Westerfeld's Uglies continues in manga form: Shay's Story

I've written several times here about Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, a collection of outstanding dystopian YA science fiction novels about a world where everyone is forced to undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of 16. Westerfeld concluded the series in 2007, but now he is revisiting the world in manga form, co-creating a series of graphic novels with Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings.

The first of these volumes, Uglies: Shay's Story came out this week, and it's a fantastic, fast-paced addition to the Uglies canon. As the title implies, Shay's Story retells some of the key events in the series from the point-of-view of one of the minor characters from the novel, Shay, giving her her due (she was always one of my favorites). In so doing, Westerfeld and co illuminate more of the Uglies world -- and bring to it a set of visuals that flesh out and enhance the original novels.

You can certainly enjoy Shay's Story without reading the Uglies novels first, though each series (Shay's Story is the first of several volumes) contains a few spoilers for the other.

Uglies: Shay's Story


  1. Here’s something I can’t quite figure out: The way Shay is drawn above, she looks like she’s already been through the prettification process – big eyes, smooth features, flowing hair – all of the markers that make somebody Pretty.

    So how are they going to show us the difference between the two states?

  2.  “In The Eye Of the Beholder” a la Twilight Zone was not for adolescents….  so North American society no longer infantilizes adult women?  Is this progress?

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