Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
“What was this place?” Tally asked.
“I think they made newspapers here,” David said. “Like books, but you threw them away and got a new one every day.”
“Not at all. And you thought we wasted trees in the Smoke!”
More post-apocalyptic YA fiction, yay! I’ve read this before but I gave a copy to my sister-in-law in a birthday gift so I had to reread it myself. Uglies is an intense adventure with a simple but stunning sci-fi premise. The world Westerfeld creates is so masterfully envisioned that even I could imagine myself there, and I almost never do that.
I love how our current society is just a footnote to the characters in this story.
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world – and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.