Boy Books/Girl Books

Here’s an interesting question: Is Uglies a “girl book”?

Well, okay, if you put it that way, it’s a stupid question. It’s just a book, and it has as much supposedly “boy stuff” (things exploding, hoverboard chases, science fiction) as it does supposedly “girl stuff” (relationships, plastic surgery, things not exploding).

So the first thing I’ll say is, I’d hate for this post to suggest to anyone that these books aren’t for them. I write for everyone. (Except for boring people.) And I’d especially hate to suggest to any male readers that reading Uglies will “un-man” them. (Snorts derisively.) But it’s still a really interesting question about how readers see themselves, especially teens.

For example, I’ve seen the following in email and comments over the past few months:

A) Girls saying that they couldn’t get male friends to read the series.
B) Boys wondering if they’ll get hassled for carrying the books around.
C) And people of all genders saying the whole question is silly, of course.

It hasn’t been a huge thing. Most people who post here are pretty much into discussing the characters, themes, and imagery—which is as it should be. And no one seems to worry about Peeps, Midnighters, or So Yesterday. But there’s been just enough gender questions about Uglies to make me curious, and I’d like to hear from you guys. Because you’re all really, really smart.

So please answer whichever of these questions feel relevant to you:

1) When you suggest Uglies to friends, is it easier to get girls interested?
2) Do boys ever go “Nah, that’s girly!” if you suggest the books to them?
3) If so, do you think it’s the covers? The beauty themes? The titles?

And some other questions:
4) Do you think that girls read more than boys in general?
5) Do any of you boys feel weird talking about/carrying/liking Uglies?
6) Have I made you paranoid just by bringing this up?

Of course, my ulterior motive for doing this research is my next book, which is called:

Hah! Just kidding. But I had you going there, didn’t I?

Yes, I did.

131 thoughts on “Boy Books/Girl Books

  1. 1) When you suggest Uglies to friends, is it easier to get girls interested? i found it about =…. my guy freinds wanted to know if there where any guys in it and if there where chases and if things blow up.. haha…girls want to know if there is a love storie

    2) Do boys ever go “Nah, that’s girly!” if you suggest the books to them? a few did at first but when they read a little they where like this book rocks my socks!! lol

    3) If so, do you think it’s the covers? The beauty themes? The titles? i think its the theme that may say girl book to them at first….the covers are freaking awesome most of my guy friends liked them

    4) Do you think that girls read more than boys in general? i read a lot more then any guys i know…all my guy friends just read what they have to for school and suck….i was in a book clube a year or so back and there were 10 girls and no guys at all…..i think thats a little sad

    6) Have I made you paranoid just by bringing this up? haha not at all

  2. first off, i cannot believe that the uglies trilogy is OVER> i’m devestated and i don’t know how i’m going to survive. i wish is was a trigoly times 20. i just bought it yesterday but i had already read it. it’s kind of a bummer that two are paperback and one is hardback but it’s whats between the covers that counts. sooo to answer your questions–well kind of–when i bought the book yesterday the guy at the counter knew what the books were and had read them and we talked about how the covers are different. i think these books are for boys and girls but when i asked my brothers if they wanted to read them they said they were girl books but i think they are for both. i’m still excited as ever for so yesterday the movie to be out any dates on that yet? i hope that the uglies trilogy turns into movies too.

  3. 1) When you suggest Uglies to friends, is it easier to get girls interested? Well it is easier to get girls interested when I’d mention the love part, but thats only to the um.. denser group of my girl friends. But as for the ones that would actually consider borrowing it from me, or picking it up themselves, would go more indepth as to what its about. Like my 22 year old brother wouldnt mind reading it because of the futuristic theme, but he does have, when it comes to books for some God aweful reason, an ADD tendancy.
    I have a lot of artistic friends, and even myself, have made our own tatoo, like the one that Tally has on her face. So trying to get my brother to at least start the book, wasnt that hard. As was with my other guy friends who actually read.

