The Uglies tells the tale of Tally Youngblood, who is almost 16 and can’t wait to turn pretty. In this futuristic dystopia, all citizens are given a special operation at 16, which turns them flawless and beautiful — symmetrical and perfect in every way. Literally nothing from their old appearance survives. These children are taught from birth that the way they look is wrong (they are even called Uglies), and that life will be great once they turn pretty.
Of course, shortly before her birthday, Tally meets Shay, a new best friend who just might not want to turn pretty. Shay tells Tally of a group of rebels living in an area called “the Smoke” who have refused the operation and live on their own in nature. And then Shay disappears, off to the Smoke.
On Tally’s birthday, the government gives her a choice: Find Shay and bring her back for the operation, or Tally will never be allowed to turn pretty.
And so, Tally goes off on a quest to find her friend. She finds the Smoke and is at first disgusted by all of the “old uglies” living there, but then, of course, quickly changes her mind. She falls for David, a leader of the Smoke, who thinks Tally is beautiful just the way she is. And then Tally discovers that maybe the operation isn’t what it seems, as certain members of the Smoke have information about the government and why they do the operation.
And in finishing the first book, I realized that I didn’t care why the government does the operation, or why everyone wants to look the same. The book bored me (although I did like some of the futuristic details, like the hoverboards and the floating buildings), and I can’t imagine I’d ever pick up the next story.