Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BBC List Meme

The BBC believes that out of the following 100 classics, most people will only have read an average of six. Bold the ones you've read, italicize those you've dabbled with (read a portion/watched a film rendition/read an abridged version).
In my case the large percentage of italicized titles are because I've seen the movie and/or play.  Only a few have a read a few pages of.. the bolded are ones I have absolutely read.  Bolded and italicized are obvious.  I have both read the title and seen the movie based off of the title.
I think I beat the 6 easily.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Prince of Persia (2010)

Title: Prince of Persia (2010)
Director: Mike Newell
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Length: 116 Minutes
Tagline: Defy the Future
Synopsis: A young fugitive prince and princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.
My Rating:(★★★★★) I really enjoyed “Prince of Persia”.  I only regret that I didn’t get to see it on the big screen.  I didn’t get to see several of the summer blockbusters this past year that I wanted to see in theaters.  What with my employer closing their doors and being pregnant with my first child, I had a lot on my mind and hands during the busy time for the movies.
I rented “Prince of Persia” on Blu-Ray from our closest Redbox.  I used to hate the idea of Redbox and Netflix, mostly because I saw what the brands were doing to the company I worked for (Hollywood Entertainment).  I saw my employer going down the drain as they raised rental prices when their were options out there for people that were more convenient and less expensive without the threat of huge fines if their rental was brought back late.
I see the positives of Redbox and Netflix now, and use them frequently since losing my job in May.  Redbox when I don’t want to wait for my choice to come in the mail and Netflix for online streaming Television shows and other movies that I am willing to wait for.
Back to “Prince of Persia”.  I rented it on Blu-ray, like I said, paid the $1.50 from Redbox in order to take it home where I watched it while my son napped next to me on the loveseat.
The only thing I rolled my eyes at during the movie were some of the silly lines that Jake Gyllenhaal says near the beginning of the movie.  Otherwise, I really thought that the movie was fun, exciting, adventure filled and I really adore Mr. Gyllenhaal in most of the movies that I have seen him in.  I’m looking forward to seeing him in “Love and Other Drugs” later in November.
The special effects were amazing; the scenery beautiful (and probably all fake), the story was fun to follow and the movie was full of beautiful people who can actually act.  I enjoyed Sir Ben Kingsley as Nizamas well as Gemma Arterton as Tamina, and obviously Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan.
I won’t give any of the plot/storyline away by talking about it.  I wonder if I liked it so much because I used to play the 2D video game back in the day on our old Amiga (if I remember correctly), or because it just fits in the mold of the kind of movies that I have always adored since I was little?  They have to have an element of fantasy, a dash of adventure, faraway locales and a good looking main character doesn’t hurt either.
A clue that I liked it?  My husband came home with 5 minutes left of the movie, and I started it over immediately and watched it with him.
Prince Dastan: Difficult, not impossible.
Tamina: All more proof you're insane.
Prince Dastan: Why do you look so impressed?
My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shiver { Wolves of Mercy Falls #1 }

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Ideal Age Range: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 390
Copyright Date: 2009
Blurb: the cold.  Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house.  One yellow-eyed wolf-her wolf-watches back.  He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.
the heat.  Sam has lived two lives.  As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves.  And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace…until now.
the shiver.  For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance.  But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied.  Sam must fight to stay human-and Grace must fight to keep him-even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
My Rating:(★★★) I reserved Shiver from the library just last week, and I blame the pregnancy on my inability to concentrate for long periods of time which deters me from finishing a book in a decent spell.  Most of the time I trail off as I’m reading, and then I realize that I just skimmed over a whole page while I was thinking of what color on what wall in the baby’s room I want to paint, then I have to re-read it.
It’s not a dissatisfaction of the book in any way; it’s just my pregnancy affected brain rebelling against the book lover, the werewolf lover and the young adult novel lover in me.  Shiver reminded me of why I like living in Minnesota, since it is set in my home state, albeit a lot farther north than the Twin Cities that is my home, closer to the country line between the United States and Canada.
There is one scene in which she describes a golden wood that brought me back to my youth, when I would go out before school, tack up my little red mare and go riding in the back forty while the sun burned the dew off of the tall grass that inhabited our land.  It made me want to go take a nature walk so that I could enjoy the untamed nature that does lay just outside our back steps if we only embrace it, or at the most, go for a short drive to enjoy it.
I thought that the blue ink was interesting, I’m not sure why this is something that I am choosing to comment on, but it’s something that I noticed about the book right away.  It made the pages colder.  While you are reading at the beginning of each chapter, what degree of temperature it is outside, you can just imagine the words chilling on the page.
After getting over the novelty of blue ink on a novel, I was left with a feeling of slight let down at the end of the book.  It’s guilty of those terrible cliff hangers like at the end of season of your favorite television show, and yet I’m happy that there is a second book to read, and I will be picking up Linger in a few days or weeks.  Depends on what I feel like reading next.
The characters were not your typical teenage semblance, as both of the main characters were independent individuals who were used to taking care of themselves.  For very different reasons, of course, and maybe in this day and age with both parents most of the time working out of the house, most kids will relate to these characters.
While I didn’t love this book above all others, I will say I didn’t find anything that I really disliked about it.  I rated it at “I liked it” because while I do enjoy the take on the werewolves, I felt that the ending was a tad bit anticlimactic, but I did enjoy 95% of the prose.  I will read the rest of the series and probably like them just as much, maybe better.
Quotes: "Baby bunnies." She narrowed her eyes, so I grinned and said, "Adult bunnies, too. I'm an equal-opportunity bunny-eater."
Similar Titles: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Wounded by Stephen Cole
What I’m Reading Next: Honestly, I’m not sure yet.  I have a few to choose from, Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and Duchess by Night by Eloisa James.

