I had written a throwback post about this series late last year. And when Scott Westerfeld announced just last week that he was returning to the world of Uglies for four new novels, it felt like the perfect time to finally get around to posting it! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEW BOOKS!
I LOVED Uglies and Pretties when I was at school, but I never actually finished the series. It was my first taste of dystopian fiction, a genre I now love to sink into. So when I needed some extra reading material for my holiday late last year, I decided I would binge these four books. And binge I did. They were just as addictive as I remember, and I feel like I understood them a lot more with that tiny bit more life experience.
There is literally something for everyone within the pages of the series. These books raise so many issues about society’s expectations of beauty, and government’s need to control their populace. It touches on mental illness and cutting in particular, something I definitely missed on my first read. It touches on the complicated nature of friendships, the struggle to find your place in the world, and the devastation which comes with loss of control.
Tally Youngblood and her best friend Shay are difficult characters. They are often selfish and mean and entitled, but it is so easy to understand how they get to where they are. They are brilliant, misguided, imperfect protagonists and I love that about this series.
Extras is a fun addition to the series, exploring a different part of the world, a community where everyone is obsessed with the media and their rankings in a city-wide popularity contest. It is a world where people are free to express themselves however they want, but also a world where everyone is competing to be the best and most interesting person. The intensity is overwhelming. I adored Aya’s hovercam, Moggle, but to me it definitely represented the ubiquitous iPhone and how we cannot stay present but instead perform for the world and the cameras ever present in our lives.
I was gifted by a friend two other books relating to the world of Uglies – Bogus to Bubbly and Mind-rain. These were fascinating. Bogus to Bubbly is a sort of fictional textbook with interesting tidbits about the world of Uglies. As I am a MASSIVE fan of world-building, I loved these snippets into the history and culture of the world Westerfeld created. And then Mind-rain. This was fascinating. It is a collection of essays written by other authors about Westerfeld’s book. Westerfeld also talks about his influences and includes some here. I adored this; reading different analyses of the same text was just so cool. There were so many things I had not considered that become obvious to me through other people’s words about the series. I love that!
And now I must wait until September 11 2018 for the next instalment in this world, Imposters. Finally getting back into this series could not have happened at a more serendipitous moment!
Have you read this series? What do you think? Will the new series announcement make you think about reading (or rereading) the books?