I did not
intend to read this book right now. My TBR pile is huge, but somehow it sneaked into my hands. In the wee hours of the morning, I was on Twitter and was watching #YAKills and this book came up. I had it on my Nook, so I decided to check it out in order to follow the conversation. One hundred pages into the book, I realized that I was somewhat committed. I finished it 14 hours after starting it, despite working and chasing my spawn. Don't let the 4 stars fool you - it was a fantastic read, but I don't give 5 stars lightly.
Tally Youngblood is a young teenager who believes herself to be horrendously ugly. She is a prankster and looks forward to becoming a Pretty in order to be with her best friend Peris again. While counting down the final weeks until her cosmetic surgery that is required of all sixteen year olds, she meets Shay, another Ugly. Unlike Tally, Shay does not want to be Pretty. She wants to escape. Through Shay, Tally meets David. Then her world turns upside-down.
I couldn't put the book down, but I didn't really like the characters very much. I don't think I was supposed to like them. None of his characters are perfect, and Tally is sometimes downright distasteful. This book is one of those that skips over character development in order to move the plot along, which I can appreciate. However, each argument, betrayal, kiss, and sacrifice are essential contributions to the story. Nothing is done in this book without a reason and the finished product is a deliciously rich tale of teen rebellion. Westerfeld doesn't drag out events that could turn into quagmires and handles social issues quite nicely.
This book is great for older teens (and teens who will never grow old) who enjoy the post-apocalyptic and/or sci-fi/fantasy genres. Although I have books lined up, I have already started book 2, Pretties, to find out what happens next.