    2) Do boys ever go “Nah, that’s girly!” if you suggest the books to them? A few did, but then those few did what the other ones did, and read it. Maybe not all of it, because thats just the way they are, but at least the first couple chapters.

    3) If so, do you think it’s the covers? The beauty themes? The titles? The titles could get the girls’ attention easier, like it did with me. But whats actually in the book gets the guys’ attention.

    4) Do you think that girls read more than boys in general? For me, its half and half. A lot of my girl friends read. And a lot of my guy friends read. But the guys who read, read really long.. long.. long novels. Or mangas! haha

    6) Have I made you paranoid just by bringing this up? Nope.

  4. “Hell yeah are there more girl books then guy books in Barnes and Nobels.”

    Yes, there are. We also get more parents who are worried about their girls reading “adult” books than parents who are worried about their boys reading “adult” books. Well, in my experience anyway. (I’m thinking it has as much to do with the “sex and…” part as it does the gender of their offspring.) Thus the relative parity in throughout kid’s section versus the very obvious lack of balance in the teen section.

    psst…Scott – If I sold one of your books today does that mean I get a special treat, like, um, maybe a hint about the big news? 🙂

  5. Well, if you sold the book and kept the money? Perhaps not.
    But wait, you mean ‘sold’ like advertised it and then they bought it at Dymocks or something! Still no.

  6. 1) When you suggest Uglies to friends, is it easier to get girls interested?
    Yes. But don’t blame yourself.

    3) If so, do you think it’s the covers? The beauty themes? The titles?
    It’s the covers. Which includes the titles. Don’t get me wrong, I love the covers, they are what enticed me to read the series in the first place. I just couldn’t ignore that stare from the cover of Uglies anymore after walking past it so many times at B & N. However, I think it scares the boys away. They are intimidated by the girl’s stare, and her challenge that they might garner a few raised eyebrows if spotted carrying that book around.

    And some other questions:
    4) Do you think that girls read more than boys in general?
    I think that teen girls read more FICTION than boys.

    I hope you don’t mind my posting a review of the Uglies trilogy on my blog. It will be up soon, as I just finished reading Specials this morning. 😉 Don’t worry, it will be a rave, not a rant.

  7. And speaking of which, check out #7 on the Children’s Picturebook list:

    FAIRYOPOLIS: A FLOWER FAIRIES JOURNAL, written and illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker. (Warne, $19.99.) Fairies I have known. (Ages 8 and up)

    Wow. The Pink Fairy has no chance against the Flower Fairies of Fairyopolis.

  8. hmm i need some advice. I keep writing short stories and my mom who is pretty good in english keeps correcting them, but i don’t want them corrected. Whenever she corrects one she changes the story alot. I do use some of the corrections sometimes. I’m not sure i appreciate it but i like her input because she’s more experienced than me. ANY SUGGESTIONS???? (i have no idea what to do.)

    PS by input i mean if she likes it and what part is a little shaky ect.

  9. Hey!

    The Uglies trilogy is not one that I would reccommend to a guy friend. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books, but I don’t think they’d read them. Yes, the covers are a part of that (sad but true, we do judge books by their covers). Still, I think if I could get a guy friend to read something like Peeps, they might be so draw in that they’d ask about other books by the author, in which case I’d shove my copy of uglies into his hands immediately. I’d bet you he’d not only read it, but also ask to borrow the sequal. So, really, it’s all about the stratagy, isn’t it?

    And finally, the question do girls read more than boys is laughable, truely. Simply put, various people of both genders read different amounts, depending on who you ask. In my experience, the truth is that girls are willing to ADMIT that they read books like Uglies, whereas most boys would rather admit to committing several various misdemenors before admiting that they’ve read a book whose primary focus is perseption of beauty.

    Thanks for the books!

    PS – I was hoping to meet you at the World Horror Awards last November and was sorry to hear that you had fallen ill and were unable to attend. Well, here’s hoping you’re feeling better next time around, eh?