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Personal Demon { Women of the Otherworld Series #8 }

Title: Personal Demon
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Ideal Age Range: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 371 Pages
Copyright Date: April 2008
Blurb: Tabloid reporter Hope Adams appears to live the life of an ordinary working girl.  But in addition to possessing the beauty of a Bollywood princess, Hope has other unique traits.  For she is a half demon-a human fathered by a demon.  And she’s inherited not only a gift for seeing the past but a hunger for chaos- along with a talent for finding it wherever she can.  Naturally, when she’s chosen by a very dangerous group for a very dangerous mission, she jumps at the chance…
The head of the powerful Cortez Cabal- a family that makes the mob look like amateurs- has a little problem in Miami: a gang of wealthy, bored offspring of supernaturals is getting out of hand, and Hope is needed to infiltrate.  As spells, astral projections, and pheromones soar across South Beach, Hope weaves her way through its elite hot spots, posing as upscale eye candy and reading auras of the clientele-and potential marks.
My Rating:(★★I normally adore Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, but this installment had me not quite as excited as usual.  Maybe it was because the main character was Hope Adams, Expisco Half Demon, or perhaps it was the fact that the point of view actually jumped between her and Lucas Cortez.  And for some reason that rankled me.
Maybe it was because the series is called, “Women of the Otherworld” and not “People of the Otherworld”?  So the point of view should only be a woman?  I’m not trying to be sexist or anything, but it did seem like a foray off the normal path that Kelley Armstrong is used to in her other books.  I could be mistaken though because it’s been many moons since I read No Humans Involved, the book that came before Personal Demon.
Her style of writing is still free flowing and very smooth to read, and a few of the scenes are exciting to follow along with but in my opinion, overall, the story was just not as good as some of her previous plots.  I wasn’t as involved, and I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m just not as big of a fan of the half demon character or if the mystery just didn’t appeal to me as much.
Overall, I can’t say I have anything specific to complain about, so I still rated Personal Demon as an ok read, but I do hope her next book is a little more of a stellar read because I really do enjoy her, and would hate to be disappointed again.
Quotes: She nodded.  “When it comes to bullshit detecting, Karl’s a natural.”
Similar Titles: Any of the other Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, my favorites are the ones that star Elena as the main character: Bitten, Stolen, Broken and I haven’t read Frostbitten yet.
What I’m Reading Next: Haven’t decided yet.

