Uglies: Shay's Story by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson, illustrated by Steven Cummings
Current Mood: silly
Current Song: Little Lord Fauntleroy 1921 score by Gaylord Carter and Louis F. Gottschalk
You're Ugly. I'm Ugly. Everyone considered to be an Ugly - until the age of 16, when a special surgery transforms you into a Pretty.
That's the premise of Scott Westerfeld's amazing series, set in the not-so-distant future. Uglies is a must-have series for all fans of dystopic literature.
When I read the first book upon its release years ago, I couldn't wait for the next volume, and the next. Uglies was originally a series of three books: Uglies, then Pretties, then Specials. Westerfeld followed his imaginative trilogy with a companion novel, Extras, as well as a non-fiction guide to the books titled Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies. Now, three related graphic novels written by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson and illustrated by Steven Cummings will shed new light on this world of beauty and smoke. The first volume, Shay's Story, will be released on March 6th, 2012.
Shay's Story is exactly that: The stories of Uglies told from Shay's point of view. Hold onto your hoverboards and rings as you turn the pages. I flew through this graphic novel just as quickly as I flew through the original books. Steven Cummings' black-and-white illustrations were cool. The action sequences in the novels were just begging for an illustrated edition.
Seeing Shay, Zane, David, Tally and the others in action was a real treat.1 I love seeing a story from different perspectives.2 In Uglies, Tally is the protagonist; in Shay's Story, she is a supporting character, with Shay taking center stage. Those who enjoyed the prose novels will certainly enjoy the graphic novels, as they give insight into the books' subplots and supporting players, so even though long-time Westerfans will know what's coming, there are still surprises and discoveries. I look forward to seeing what happens in volumes two and three.
Update: Volume 2, Uglies: Cutters by Scott Westerfeld, Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings was released in December 2012.
(1) I attempted to recreate one of Shay's hairstyles. Shay, with her super-long gravity-defying locks, looked much better than I did.
(2) My favorite TV examples of the Rashomon effect are as follows: "The Rashomon Job" on Leverage and "Bad Blood" on The X-Files.
TV tie-in: If you like Uglies, you need to watch The Twilight Zone episodes called "Eye of the Beholder" (aka "The Private World Of Darkness") and "Number 12 Looks Just Like You."
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