Over the last month and a half, I have been absorbed in the world of Tally, a teenage girl living in the future. Scott Westerfeld’s series, “Uglies,” “Pretties,” “Specials” and “Extras,” focus on Tally and her friends and she navigates a world where, at age 16, everyone receives an operation to make them beautiful, and the same, as everyone else.

ugliesI read about these on a book blog, and thought they sounded like a Twlight Zone rip-off. But, I picked up “Uglies” on a whim one day at the library, and I’m glad I did; I couldn’t have been more wrong! These books immediately pulled me into Tally’s life and society — I wanted to know more about this society; how did our society evolve into theirs? Westerfeld answered all these questions, but wove them into the story, which I thought was perfect, especially for the young adult audience.

Westerfeld also created some futuristic teenage slang, which made the futuristic setting more believable. The imagery in each of these novels was beautiful and vivid, and one haunting scene from “Specials” stands out as a particularly good example of this. The plot in each of the books is fairly straightforward, if you know the name of the next book, you can probably guess where the plot will end up, but its the getting there that’s interesting. Likewise, the “message” of each book is straightforward, but they are none the less an easy, entertaining read.

Of the three, my favorite was probably “Pretties,” as that’s where we see most of Tally’s personal development, not just the personality that is more or less forced on her. Overall, I would give these books a 4 out of 5, and recommend them to someone who is looking for a fun, lighter science-fiction read.

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