Nominal spoilers. Uglies opens a young adult dystopian trilogy (or tetrology, if the 4th book, with different characters, is included). Westerfeld has done a pretty good job of world building, and the action is generally consistent with the social structures and history he provides. Having read the first three, I'll say that Uglies is the best, and best-suited to stand alone. The protagonist, Tally, is waiting impatiently for her 16th birthday, when, like everyone, she will have surgery to become a "pretty." During a prank, she meets Shay, who raises important questions about becoming pretty. The feel here is similar to the early part of John Christopher's Tripods books, with the important difference that Tally, who just wants to be pretty, is coerced into narking on Shay and the dissidents, who remain uglies and live in a secret community called the Smoke. Tally's flip-flopping loyalties are as annoying as a real teenager's are, bringing a realistic emotional element to this brave new world. Points to Westerfeld for the best closing line I've read in a long time.