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bitten { Women of the Otherworld #1 }

Title: Bitten
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Ideal Age Range: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages
Blurb: “Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman.  She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym.  She’s also a werewolf.
Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her.  Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must reckon with who and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel.
My Rating:(★★★★★Such a great debut novel from the Canadian author, Kelley Armstrong!  I honestly blew through this novel right when it came out, and have been ravenously eating through her other Women of the Otherworld books as soon as they hit the bookstore’s shelves!
The books that she has based on Elena Michaels are by far my very favorite!  I love her ability to take our modern world and make it fantastical and yet so very realistic with her flair for writing supernatural fiction that includes Werewolves, Witches and Half-Demons.
Elena is such a strong and beautiful main character, and yet she has flaws.  She doesn’t like the werewolf aspect of herself, she doesn’t want to accept it, she just has to live with it.  She is angry with the one who made her the way she is and she doesn’t want to work through that anger, she’d rather ignore the fact that he exists and try to live a “Normal” life.  She tries really hard to live that normal life too, but she can’t deny her werewolf nature.
I believe that Kelley Armstrong’s novels are the reason why I don’t have a problem reading books in the first person narrative anymore.  I used have issue with reading, “I did this”, and “I did that”.  No longer!  I actually like first person narrative fiction so much now!  So many of the books that I have read lately have been in the first person as well, so it’s a good thing that I don’t mind them anymore.  Else I may never have picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or even Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
I recommend Kelley Armstrong’s books to anyone that happens to love paranormal fiction or Paranormal Romance.  They do have some surprisingly graphic scenes, which is why they are geared more to the adult reader than the young adult reader.  Although, I’m sure that an older teen would still possibly enjoy them as well.  J They have not let me down so far, and I doubt they will let you down.
Quotes: “I could start a fire.” “I could start one too,” Clay said.  “With your clothes.  Before you get them off.”
Similar Titles: Stolen by Kelley Armstrong, Broken by Kelley Armstrong, Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong
What I’m Reading Next: Still reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume I

Title: Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume I
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Art and Adaptation: Young Kim
Ideal Age Range: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 224 Pages
Blurb: When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret... Beautifully rendered, this first installment ofTwilight: The Graphic Novel is a must-have for any collector’s library.
My Rating:(★★★) Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume I is beautifully drawn, easy to read and follow and is basically like a simplified version of Twilight without so much of the gushing about Edward’s good looks.  It’s only the first half of the story though, with only rumors as to when the next volume will be released.  I agree with the blurb from the book description that it is probably a “must-have for any collector’s library”, but on the other hand it seems like just another cash vehicle for Stephanie Meyer to make even more money than she already has for the books that have become such a huge teen phenomenon.
If you like Young Kim’s work, I’d say pick it up for a read, at least to enjoy her artwork.  She doesn’t take her creative license from the movies so if you hate the way Edward or Bella look in the movies; you won’t be upset about the characterization from the graphic novel.
I enjoyed at least a few different sequences in the graphic novel, there is one point where they show the change of Edward’s eyes from the sated gold to the thirsty black that I thought was a great portrayal, and I did like the meadow scene, if only because it was full of color.  If you hate Twilight, or don’t like graphic novels in the least, it obviously wouldn’t be worth your time.
Quotes: “What if I'm not a superhero? What if I'm the bad guy?”

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Specials { The Uglies #3 }

Title: Specials
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Ideal Age Range: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 372 Pages
Copyright Date: 2006
Blurb: Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them.  A Special.  A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.
But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known.  Tally still has memories of something else.
But it’s easy for her to tune that out- until she’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently.  It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete.  Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.
My Rating:(★★★) Specials is Scott Westerfeld’s third book in the Uglies series that stars the 16-year-old Tally Youngblood as the main protagonist.  She is now a part of the elite group called Special Circumstances, a force that is meant to scare and keep the younger Uglies and Pretties in line.
This story starts off slow, which is how I remember the first two books beginning as well, so it was no surprise for Specials.  I knew that was how I felt about the previous books so it didn’t really bother me very much at all, I knew it would get better, and so it did.  It kind of amazes me that not much can happen within the first 70 or so pages, and then the story ramps up and gets exciting.  This could be considered a negative of Mr. Westerfeld’s Uglies novels, but I think it’s only a minor flaw, and certainly one that I am willing to live with.
There are more instances of action and plot points, the whole “cutting” thing made me slightly uncomfortable, but I know it actually pertains to real life issues that some teens face too, so I got over it pretty quickly.  It’s actually kind of interesting how Mr. Westerfeld talks about cutting, and other teen issues like bulimia and anorexia, his books aren’t making a point about them, but is stating them as a fact, that they happen or happened in the world of his creating.  It makes the characters a little bit more realistic or at least relatable to me.
The only thing that I wasn’t much of a fan of, and I don’t know if I mentioned this about the other books, and maybe it was even a positive in the other books, but this time, I found it almost distracting, was the overuse of the “interesting” vocabulary of the Specials like “icy” and when he uses “nervous-making” or similar phrases.  I know that the other books did the same thing with “bubbly” and “pretty-making”.
The next book isn’t starring Tally, and I don’t know how I feel about that.  I will read it, but it’s probably not up on the docket next.  Overall though, Specials was a good read!
Happy reading, Peoples!
Quotes: “-be careful with the world, or the next time we meet, it might get ugly.” - Tally Youngblood, Specials.
Similar Titles: Uglies, Pretties, and Extras by Scott Westerfeld.
What I’m Reading Next: How to Beguile a Beauty by Kasey Michaels

