In the distant future, hovercars and hoverboards are the transportation, and it is not uncommon to choose a new face. Tally Youngblood is part of a section of Special Circumstances, the spying and police force for the City. Her group is called the Cutters. They cut themselves to awaken their senses. The Cutters' sole purpose is to destroy the New Smoke, a group of people who don't want to live in the City or abide by the City's rules. None of them want to take part in the operation that brainwashes them and transforms them into flawless looking people, known as Pretties. The New Smoke is passing out pills that will take away the lesions in the Pretties' brains so that they can think for themselves again. Tally and her best friend Shay, the leader of the Cutters, have decided to follow Zane, Tally's old boyfriend as he makes his way out of the City toward the New Smoke. Their plan is to discover the New Smoke's location and turn them in to Special Circumstances.
Tally finds her way to the New Smoke after many days of following Zane and his group. She finds that the New Smoke is now part of an enemy city, Diego. In Diego, everyone can look however they want. Tally looks for Zane, but she can't find him. When Diego is attacked by the City, Tally does everything she can to help Diego and save her friends, who have all taken pills to become “unspecialized.” Can Tally stop the City from taking control of Diego? Will she ever get to be with Zane again?
This report prepared by Katharine Schwab