Thursday, April 5, 2012

Uglies: Shay's story by Scott Westerfeld & Devin Grayson; illustrated by Steven Cummings

Uglies (the novel) tells the story of Shay and Tally from Tally's point of view, but now you get to see the story from Shay's point of view.  Long before she met Tally, Shay was an adventurer, mixing with all kinds of other uglies and seeing how far she could push the boundaries with the authorities.  Not afraid to push the boundaries she has tested the limits of her crash bracelets, learnt how to trick her room to think she is still there, and she has found a group that introduces her to the Ruins - and they help her find David.  Shay is strong willed and capable, and she wants Tally to have the same chance she has - but can she convince her best friend to leave everything behind, to believe that being Pretty isn't everything, that the surgery Tally wants so desperately isn't the be-all and end-all?

This is a graphic novel set in the Uglies world so straight away there is a huge difference for readers - it is also some time since I read Uglies, so some of the events are a little hazy (to be expected when you read the amount of books I do each year!).  Shay's story can be read by itself, you don't need to have read the rest of the Uglies books to understand it, yet at the same time it doesn't contain mind numbing details that will bore someone who has read Uglies to death.  The world of Uglies is a fascinating one because it is not quite a fit for the dystopian genre because everything is so "perfect" but it is also not quite a fit for the pure science fiction genre because there is so much real life drama involved. 

Uglies is a series that crosses the gender boundaries - being a book that has enough action and adventure to keep the guys interested - and enough real life to keep the girls interested.  The graphic novel format makes the story more accessible to readers who struggle to read decent sized novels (being a novel more than 200 pages long), and the short chapters make it easy to pick up and put down if you are doing other things.  There is a sequel on the way and hopefully it will open the way for more graphic novels set in this universe as there is a lot of potential for more storylines.

If you like this book then try:
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Witch and Wizard by James Patterson, Gabrielle Charbonnet, and Svetlana Chmakova
  • Witch and Wizard: Operation zero by James Patterson and Dara Naraghi
  • Legacy by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, and Kent Dalian
  • Maximum ride by James Patterson and NaRae Lee
  • Daniel X by James Patterson and MIchael Ledwidge

Reviewed by Brilla

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