Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Uglies: Shay's Story by Scott Westerfeld, Devin Grayson, Steven Cummings (Illustrator)

This graphic novel is originally based off of Scott Westerfield's novel Uglies. Westerfield has a whole Uglies series of four books. As of now there are two graphic novels based off of this series, first is Uglies: Shay's Story and the second being Uglies: Cutters. There will be a third graphic novel, but it is not yet currently released.

These particular graphic novels are known as manga. Manga is Japanese cartoons, comic books, or animation that usually are fantasy or science-fiction. There has been some debate on what manga really is and if these novels can even be considered authentic manga. A type of authentic manga would be considered Sailor Moon (I hope I am not the only one who loved Sailor Moon!) because it was created in Japan and then was translated for the English speaking market. However, none of this matters very much and it is just some information that made me reminisce my childhood. Here is some more information on the subject if you are interested.

Shay lives in a world where everyone gets surgery to make them "pretty" on their sixteenth birthday, whether they want to or not. Everyone who has not had the surgery is refeered to as "uglies". The uglies and pretties live in completely separate towns and are not meant to have much contact with one another, unless they are family, but even then there is little and sometimes even no contact with family members.

A group of teen age uglies create problems and break rules, but do not mean any danger. They talk about not getting the surgery, but it is not much of an option. They talk about running away and staying uglies, but some really still want to become pretties, they just hate the waiting part. The group of teens come across a boy named David who shows them a whole new place where the rusties lived, and they lived normal lives without the cosmetic surgery and lived off of the land. David is able to show the other uglies that there is another way of life outside of being a conformist and some start to consider running away and staying ugly forever.

This book seems like something girls would be more interested in reading than boys, however the graphic aspect may attract more boys than the actual Uglies novel. I am not a big fan of graphic novels so this is not something that I would teach in a classroom. I would teach the actual novel, I have read this when I was in high school, because it goes into so much more depth. It actually really reminded me of Feed and how Violet rejects the idea of conformity and the power that is trying to control them. I felt that the characters were similar to Violet in that way.

I also am a big Twilight Zone fan, I hope people know what this is. It reminded me of two specific episodes, The number twelve looks just like you and The eye of the BeholderI recomend watching any of the episodes,especially if you like the gothic.


Leslie Shambo said...

I was intrigued after reading your review and went online for a bit more information about the series, which I thought sounded fascinating (and you're right, it sounds exactly like a Twilight Zone episode!). It seems to me there would be a lot of implications for the high school classroom, particularly surrounding the idea of ethics, conformity, and loyalty. I was actually reminded of the utopian society in "The Giver," and how those ideals are questioned as characters come to see other sides of life.

Sean Andrew said...

I have always wanted to read Uglies and I have not had the chance to. I absolutely love dystopian novels (which would explain my love for Feed). This does remind me of an episode of The Twilight Zone. I think that this has a great potential to sit and compare the books just as you would with a movie.

maria rendon said...

I was also a big fan of Sailor Moon. Thought I never read the Uglies, I really enjoyed reading dystopian novels. This also reminds of the a couple of teen films such as "Mean Girls", where the protagonist has to change her appearance and attitude to fit in with the popular crowd. This is a must read for me.Thank you for the review