Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is Truth?, April 20, 2012
This review is from: Uglies: Shay's Story (Graphic Novel) (Uglies Manga) (Paperback)
Scott Westerfield and Devin Grayson have brought the 'Uglies' to Life.

This, I must admit, is my first exposure to Westerfield's fiction, and I like it. Reading this, I read more than an adventure, a little more than a 'joy ride', more like Logans run sans the happy ending, and if I were to put his into a musical perspective, a cross between Rush's Red Barchetta and 2112, the Soliliquoy.

The question behind Uglies is that of what is 'real'? What is truth? As I said, this is a deep story that explores Shay, and her conflicts. She tries to run from being pretty, and being superficial, yet in the end, who can escape some form of conformity? The only variable is that of how much do we choose to conform.

Shay and her friends run to the forest and wild, to live for just a short while. The Crims, as they explore the ungoverned wild, live free of restraints, and step back into a polar opposite of what they grew up in. Close to the theme is that of trust, who can you trust?

Just whom you can, what you can, and what you may be are not always what you expect. This book is much more than I would expect, and being Pretty is not all it is cracked up to be.

Very well done, in terms of illustration by Steven Cummings, and the adaptation by Grayson. Shakespeare would be proud.

Tim Lasiuta

In Uglyville humans are ugly until their sixteenth birthday. At that time they must choose to become a Pretty and enjoy the fruits of society or remain as they are. Most opt for the Surge to change them into a Pretty as the materialistic hedonism of obedience supersedes toiling as an Ugly.

As Shay nears her landmark birthday, she looks forward to transforming into a Pretty; as does her friend Tally. Both are daredevil risk takers tampering with their hoverboard safety mechanisms. After a crash landing, Shay meets Zane known as Stretch. She says her friends call her "Skinny". He tells her he plans to go out not up as she did. Shay thinks he means the burbs with the middle Pretties, but he says beyond the grid. Stretch introduces Skinny to the skeptical teen Crims who question anything society claims as fact. Feeling an affinity with the Crims, as her sixteenth birthday nears; she must decide between Shay the Pretty in the city or Skinny the Ugly in the wilderness.

Fans of Tally's saga sees the story from Shay's perspective in this terrific graphic book that captures the same values questions of what rights a citizen has to say no to a society demanding conformity. The storyline is fast-paced with illustrations enhancing the action. Readers will appreciate Shay's choice in a society that demands compliance in exchange for a life of "pleasure". Though targeting middle school children, the entertaining storyline will remind readers of commentary by Dylan Ratigan (see Greedy Bastards) and Charles J. Sykes (see A Nation of Moochers: America's Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing) though Shay insists there is a price to pay.
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