  10. Jess – sorry for the confusion 🙁

    I work in the kids/teen section of a bookstore. So by “selling” one of Scott’s books I meant that I recommend it to a customer who went with my recommendation.

    I was, of course, joking. I already get paid to sell books, and besides, if anyone owes anyone anything, II owe Scott because the first book of his that I read was a strip that I took home from work. (hides from angry authors)

  11. In answer to your questions, I do feel that girls read more. I do, however, know some guy friends that like to read but mostly the genre they choose is history and war. I’m currently in the process of convincing my friend Mike to read the books, though.
    Anyway, I must say that I am facinated by your books and my hope of becoming a writter has grown over the last few days. I’ve gotten my whole family interested in this trilogy because of how fast I’ve been reading them! (I read Uglies Thursday through Friday when I checked it our from the library and I bought Pretties yesterday afternoon and finished it last night!)… I’ve also found my self saying “bubbly” and “sad-making/ dizzy-making” a lot over this weekend!
    Keep it up, you’re great at what you do. Also, please email me if you ever have the time. I would love to hear from you and talk with you about these books!
    – Chynna

  12. Scott: Fairyopolis, while a very attractive display of MCB’s beautiful Flower Fairies artwork, is not much of a story and is, of course, a knockoff of the Dragonology/Wizardology/Egyptology series.

  13. you seem kind of rude.. if someone asks you a question then you shouldnt be mean and throw it in their face… no matter how stupid a question it is.

  14. kay-lah, I think you just mis-read something, which is very easy to do on the internet. No one’s being rude here (or asking stupid questions, for that matter!).

    We leave for the airport in 93 minutes! Things I must remember:

    grab unfinished Philip Reeves book from next to bed
    pack computer power cord
    get “We Are the Winners” Eurovision Song Contest song out of head*
    put away Oz-only mobile phone in findable place
    brush teeth
    pack toothbrush
    pack dirty clothes of yesterday
    set alarm
    not explode!

    *This may be semi-meaningless to Americans, but Europeans, Aussies, and Israelis will laugh, laugh, laugh!

  15. I think that guys in general read less than girls. I really have no idea why this is. I love reading so I tend to talk about books a lot. When a guy does not read, I find it to be a major turn-off. Then I mentioned this to my mom and she said something along the lines of “you will never find a guy if you want one that reads!”

    I like to think that there are some guys out there – somewhere – who like reading. But I have found so far that it really is only my girl friends. But I’m still not giving up hope!

    … and I am still upset that Uglies is only a trilogy. And still in denial about Zane.

  16. 1. All of my girl friends came up to me when I read Uglies and said two things: 1. What’s that about? And 2. Can I read it when you’re done? Never actually recommended the book to my guy friends though… *ponders* uh, I guess my boyfriend would read it if I told him to, not sure if he’d like it though… I think he’d like it enough to read the rest of the series… if he didn’t see the “Pretties” title. He’s not a macho guy, reads almost as much as I do, just… likes to make fun of weird titles. My other guy friends… none of them would be interested, they’re into the reallllllly heavy sci-fi stuff: Star Wars, Star Trek… don’t know any other really sci-fi books… *ahem*
    2. Like I said, never actually recommended the books to guy friends. Probably just wouldn’t read it because they weren’t interested, not because it’s “girly”
    3. It is definitely the covers though. I wasn’t at all self concious (sp?) about Uglies, but Pretties… I got it at the library (serious money shortage…) and when my dad saw it I said “Yes, it DOES say pretties, don’t you dare say anything.” He didn’t say anything. Specials I read over a weekend… but I did take off the cover because Tally was staring at me while I was reading and that got kind of creepy. (What’s with the ear on the binding anyway?)
    4. Yeah, high school girls read more than high school guys, it’s a maturity thing 😉 But high school girls don’t read much either, and high school girls that are ignorant and stupid are even MORE annoying than high school guys that are ignorant and stupid, it’s insulting the feminineness I guess. And guys, Scott’s right: Girls find guys that read interesting at the very least. Great way to start talking too… Anyone here read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullan?* Met my boyfriend ’cause of that book, so people who have guy friends that don’t read: tell them to read. NOW.
    5. Not a guy…
    6. Nope. 😀

    * His Dark Materials is AWESOME, really, has anyone here read it?

