Welcome to the world of uglies and pretties. Set in the future, Westerfield presents us with a society of perfection: on your sixteenth birthday, you receive an operation to change you from an ugly to a pretty. Seen through the eyes of Tally, a very-almost-sixteen-year-old, Westerfield shows us humanity without flaws, without disease, without prejudice and without difference.
Very quickly this is revealed to be a dystopia, as the same-ness which is immediately apparent goes deeper than anybody would have thought. Tally is faced with a decision and more horrific secrets are revealed to her as she progresses. This is a coming-of-age story pushed to the extreme.
This novel is fast-paced and intriguing, with hugely likeable characters. It is a tale that causes us to ask 'what if?' of our own world every time we put it down, which, I have to say, I found hard to do. It raises questions about beauty, about identity and about love. Aimed at teenagers, it is a refreshing look at how beauty is only skin deep, but shows us what could happen if it wasn't...