26. “The Uglies,” Scott Westerfield

It Tally’s world, everyone becomes pretty on their sixteenth birthday, and are whisked away from the ugliness in which they have grown up to become self-assured Pretties. SHOCKINGLY, this might not be the best thing and doesn’t erase the pain of being ugly, just turns it into a disease.

Tally can’t wait for her birthday to take away the burden of her squinty eyes and frizzy hair, and to reunite her with her best friend, Peris, who turned pretty two months before her. When she meets Shay, a fellow ugly with the same birth date as her, Tally is happy to have someone to pass her last few months of ugliness with. But when Shay reveals that she is running away rather than be made surgically pretty, Tally is torn between her community, the desire to be pretty, and the urge to protect her new friend.

Page count: 402
Page total: 7,618

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