This book came recommended to me first by several of my students and then I saw that there were several teachers who were reading them, so I figured I should add them to my list. I let my sister Cathy borrow them to read and she gave them back to me at Fish Lake, where I started this one.
I knew the premise of the books before I started, but I have heard several complaints that the start of the books throws a reader off for a bit because there is the element of the unknown when it comes to what is happening, discussions of surges, hoover boards, Uglies, Pretties and the like. I appreciated the fact that the story just starts out rather than trying to give the background. It is one of the greatest flaws many sci-fi writers make and in my research, it is often the first thing that writing teachers tell their students not to do - just start with the story, let the setting build with the characters and plots.
I loved these books. One of the first reasons is the silliness that is shown for the people to be considered ugly until science can fix them. Because it is taken to such extremes, I have heard recently many of the girl students I teach talking about how they think it is so stupid to get plastic surgery done, even though they admit they don't really like how they look all the time, they would rather look like them than have a surgery done.
I loved the adventure of this book, the way that the action continued climbing and building, adding different elements of the different worlds with each new adventure Tally encounters. I think they are very fun books, perfect for girls to read in 6th-7th grade or above, right when they start getting really self-conscious.
It has great lessons on friendship, courage, and most importantly self image. It is a good wholesome book - brain candy if you will, but with a bit of a lesson about how to ignore what everyone is telling you you should be. Two thumbs up.