Uglies by Scott Westerfeld | I reread the series and than THIS happened

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I don’t really reread a lot of books and apart from Harry Potter I honestly don’t think I’ve reread an entire series ever. But when I found the audio books for this classic dystopian tale from my teenage years I decided to dive back in.

Book 1: Uglies
Goodreads review


This is the book that gets all the points for reminiscence. For some reason the first book is always the one that sticks with me most (and quite often I have NO RECOLLECTION of how the series ends once I finish reading).

Setting up a civilization that divides people by Uglies (pre-16s and pre-operation), Pretties (post-operation), and Crumblies (take a wild guess), Westerfeld’s society revolves around an operation that turns people into the image of biological perfection on their 16th birthday.

But of course it is never how it seems and there are secrets and manipulation and conspiracies.

I truly enjoyed all the characters in this book and the plot line was intriguing but also kinda basic as a reread. This is very basic 2000s dystopia, the characters are a little flat and the writing style isn’t exciting. 

Book 2: Pretties
Goodreads review


And then my rereading experience started to go downhill. While I gave this book the same rating as Uglies, I didn’t enjoy it as much. Gone is the reminiscence because my poor memory is kicking in.

In this book the characters are just so… annoying. Tally is annoying, Shay is bitchy, even David (the original love-interest) is getting on my nerves.

This book did introduce Zane, which I still SWEAR is the superior love interest in the series. Fight me. 

Book 3: Specials
Goodreads review


You would think that I would love the book that is about the genetically engineered cruel people who run all the conspiracies.

But no. This was the most boring book in the series.

Maybe that is why I don’t even remember reading this one.

Book 4: Extras
Goodreads review


Okay, let’s just be real.

This is not the final installment of the series like advertised. This is a spin-off book.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Extras better than Specials, but the entire book just feels out of place in the series.

I really appreciate the idea of expanding the world a little more in each book – which is really the focus of this book – but with a whole new crew of characters AND a new type of society just throws this book off too much.

So I was halfway through rereading the final book when WESTERFELD ANNOUNCED THAT HE WAS WRITING ANOTHER 4 UGLIES NOVELS.

It has been 12 YEARS since Extras was first published and now, out of the blue,after grudging through the series again and NOT enjoying it much as my formally-youthful self did: the series is suddenly not finished. What the actual heck?

Westerfeld has basically stated these will be like Extras, a futuristic version of the Uglies universe with what I’m guessing are unrelated characters. But, like in Extras, the old characters will apparently make a reappearance.

Ideally, I’m hoping for a sapphic remix of Extras with better writing (because world help me if Westerfeld’s writing is the same basic blandness that it was 12 years ago…)


Backlist Reviews: Illuminae, Every Heart a Doorway + Saga Vol. 8
Backlist Reviews: Scythe, Clockwork Prince + Dear Martin
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples


Disclaimer: Header photo by Fredy Martinez on Unsplash

22 thoughts on “Uglies by Scott Westerfeld | I reread the series and than THIS happened”

    1. And that’s the thing! So much of it is the memory of when we first read the books which doesn’t always translate well into the here and now.

      I think I’m going to pick up Impostors to test it out, mostly because I want to see how Westerfeld as developed as an author, and that will determine if I want to read the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. oh. well how handy was it that I just thought this serie sounded good, and saw you uploaded this on the same day eh xD

    If i’d cross the books, id may still give them a shot – as I never read or even heard of them before.. but it’s nice to hear more “deeper” than what I saw on the other post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow that coincidence though! I definitely include more detail on the Goodreads links if you want it.

      It’d be interesting what it’d be like reading them for the first time in the current book climate. Because while I used to love them I think it’s the change in the awareness in stories and my personal critique that didn’t exist before that ruined the books for me this time around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah .. sometimes it’s the “well, not as good as I thought it was” based on knowing you once loved it. Hence why I don’t wanna touch some books again ahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. interesting I’ve never read these books but they’ve been on my radar to get to for a while now hmmmm plus for some reason I actually enjoy the old 2000’s dystopian haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And that’s the thing! I love dystopia and 2000s dystopia was my childhood.

      I really don’t know how much of my disappointment is based off the reread or the actual books. You should still try them out!

      Liked by 1 person

    I finally got the first book, thus completing the series and I am so stoked to get started on it again. I have the old covers as I really don’t like the new ones.
    I hope my love for this series stands the test of time or I am going to be really sad.

    Great review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw that on Twitter! Yeah I think I prefer the old covers too, I used the new on my post because that’s what the audio books used.

      I wonder if rereading the physical books would have gone better for me than the audio…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really excited about it, in case you couldn’t tell! lol. Perhaps. lol. I can’t answer that because I’ve never read an audiobook

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hehe, I loved Extras for the exact reasons you didn’t, just that it focused on new characters and expanded on what would happen /after/ the previous protags did their save the world business. I do have a soft spot for this world and the technology esp and Westerfeld, but I really liked reading your thoughts. i do wonder how I’ll feel whenever I get to a reread; I do know I’ll still be bitter about his treatment of Shay, and Zane for that matter. And now that you’ve mentioned the current book climate, if Westerfeld doesn’t step up, his writing game and characters, WELP.

    I haven’t read everything by Westerfeld but I’ve liked what I’ve read to various degrees. And I just saw that Alan Cumming narrated Leviathan (an alternate steampunk WWI tale) and YES. GOOD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are spot on about the book climate and I think that was my biggest issue with the reread. Which is also why I am super curious about how Westerfeld will approach the new books.

      Yeah, I’ve got Midnighters sitting on my shelf that I want to pick up. I haven’t read anything of his beyond Uglies, so I’m willing to give him another shot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. i read book 1 and loved it.
    Read book 2 and was a bit like ummm this is the same story right? just rehased a little.
    and book 3 i was so bored.
    but i got that far so okay Extras we can do ittttt – i enjoyed it more bc it was fresh but just ??? eh??

    so I TOTALLY FEEL YOU and understand what you mean!!

    i mean? im still gonna try the new series because why not, maybe his wriiting has improved?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a great review Becca! Personally I never felt interested in reading this series. I just have no interest in it and I feel like I won’t enjoy the 2000s dystopia vibe. Plus I heard the writing wasn’t great so yea I’m not picking I up. I’ll save myself the time for books that I really want to read XD

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s ok. I mean I’ve read Divergent when I was younger but I’m so afraid to read it again because I loved it a lot. My reading tastes have changed.

        Liked by 1 person

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