Review: Pretties

“Being pretty-minded is simply the natural state for most people. They want to be vapid and lazy and vain . . . and selfish. It only takes a twist to lock in that part of their personalities.”

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
348 pages
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Published by Simon Pulse, 2005
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Re-readability: I’d read this one again only if I was trying to read the entire series again.


Reviewed by Indiana
Spoiler-free

Imagine all the popular kids from your high school coming together, getting mildly drunk or high and reminiscing. Imagine how they would talk to each other: all inside jokes and made up words.

Okay, take that vision and multiply it by about 100. That gives you an idea of what the Pretties are like. It almost drove me mad to read it. But luckily, it drove the protagonist and her new friend, Zane, mad too.

When Uglies ended, Tally was just about to give herself up to be turned Pretty – AKA physically beautiful, but stupid. The surgeons leave lesions in the brain so that pretties will be pliable and not too difficult to deal with.

But Tally and Zane fight the lesions by doing tricky stunts and starving themselves. Of course, they were also given pills by the New Smoke, the society that continues to live on outside of Pretty city.

There’s just one problem. Well, okay there’s a few.

They shared the pills, giving themselves each just one half of the cure.

Then there are the Specials, the cold and cruel FBI-esque agents that are trying to recruit Tally so they can destroy the New Smoke.

The follow-up to Uglies was definitely as action packed, but it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable. It was hard to get past the language of the pretties and I also found the ending dragged a bit with a subplot that, while it was interesting, it wasn’t 50-plus pages of interesting. It also seemed to follow and very similar pattern to the first, with Tally causing problems for the people in the Smoke, as well as with the romantic interests.

Tally is also put into these incredibly awkward situations that never seem to be her fault per se. But it gets a bit tiring. She’s either falling in love with people who are already in relationships (and they end up loving her back) or people fall in love with her when she’s already in a relationship. And I’ve given up thinking she’s ever going to have a good relationship with her best friend, Shay, or with any other female.

I plan to continue the series, don’t get me wrong. Pretties was just not my favorite.   

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