Friday, May 4, 2012

Uglies (Book One of Uglies), by Scott Westerfeld

Book One of Uglies
Written by Scott Westerfeld

"Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same was everyone thinking the same." -- Tally, Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

I have to say that I was pretty intrigued by this tale. It had received so much praise I was actually pretty skeptical that it would live up to the hype. For the most part, I thought it was pretty wonderful.

In the end I fell head over heels in love with the story, Uglies, and I genuinely liked the characters. The problem I did have with the characters was that I felt that they were incredibly simple. There is something to be said for a character that is straightforward, and I'm not denying that. Sometimes the simplest character has the ability to impact the plot in a way that a more complex character never could, like Charlie for instance, in the beginning of the book Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (If you haven't read this one I definitely recommend it....fascinating book). In this case, I found the simplicity to be a bit of a detriment to the story.

Not one of the characters seemed to have any depth. They were easily swayed by whatever the popular opinion of those around them at the time was. They were, to me, poster children for "If in Rome, do as the Romans do." They were just too intelligible. I found it rather unrealistic. To have had maybe two characters, each of which was staunchly loyal to their own side of the issue, would have been reasonable to me. They would have been the extremist viewpoints by which all of the other characters are judged by. But that wasn't the case in Uglies, at least in my humble opinion.

Here, none of the main characters really came into their own. In fact, I felt this way throughout the story, until it suddenly clicked with me. I wasn't seeing the author's subtle foreshadowing until the very end. Well played, Scott Westerfeld, very well played.

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