Grew Up... in a supposedly perfect world. Three hundred years after Seattle was ecologically devastated, a new society has arisen in which no one is hungry and everyone, at the age of 16, gets to become pretty.
Living... in Uglyville, where all "Uglies" live until the mandatory operation that turns them into stunning Pretties. Shay, however, would "rather have something to say” than be just another vapid, pretty face via plastic surgery.
Visiting... the Smoke, a settlement for runaway Uglies. The technology is primitive and the work is hard, but it allows Shay to escape the operation that would make her look and think like everyone else.
Profession... student, before running away. Now, however, Shay is a quasi-rebel – “quasi” in the sense that while residents of the Smoke are decidedly against the plastic surgery in the cities, they're far more interested in staying hidden than fighting.
Interests... danger, whether it involves hoverboarding over shaky rollercoasters or playing pranks on the new Uglies. Shay finds a kindred spirit in Tally, though she's disappointed that Tally buys into the beauty standards of their society. So it's all the more a surprise when Tally turns up at the Smoke, her face exactly as Shay remembers it.
Relationship Status... dating David, the son of the Smoke's leaders. Overall, it's been a pretty good relationship, though now that Tally's arrived, David seems to be paying far more attention to her than to Shay.
Challenge... remaining herself. Shay may have escaped becoming a Pretty, but rebels against society are rarely smiled upon, and already, there are scientists on the Smoke's tail. Shay's defiant, but she's only one person, and it's hard to tell who to trust when you're being slowly and systematically hunted.
Personality... rebellious, daring, and deeply individualistic. Though she can be abrasive in her advocacy of it, Shay is a deep believer that beauty is only skin-deep. For Shay, the operation to make Uglies “Pretty” is worse than worthless, and the whole system of Ugly/Pretty just a "game [...] designed to make us hate ourselves."
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