  17. *edit to my His Dark Materials mention: His Dark Materials is a trilogy, not one book… The Golden Compass (The Northern Lights for the UK where it was originally published, turns out that the people that changed the title from Northern Lights to Golden Compass were the same people that changed J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, hmmm…), The Subtle Knife, and the Amber Spyglass. Again, GREAT books

  18. I’ve suggested the books to several boys, but they don’t read a lot, so…yeah. My little brother’s friend has read them and he’s a boy! He just didn’t like the kissing (silly little boy).
    At my school I think the only people who read a lot are my friends, a couple of other guys, and myself. Everyone else farms, or is “too cool for school.” Those aren’t their exact words…
    The titles and covers sometimes get weird looks, and that’s with me (I’m a girl.) so I don’t know. At my school “special” is used as an insult meaning you are stupid, so, yes, weird looks, the cover didn’t help much. (I personally LOVE the covers. But as mentioned before, covers with pretty people on them…not exactly a “boy magnet.”)
    I’ve only seen girls reading this series, but no one at my school really knows about Midnighters, Peeps, etc at all.

  19. yeah, the friends i managed to pull into the Uglies world are all girls. but that’s because i focused on a specific gender.
    i might have subconciously filter out the fact that boys do read… its quite easy; most of them don’t.
    they were curious, though. i get those i’m-macho-but-that-book-looks-cool inquiry often, but i guess the fact that it’s obsessed over by us girls scare those poor boys a bit… and there they are thinking they’re macho.

  20. yeah some guy asked me the other day about the specials cover asking what was on her face, and i went into detail, and just got a weird look. lol. I likethe idea of flash tattoos. I think that would be really cool if we actually had those…

  21. oh surveys! i love surveys.

    1) When you suggest Uglies to friends, is it easier to get girls interested? actually, i DID lend the first two to a girl friend of mine.

    2) Do boys ever go “Nah, that’s girly!” if you suggest the books to them?
    no, actually. they just say “sounds cool” and probably never wound up reading it.

    4) Do you think that girls read more than boys in general?
    i think it depends on the person, but i’ll tell you: girls are definitely more open about theit reading than guys are. guys will read books in private but not carry them around at school. at least, that’s what i’ve noticed. there are exceptions, of course, like anything.

    6) Have I made you paranoid just by bringing this up?
    hahah… no… i think everyone of both genders should read everything and anything they can get their hands on. no matter what it is, it enriches you and adds to your knowlege.

    cheesy? cliched? yeah. sorry. haha. i LOVE the books, by the way. (oh, and i’m a girl.)

  22. Whatever kind of book it is, they all rock more than any of the books I’ve ever read! I think it just depends on the person. It’s kind of annoying though. There are quite a few guys (I mean no offence WHATSOEVER through out this whole thing, but sometime when typing…things “sound” like I’m trying to insult someone I SWEAR I’M NOT! =D) that have more of a “reputation to hold up than some girls.

    I mean Where ever you come from or where ever you are, you still have the infamous exaggeration of every other word.

    ” EW YOU’RE *insert the newest daily insult) I’M not GOING near YOU, or YOU’RE book *Shoves nose in air snobbishly”…okay that’s overdoing it, but still. I think the whole “Girl book, Boy book debate is mostly over the so called “balance”.
    All in all, If the person (Girl or guy) Is really interested in it ( enough to not give a crap about what the “crowd” thinks) Then I say ‘Go For It!’

