The Uglies series

The Uglies series is an all age from 11 up book series by Scott Westerfeld. The story follows a teenage girl named Tally who lives several centuries from now in a futuristic city where you're a "littlie" until you turn twelve, when you go to live in an ugly dorm. Uglies are educated and brainwashed into thinking they're hideous until they turn 16, when they get an operation that turns them into beautiful, vulnerable-looking, perfect, averaged-out, middle-of-the-bell-curve "Pretties". Right after the operation, they are "New Pretties", self-absorbed fools whose only purpose in life seems to be to party. "Middle Pretties" have picked their professions and gone through a second, minor operation that makes them look older and wiser; "Late Pretties", or "Crumblies", are parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. The point of these operations is to stop wars and disagreements among people just because they look differently from each other, and it is later discovered that the operation gives people brain-damage (e.g., brain lesions presumably similar in effect to a lobotomy), eliminating disputes, anger, unhappiness, creativity, despair, or a desire to be different.

The series, originally designed to be a trilogy, has four books, with the fourth released in 2007. If the first three covers are lined up spine-to-spine, a mouth, an ear, and an eye are visible on each book, a possible reference to the three wise monkeys. The fourth book, Extras, takes place a few years after the mind-rain brought about by Tally Youngblood, the main character of the proper trilogy (Uglies/Pretties/Specials), which ended the Prettytime. Aya Fuse's (main character of the fourth book) city now runs on a "fame economy", which was invented when it was discovered that non-bubbleheads consume way too many resources to keep the Prettytime economy afloat. All Aya ever wanted was to become pretty, but she ended up changing the whole world instead.


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