Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Uglies: Shay's Story by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson

Uglies is a series written by Scott Westerfeld and has now been turned into a graphic novel. It is a great story and this new form will introduce different readers to series's improtant themes.

Shay (aka Skinny) is an Ugly. In her world, everyone is an Ugly until they turn 16 in which they undergo surgery (also called "the Surge") and become a Pretty. Shay's 16th birthday is coming up soon, but she meets up with a group of Crims and begins to question whether anyone is really ugly or needs surgery. She decides to runaway and live in "the Smoke" which is basically living in nature and avoiding "the Surge." However, it might not be as easy as Shay thinks as a group of "Specials" is out to put a stop to "the Smoke."

I was nervous about reading this book because I have never read any of the other Uglies books. I worried that I wouldn't have the background knowledge needed to understand this world but everything was more or less explained and I could put the pieces together. At first I didn't understand why these normal/pretty people were considered Uglies and initially thought the concept was shallow but as the story progresses, Shay thankfully challenges the idea of Pretties, wondering what's wrong with the way people are. Also, reading the notes at the end of the book (there's an artist's sketchbook section) explains how the theme of these novels is that normal is fine - you don't need to change your looks. The character of Shay does a decent job stressing this point and driving home the theme. I really like how this format opens the door to possibly a different set of readers than the book. I personally never read the books because they're thick and big books turn me off but I had no problem with this graphic novel. It was a quick read with a good story. It has even peaked my interest in the actual novels, which is definitely a good thing.

I enjoyed reading this graphic novel from the Uglies series. I really like the theme and look forward to seeing where the story goes.

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