    Anyways I really hope I didn’t just majorly screw that up. Well I like your books either way, and I make everyone who will take a second glance at me read it. ( I have gotten one guy and one girl…few glance at me let alone twice XD)

    Keep up the great work Scott, and please,(people that may wonder about what the other people around them think about their book)
    No Worries!
    It can suck when people are jerks, but y’know what? Screw them! If they can’t handle the fact that you’re reading a book, then they are going to have a very rough life.

  23. I tried to get my friends who are guys to read them but they just wouldnt. But I think thats just because they dont like reading books they like reading those annoying anime comics

  24. 1) Yea! Ive gotten 5 of my girl friends to read it and they all say its there favorite book 🙂
    2) They dont say its to girly they say they dont like reading.
    3) The covers are cool!

    And some other questions:
    4) Well in m school yes. All the boys in my class hate to read and refuse to.
    5) No
    6) No but im always a little paranoid

  25. I must admit that i decided to read “Uglies” because i thought the cover and the title were very interesting. I was easily drawn into reading the series. I love the cover designs. I haven’t had the opportunity to tell any of my friends to read the books, because i only started reading a few days ago and i’m up to the second book in the trilogy, but i drew my sister into it. I may not qualify as a “young adult” (19 years old), but i love a good read.
    to answer more of your questions, i do think girls read more than boys. I’ve been trying to get a close male friend of mine to read Angels and Demons and the Da Vinci code, but he has yet to pick up either of them. He’s big on books, but I’ll see if he’s intereste in reading uglies and see if he thinks it’s “girly”.

  26. I think that girls do read more then boys although i have a few guy friends and they can’t get their heads out of books.
    I think the covers are wicked in a way…, they’re pretty creative. I don’t think uglies is a girl book, everyone has their own tastes in books. I might think some of my friends read some really stupid and boring books but they think that about some things that i read. Most of my friends hate reading so it’s pretty hard to convince them to read it but some of my family reads it and they really enjoyed it!

    Hannah 😉

  27. Helleum, I come from the Aussie Land! No, we don’t ride kangaroos to work (we prefer automobiles) and we live in loverly big cities near the ocean (not in desert). Just had to clear that up. So anyways, one of my good friends told me to read the Uglies trilogy. They were like the total best books I’ve read in a long time! Sure, there’s plastic surgery involved, but that makes it interesting. It’s also fastpaced (which is cool). I guess I’m not an idiot boy (hunting, guns, ha ha ha), I’m into fashion and what have you, but who cares. They were awesome books. I loved them. I want more, but they’re over. Oh bum. Most of my friends at school thought I was crazy. Junior said “Pretties?” Then he laughed. I just smirked and kept my wallpaper on my laptop I use at school as the “Pretties” front cover. I just explained that the books wasn’t about lipgloss. I think Girls read more than boys (we’re too stupid to read, duh!). I want a flas tattoo. I wish they existed. But that’s besides the point. If someone saw the cover, the title, and all that, and I was carrying it, they’d probs think I was gay (but they’re just sexist). Well anyways, my kangaroo is calling me – I need to ride him to school. Toodles.

  28. Hum, I’m responding to this late in the game so I guess it probably won’t ever be read. So, since that’s the case, I guess I won’t hold back.

    I just picked up Uglies last Thursday (just heard about it last Wednesday, for that matter), and I’ll admit that I do feel embarassed carrying it around, but not because I’m male. Mostly I feel guilty because I’m 21, and it’s supposed to be a young adult book, so people might, I don’t know, judge me because of that.

    I totally love the books, though. I just started Pretties tonight. I, um, suggested it to all my friends, but all my friends are female so I don’t know if that really says anything useful.

    What I like about the books is the way it makes me feel, not explosions or action sequences or any of that. I don’t know if I’m the right audience for this sort of thing, though. I was always hoping that Tally would just get the operation. I would. Heck, if I were in that position and I knew about the brain lesions, I’d want to do it even more, since it means it would change the kind of person you are, and I would pretty much give anything for that.

    Eh, so if you’re actually reading this, I’m sure I’m not the kind of person you’re writing these kinds of books for.

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