newcomers. There's some betrayal between two friends, and Tally lies.

Spiritual Content

There's no "religion" in this world. However, in the second chapter a reference is made to Evolution that indicates an acceptance of that belief: "At school, they explained how it [evolution] affected you. It didn't matter whether you knew about evolution or not- it worked anyway. On everyone."


When Tally falls off her hover board her arms and body get twisted and it is, of course, painful. The Specials treat the Smokies cruelly and they get bloody faces and other such injuries. There's also the death of a man from the smoke.

Drug and Alcohol Content

There's drinking at parties and Shay gets drunk.

Sexual Content

Tally and David fall in love and they share kisses that aren't too intimate. They also hold each other for awhile. There's some jealousy going on over David.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Tally does some reckless stunts. There's some crude language such as crap. There are a couple references of h***.


This book gives you a new perspective on what the world could be like if focused on technology and looks. Some people like to strive to be different while others would rather follow the crowd. The book makes you think about what you would do in the situation. It's an interesting read, but there is nothing about Christianity.

Fun Score: 3.5
Values Score: 2.5
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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