Finally surgically transformed into a "pretty," sixteen-year-old Tally, now gorgeous and programmed to think only happy thoughts, is plagued by tangled memories of living in the Smoke, a rebel colony of "ugly" runaways hiding from the Special Circumstances authorities.
Original publication date
This book suffered a bit from "middle" book syndrome but was still very compelling save for some blatant anorexia and cutting (sure, it worked as part of the story, but I personally didn’t like it). Tally and Shay continue their "love/hate" friendship/rivalry which is a well-drawn and convincing adolescent relationship. Some characters from the first book, such as David are given not as much screen time as I might have hoped and some new characters, such as a savage young man who is part of a anthropological study of violence, are given a bit too much. You do learn more about the world the author has created and are well set up for the third book, "Specials".
Good ethical and philosophical arguments arise within the story and will keep teenagers discussing what is shallow vs. what is real. Excellent science fiction.
Pretties was a book that started off with a bang and then kept sucking you along on the adventure. I found it to be quite a bit more exciting than Uglies. I thought the ending a little heartbreaking, although a bit predictible and it left me a bit anxious to read the third book to find out what happens. I might have to plan on reading it sooner than I originally anticipated.
Tally is part of the Crim clique and their thing is pulling tricks like they did in their younger Ugly days. It gives them a buzz and helps them wake up from the Pretty haze that they otherwise live in. Tally is drawn to fellow Crim Zane and the two of them quickly start spending more and more time together. Events from Tally's past though don't stay buried for long and people form the Smoke start appearing to her with a series of clues and tests for her to follow. Trouble is, will she like what she finds at the end and where will it take her next.
This was a lot of fun. I like Tally and it was good to meet some new characters like Zane and Andrew Simpson Smith. The story moved on nicely and I am looking forward to the next in the series.
Of course, she doesn't remember most of that now that she's been made Pretty; being Pretty isn't just a physical change, the brain is deliberately altered as well. But she does have a sense that something is just not quite right with her carefree world. And she's not the only Pretty who's uneasy. When someone from her Ugly past crashes a party to get her a message her world suddenly becomes more dangerous because she begins to remember what she's learned, and there are some people who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets. Tally and her friends develop a daring plan to escape the confines of New Pretty Town and run away to the New Smoke. But with the authorities watching more closely every day, anything could go wrong and their time is running out.
Scott Westerfeld delivers yet another piece of great dystopian fiction for young adults with Pretties. I'm not sure which I've enjoyed most so far, but I will definitely be picking up Specials to finish off the trilogy.
Experiments in Reading
Pretties was a good follow-up to Uglies, though not quite as gripping. True, it was still fast-paced and when I picked it up I didn't want to put it down, but I didn't have the driving urge to pick it back up once I'd put it down that I had when I read Uglies. That could have been because Tally was already pretty and was constantly fighting the pretty-headed fog surgically altered into her brain, and that fog certainly comes across in the prose of the book.
In all, I liked the book, and want to know what happens in Specials and then in Extras.
Some of the main issues that I had with that book were not fixed in this book. But at least this time around they are a little more tolerable. Mainly the word
And lot of other ones. Almost on every single page.
Last time I mentioned that I really did not connect with the characters in the book. I did not have the same problem this time. I liked Tally Youngblood's character and the other main character that he introduced in the installment, Zane. I thought that the characters were a little more realistic this time. Also, Tally seemed more mature. The personality of the characters (especially Tally) really shined through this time.
I also enjoyed that Pretties was much more fast paced to me. There was a lot more action happening and that helped. But with those actions you could see Tally's character growing and developing.
Westerfeld also picked up nicely in between the two books. There was no awkward reintroduction. I just gave a few paragraphs to remind the reader of what happened last time.
Overall a much better book than the first.
I really do like this series. Westerfeld keeps up the action without making this a brain-dead action book. The love-triangle also worked much better than one in another young adult I could name. Perhaps the best part is the social commentary, which works because of the dystopian society in which Tally lives. I don’t even want to describe some of the commentary both about Tally’s time and our own because I don’t know how to keep it from sounding heavy-handed, although Westerfeld pulls it off quite nicely.
Perhaps the only the I didn’t like about “Pretties” is that it ended with a similar sort of cliffhanger (although not quite the same) as did “Uglies.” They were a little too similar for my taste, but that didn’t stop the ending from propelling me straight into “Specials!”
At the end of this book I wished that Zane, Tally Youngblood's boyfriend could have stayed with her. They were so great together. I feel really bad
Darn, and number
This is par for the course for the middle book in a trilogy, giving more exposition of the flaws in the society and setting up for the third book.
recommend this book to anyone,