Tally dreams of being pretty. All of her friends have already had the operation and now live in pretty town but Tally still has a month to go before her operation and live change. Now she is stuck in Uglyville waiting until the day she turns sixteen. She is all alone so she sneaks over to Pretty Town to see her bff Peris who is already pretty. She wants to make sure they are still friends because since his operation he hasn’t contacted her. She finds Peris and he assures her that once she becomes Pretty it will be just like old times together. Tally becomes a legend before she every becomes pretty when she has to escape New Pretty town without getting caught, she meets a new Ugly friend Shay in the process of escaping and at least she isn’t alone anymore before her operation.Shay has strange ideas, she doesn’t want to become pretty. She knows of a way out and tries to convince tally to come with her. Tally refuses but Shay leaves anyway and Tally is alone again. On the day Tally has waited for her whole life, the day of her surgery, she is whisked away to Special Circumstances to learn that they know of all the tricks she has played and that her friend Shay went to live in the ‘Smoke’ so that she never has to become Pretty and live in normal society. Tally is given a choice, be ugly forever or find the ‘Smoke’ and signal Special Circumstances. This book had a lot of social ideas. How do you keep a society in line, who decides what is beautiful, can you be beautiful to someone even if you are imperfect. There was also some environmental preachiness I think the story could have done without. I liked the way things were reused in the wilderness but some of the things they abhorred were really weird. I didn’t get how all the building and hovercrafts and stuff in the city were made so that they were environmentally sound and didn’t use trees or animals. It was a small part of the story though so it didn’t matter a lot. The contrast between city life and pretty life was great to see. All and all the story is interesting and moves along at a nice pace. You quickly pick up on the language and the end has a slight cliffhanger so I wanted to read the next book in the series right away. Solid writing and plot line even if it was a little preachy at times.