Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers 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.This is another "dystopian" type of young adult novel. I can't help it, I love them! This series is based in a future where everyone gets surgery when they turn 16 to make them "pretty." It gives everyone who has it similar looks- because until you look like everyone else, you're "ugly" and are separated from the "Pretties." Once you become pretty you get to live in Pretty Town and go to parties and your life becomes amazing or whatever.
The setting is around 300 years in the future where the old cities were abandoned and the people who used to live there are called "Rusties'." The Rusties' cities have decayed after a bacteria that infected the oil society had been so dependent on, making it unstable. Society fell apart and everything made of the old metals was abandoned and rusted (hence, Rusties'), including cars, buildings, etc.
Tally and Shay meet 3 months before their 16th birthday (which they share) and become friends. Shay isn't really interested in becoming pretty while Tally wants to be like everyone else. Shay leaves for the smoke before their birthday leaving Tally in a bind because the cruel and scary looking Dr Cable says Tally won't become pretty until she finds the smoke (following the clues Shay left her) and alerts Special Circumstances. Because (for reasons I'm not going to tell you about) the government wants everyone to be pretty and those ugly people in The Smoke living their lives are going to ruin everything. But Tally starts to care for these people causing a dilemma for her.
I really liked the concept and it made me think about society's concept of "pretty" and why it's better to be yourself than to cave to society's pressures. All the feels! Plus they have cool hoverboards... HOVERBOARDS! Definitely worth a read!