Uglies: Shay's Story, by Scott Westerfeld and Devon Grayson

Uglies: Shay's Story is a graphic novel tie-in to Scott Westerfeld's popular Uglies books. As the (totally unimaginative) title indicates, the book provides a backstory for Shay, one of the series' few interesting characters. Bored and rebellious, 15-year-old Shay is counting down the days until her birthday, when she will undergo the socially mandated surgery that will transform her into a Pretty—a physically idealized and permanently happy version of herself. Shay whiles away the time by playing pranks with some of her fellow Uglies, but when she gets a glimpse of an alternate future she realizes the cost of her transformation may be more than she's willing to pay.

Westerfeld's series has already been stretched from a trilogy into a quartet (and it wasn't that impressive of a concept to begin with*), so there's little creative justification for book #5. Shay's Story has its charms, however: Shay is a bright, daring heroine, and Steven Cummings's artwork is energetic and easy to follow (although there wasn't much of a difference between the Ugly and Pretty characters, which I found confusing). Plus, allowances can be made for children's fiction—it might not be a new idea, but at least it's new to them—so this flawed but reasonably entertaining installment is probably sufficient to please Westerfeld's many fans.

*Particularly if you buy those Twilight Zone rip-off rumors.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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