Honest and lively YA book reviews
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This is my response to Scott Westerfeld's Uglies.
Hahaha hahahaha hahaha hahahahahahaha haha hahahahaha hahahaha haha ha hahahaha hahahahaha haha!
What delightfully laughable nonsense!
I mean, where to start with this one? Uglies is pretty ugly. There's no finesse, the characters are entirely unlikeable and there are so many plot holes that they gradually seem to merge together, developing into one giant, bottomless plot abyss.
The basic story goes that sometime in the future an operation is developed designed to make everyone uniformly beautiful and therefore equal. Tally, our "heroine" discovers a secret society opposed to the pretty procedure following their revelation that the operation not only alters appearance but brain function, creating a world filled with bland, docile, air-heads. A whole lotta shit goes down .....
My teeth were set on edge from the very first line: "The early summer sky was the colour of cat vomit. Of course, Tally thought, you'd have to feed your cat only salmon-flavoured cat food for a while, to get the pinks right." Oh god ..... What is that? What actually is that?! Tally does not have a cat, never mentions any pets at all in this world. How does she know the colour of cat vomit ( I, unfortunately know cat vomit all too well and can confirm it is never pink. It's brown/yellow)?! We discover later that in Tally's world people do not eat creatures. They eat soy-based food, developed in a laboratory, safe and healthy for both the population and the environment. So how does she have any concept of salmon?! There are so many blunders exactly like this one. Tally states near the end that she does not know penmanship, she cannot write, and yet she reads just fine. Reading and writing go hand in hand. How can she not reproduce the words she has no trouble reading? Could she not at least have a stab at shaping letters? This is my beef with Tally - she's so violently stupid she actually elicits a reaction in me bordering on anger. How she has managed to keep herself upright for sixteen years is completely beyond me!
I understand she's fiction. There's no need to get so emotionally invested. However, in my opinion this makes Tally's ridiculous character worse! Scott Westerfeld had free rein to create anyone he pleased, and for some reason he decided to inflict Tally Youngblood on us? Of all the qualities I enjoy in fictional heroines, mind-numbing idiocy is not one of them. She well and truly lost my support when she rocked up to the Smoke for the jolly, and couldn't wrap her teeny tiny brain around the fact that these people were fighting for their freedom, and that this was their home which she seemed perfectly prepared to give away to Special Circumstances so she could return to enjoying hot showers and processed food. It took her two weeks, yes two weeks to start considering that perhaps it would be wrong to invite in an army hell bent on crushing these people's way of life and taking every one of them prisoner. Tally is supposed to be 16 years old and yet she is as selfish as a little child. She appeared to have a complete inability to see anything from another person's point of view. She almost came across as a little challenged to me at times .....
The worst of it was everyone seemed to determined to fawn all over her, despite the fact that she is a traitorous bitch, falling at her feet in gratitude after she guiltily rescued everyone yet again by doing no more than falling into the right situation at miraculously the right time. Absurd.
Urgh. I just couldn't stand her. Or Bland-David or Dumb-Shay, or Cardboard-Cutout-EllieSol, or So-Paper-Thin-She's-Almost-Non-Existent-Maddy (who spent years, I mean years researching the brain lesions caused by the operation, but all of a sudden pulls a cure out of her ass in about two days right at the end? What?) .... The characterisation was just so poor. None of them had any substance, no depth. I couldn't connect or give a shit about a single one of them.
I'm super disappointed that I spent money on this one. I feel that if I had gotten it from the library I would have been able to just toss it aside with a shrug and a smirk but I resent spending my hard earned cash on this laughable piece of "work". The whole thing just felt thrown together. There was no suspense, no surprise, very little enjoyment once I grew tired of chuckling at Tally and her mini-brain. There was far too much time spent on preaching on about how awful we all are for using fossil fuels, harvesting trees and not recycling, and not enough time spent on actually writing an interesting, engaging story. There is nothing I hate more than sneaky, sneaky "lessons" popping up while I'm trying to read frivolous fiction.
I do not understand how this crap has managed to be spun out to the tune of four novels! What more is there to say? All I know is that I won't be finding out as I truly do not give a shit. I'm going to be spending my money a little more wisely this time. For example maybe I'll finally go out and buy that chocolate teapot I've been hankering after for so long ..... Or maybe one of them hairless cats I've had my eye on. I wonder if their puke is pink .... ?