Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Who it’s for: teens
In a future civilization, the government offers its citizens on their sixteenth birthday dramatic plastic surgery to turn them into ‘pretties,’ who will then live a carefree life of relaxation and parties. Tally Youngblood is eager for her modifications, but Shay, another ugly, talks to Tally about the opportunity of rebelling against the social standards of physical beauty. On the day of Tally’s operation, she is given a proposition: assist the authorities in tracking the rebel Shay down, or never undergo the “pretty” surgery. Tally ultimately chooses to help the authorities in pursuing the rebels. Through some twists and turns in the story, the rebels soon reveal to Tally that the operation also contains surgery that makes them easier to control–ultimately altering their brains. Tally and the other uglies join together to resist their transformation and to discover a remedy for those already turned ‘pretty’.