In the book Uglies, it is a few hundred years from now. All of our social problems have been taken care of. Not only have the scientists in this future figured out how to use technology to make sure everyone is housed and fed, they have also figured out how to make everyone equal. There is no judging people based on their appearance. No racism. The reason? Everyone looks like this [show slide of actors].
At the age of 16 everyone is required to get an operation that turns from an Ugly (normal) into a pretty. Plastic surgery turns you into the ideal beauty. At least the ideal in Hollywood and fashion magazines.
Tally Youngblood is going to turn in a few months. Like other Uglies, she enjoys riding on her hover board and playing pranks on her teachers and other adults. And of course she is looking forward to the operation that will turn her into a Pretty. They might shape her eyes, extend her legs, and raise her cheekbones. It is the event that every teenager looks forward to (not getting her driver’s license).
When you are turned into a Pretty, you spend the next few years attending parties and living a care-free life. Non-stop parties with the other Pretties in a nice apartment in New Pretty town.
Then she meets Shay who quickly becomes her closest friend. Shay doesn’t plan to get the operation. She tells Tally about a place called The Smoke. In The Smoke, people live without the technologies that have made life so easy and care-free where Tally lives. Smokies prepare their own food and live using the old ways. Most importantly, they don’t get the operation. Shay has offered to take her to the Smoke where she can meet the mysterious David, a boy who has lived his whole life there. Tally is not sure such a place really exists.
But The Smoke is a threat to the Pretties way of life. When the day for Tally’s operation arrives, instead of being going to the operating room, she is taken to the Department of Special Circumstances. She is given a choice: Go with Shay to the Smoke so the Specials can locate the colony or never get the operation.
This is her choice: Betray Shay and live the life she was meant to live or remain an Ugly forever.