Saturday, 5 May 2012

YA Book Review: 'Pretties' by Scott Westerfeld


By Scott Westerfeld

Published: May 5th, 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Second Book in the 'Uglies' series 
Format: Paperback
Pages: 370

Cover Art

I like the covers for all the book in this series...they are eye-catching and appeal to a plastic surgery fascinated society!

Plot Synopsis

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.

My Rating

First Line

 'Getting dressed was always the hardest part of the afternoon'


I think the general consensus among people who have read this is that it is not as good as 'Uglies'. It is more of the same really, and I found it very VERY slow to begin with but, once Tally starts adventuring again, I really liked it! I think I preferred this one to 'Uglies' because it's much more sinister and dark and frustrating...which I know are not everyone's cup of tea but I like those elements!

Tally is a bit annoying in this one though. One of the things I liked about the first one was the way she was so adamant she wanted to be pretty, just like everyone else that lived there; she wasn't particularly gifted or special. She was immersed in the ideology of the place she lived in and was very much a product of society. In this one, she is portrayed as some amazing gifted self-curing superwoman which did annoy me quite a lot. I preferred it when she was more normal.

From page 200 onwards I loved the book. Until that point I had been flagging, reading 20 pages here and there, never really getting properly into it and just looking forward to finishing it so I could move onto another book! However, as soon as I hit the 200 page point I suddenly got hooked! I found it really exciting and I loved how where in the first half things had seemed too easy for Tally, suddenly she faced real problems and real dangers and things became much more difficult. Maybe I just wanted to punish her for forgetting David...I kindof love David. The love triangley aspect of Tally having to sort of choose between David and Zane didn't really do it for me but mehh when it's young adult you come to expect that sort of thing! Girl is so desirable two guys fight over her...who didn't want that when she was 14!? I know I did.

Overall...I thought I wasn't going to bother with the rest of the Uglies series when I first started this book but now I really want 'Specials'! I loved the ending and want to know what happens next! Yes I know it will be formulaic and another version of what has already happened in the first two books know...sometimes formulas are squared...that one is important...I think. JUST KEEP TELLING MYSELF THAT IT'S OK TO LIKE THIS.

EDIT: I have been reading other reviews about the mutilation aspect of this book and I wanted to write a quick note about that. It does seem very strange that to feel more 'bubbly' which is another way of saying 'feel more alive/feel more about the world/have a better clarity of mind' you can cut yourself. This is a weird message. I guess the author is trying to think of things that would cause adrenalin like climbing tall towers, kissing boys, getting tattoos...but it does seem strange that cutting yourself is given power in this novel. Although the main characters see it as wrong, I still don't think it should've been included.

Other Thoughts
This Book has Inspired me to Read: 'Specials' by Scott Westerfeld.

Three Words to Describe this Book: Dystopian. Exciting. Average.


  1. I was disappointed in this one. I adored Uglies
    and just didn't love Pretties. Oh well! :)

  2. The series does go down hill, but I had to know what happened next too. The bubbly bit I understood as being less intelligent, more inclined to seeking fun and not wanting to worry, rather than seeing things clearly. Being made pretty was hyped up to be the solution to everything, but is really just a way to keep the population sheep-like. Specials was a little faster than Pretties, and I guess grittier too.

  3. I really loved this series. The one I enjoyed least was the fourth one, Extras.

  4. I read Uglies earlier this year and enjoyed it to an extent. I want to finish the series, but I am apprehensive about it. I just thought that Uglies didn't really have much depth to it. But I will read Pretties, eventually.
    Great review!

  5. I love all the different covers in this series. I think the newest white covers have to be my favorite. I have Uglies, but haven't started it yet. I really want to get to it, since it seems to be one of the original YA dystopians.

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  8. This sequel to Uglies is definitely interesting. I wouldn't recommend reading it without first reading Uglies. The story-line is YA, but as an adult I really enjoyed it. This book continues to be intriguing and makes you want to read the third book (Specials). You'll definitely be left wanting more. Not only is this an interesting story, but it has quite a bit to say on society and human nature.

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