Book Review: Pretties

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Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #2) – Paperback, 368 pages – Published May 24th 2012 by Simon & Schuster

I just finished the sequel to Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and was pleasantly surprised. I liked the first book, but it wasn’t quite different enough. This book includes tons of details, adding to the development of the plot and the hidden goings-on within the city.

After the last book, we know that Tally has given herself up to become pretty, even when she knows about the brain lesions that come with the operation. She joins a clique called the “Crims” along with Peris, Shay, Zane and Fausto, who share stories from back in their ugly days and perform tricks to stay “bubbly”. Croy from the Smoke, hidden by his costume, approaches Tally at a party. He bears a gift for her, but Special Circumstances arrives and ruins the plan. Instead, Tally is given a puzzle to complete, on the other side of which lies a note from her ugly self, as well as the cure to pretty-mindedness.

Zane and Tally go through a lot together, including taking the cure. They work with the other Crims to escape the city and pull through the haze that comes with being pretty. But one of Tally’s closest friends is creating her own little group in secret.

Although Tally feels no side-effects, Zane suffers excruciating headaches after taking the mysterious pill. Tally has to work as quick as she can to get Zane out of the city and to the Smoke.

Their breakout doesn’t go quite to plan, and Tally is separated from all her friends. She meets a new group of people, imprisoned within their own little “world” – an area of land only seven days across on foot. But how is she going to get out and find her friends?

Westerfeld captures the voice of the pretties fantastically, so well that I honestly got rather annoyed at the shallow narration featuring so many irritating words. Bogus, bubbly, pretty-making… Ugh. But it helped to get you submersed in the setting and the lifestyle, and as Tally became less and less pretty-minded, the language changed with her.

The prospect of becoming a Special is introduced in this book, and brings an exciting new issue toward the end of this book. I am now understanding what things may happen in the next two books…

This series is never going to quite be one of my favourites, but I am really enjoying it. I love how the plot is becoming more and more complicated, with little details coming out here and there. I think 4 stars is about right.

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