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pretties { The Uglies #2 }

Title: Pretties
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Ideal Age Range: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 370 pages
Blurb: Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.
Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.
My Rating:(★★★★) Pretties starts off several weeks after the conclusion of Uglies, Tally Youngblood’s character has had the surgery that she always wanted, at least before going to the Smoke.  She can barely remember most of her time there, and can’t remember some of it at all.
This book wasn’t as exciting adventure-wise as Uglies.  It had more development of the character of Tally, it added a different love interest, in the character of Zane.  I wasn’t really happy about that, but maybe I shouldn’t have let it bother me at all, because she is a teenager after all.  Love is such a new thing, changing and morphing, plus she had a surgery that erased parts of her memory, it’s a little different for poor Tally than it would be for any normal girl out here in the real world I suppose.
You can’t help but not like the character of Shay, I didn’t really like her that much in Uglies but in Pretties she becomes an enemy without Tally purposefully trying.  Unfortunately that seems to be Tally’s problem, most of the time.  She’s never trying to disappoint, betray or anger her friends, she just is manipulated by the system like everyone else in New Pretty Town, Uglyville, well the whole city I guess.
The ending was a little short feeling.  Like all the loose ends got tied up in a matter of pages, and then you’re left with the knowledge that you have to read the next book to really find out what happens.  Luckily, that didn’t irritate me with this book as much as it has in the past, like when I read The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip, or a few other novels.
I’m really into the whole dystopian society sci-fi novels lately, it seems.  I’ll have to break out of this “rut” soon and move onto a different sub-genre of Sci-Fi or run back to the Fantasy shelves at the library.  I might even throw an old fashioned Regency Romance in there somewhere!  J
Happy Reading!
Quotes: "Being pretty-minded is simply the natural state for most people. They want to be vapid and lazy and vain . . . and selfish. It only takes a twist to lock in that part of their personalities."
Similar Titles: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
What I’m Reading Next: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Uglies { The Uglies #1 }

Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Ideal Age Range: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages
Blurb: Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous.  What could be wrong with that?
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait.  Not for her license- for turning pretty.  In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellant ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time.  In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty.  She’d rather risk life on the outside.  When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world- and it isn’t very pretty.  The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.  The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
My Rating:(★★★★) Uglies is another one of those Sci-Fi young adult books that seem to be hitting the market lately featuring a highly technologically advanced dystopian society where everything seems perfect on the surface of things but if you happen to peel back a thin layer you could find something truly ugly.
Scott Westerfeld touches on so many of the issues that teens face nowadays in his “post Rusties” earth that it’s hard not to wonder what a world would be like where everyone is the same, would there really be no fighting?  No war?  No pollution?  Instead of teens starving themselves to be thin, or only some people getting plastic surgery to make them perfect, everyone gets surgery when you hit 16 and no one has to starve themselves to be thin because they already are.
The beginning of the book was a little lagging, but as soon as Tally’s friend Shay takes off for “the Smoke”, where the rebellious Uglies are that don’t want to move to New Pretty Town and get the surgery live, it starts to get interesting and exciting.  With the arrival of the terrifying Specials and the Ultimatum given by Dr. Cable, Tally has no choice but to go on an adventure that will change her life or never be pretty.
I enjoyed Uglies, after the slow start, it was an exciting read and I thought that the characterization of Tally was well thought out.  She seems like a shallow twit, but becomes much more out in the Smoke, and I felt very connected to her when suddenly things are not going her way anymore, I felt helpless when she felt helpless and terrified when she was terrified.
I’m really looking forward to reading the other books in the series!
Quotes: "Tally smiled. At least she was causing trouble to the end. "I'm Tally Youngblood," she said. "make me pretty."
Similar Titles: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, Specials by Scott Westerfeld, Extras by Scott Westerfeld

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey