- Alternate Character Interpretation: One essay in the companion book Mind-Rain paints Shay as a Psycho Lesbian.
- And another essay portrays her as a Draco in Leather Pants.
- Les Yay: Shay gets awfully jealous whenever Tally gets a boyfriend. This arguably becomes Foe Yay later on as Shay becomes more and more villainous.
- Somewhat intentional — the author purposely used gender-neutral terms when Shay asks Tally where she got her locket in Uglies. Westerfeld was careful not to make his utopian future a heteronormative society.
- Moe: All young Pretties have to look young and vulnerable.
- Older Than They Think: A new reader picking this up might dismiss this as a Hunger Games or Divergent clone - except it was written three to five years prior.
- Unintentionally Sympathetic: It's really hard to hate Shay when you consider that she has legitimate reasons to act villainous. Trusting your best friend with all your secrets only for her to steal your boyfriend, destroy your home, get you kidnapped and have a mind-warping chip put in your brain must really suck.
- This was Scott Westerfeld's intention, to show that Tally and Shay could never really be "best friends forever" as Shay creepily puts it at the end of Pretties. Although Tally isn't completely blameless, as Shay's Story points out, they still end up at odds from the trilogy's beginning to end.