The protagonist is 16 year old Tally. Her whole life, she was looking forward to getting plastic surgery to make herself ‘pretty’. Now that she is finally 16, it was time. During the few months before her surgery, she befriends a stranger, Shay. Through their love of adventure, Tally and Shay make many memories together.
The antagonist is Dr. Cable. She is denying Tally’s right to go through plastic surgery until Tally breaks her promise with her friend, Shay and reveals where Shay is hiding.
The conflict starts when Shay and Tally have opposing views on cosmetic surgery. Once someone turns 16, the government requires them to get surgery in order to become ‘pretty’ and live in the better, more advanced part of town. Tally always looked forward to this and was excited to finally be able to seen as a ‘pretty’. However, Shay believes that no one is truly ugly, and that ‘pretties’ who went through surgery all end up looking just like everyone else.
To Tally’s dismay, Shay refuses to go through surgery, which goes against the government. A week before they turn 16, Shay flees the city to live in another town that she secretly discovered. Shay says her goodbye to Tally and tells her where she would live if she ever wanted to come visit. She makes Tally promise that she wouldn't tell anyone, or else she could get into serious trouble. As much as it pains for Tally to see her friend go, she knows it would make her happy.
After Shay leaves, it is finally time for Shay to get the surgery. However, the surgeon, Dr. Cable knew about Shay. She had been watching Tally and Shay very closely for the past few months. Dr. Cable knew that Shay left, but she didn't know where she went. Dr. Cable tells Tally that she wouldn't be able to get her surgery until she reveals where Tally ran off to. Will Tally risk losing her friendship or her dream?
Even though Tally really wants to become 'pretty', she wouldn't want to risk her friendship. She may go find Shay to warn her about Dr. Cable. Together, Shay and Tally may form a plan to take down Dr. Cable and to stand up against the government's insane rules. Tally may realize that Shay was right all along, that being 'pretty' is not what really matters.