Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world — and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
My decision to read this book came from noticing a lot of local schools were using this as a required read. That, and in addition to the synopsis I decided I wanted to check it out. It didn’t hook me right away, all I could think of is this is a society that is convincing their population that being pretty is the only way to succeed in society. But as I read further I saw more to it. Tally can be compared to most of today’s young adults, looking to society to define the best choices for them. Some will succumb to peer pressure and some will make their own choices and forage ahead. In Tally’s world this is all she has ever known so when Shay offers her a chance to break free from a narcissistic society she has some big decisions to make.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and its a bold eye opener about peer pressure, conforming to society and really learning about one’s self. I was not to thrilled with the ending of the book but since I know this is part of a series I know that every ending has a reason and I will definitely be reading the rest to see where the journey takes Tally. With some mild violence, and teenage drinking I would definitely recommend this to a mostly teen and above audience.