Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** about what happens in Uglies and this is a series where you really need to read the books in order for maximum understanding and enjoyment.

Life in New Pretty Town is pretty bubbly for Tally Youngblood and her friends.  Every night is full of amazing parties and outrageous stunts - and an amazing sense of belonging with the hottest clique in town, the Crims.  The Crims always come up with the trickiest tricks and being among them makes Tally feel alive.  One night an Ugly crashes one of the parties and Tally's bubbly world comes crashing down because he has a letter for Tally - a letter that she wrote to herself, warning her about what being a Pretty really means and offering her a cure. When Tally takes the offered cure she discovers more about the way her city works, and her only hope for a future is to fight the system and escape into the wilds again.

This is one of those series that is amazing to read but more than a little difficult to review - because a long and lengthy review spoils the surprises and twists that make the book so amazing.  At the start of Pretties we have no real sense of time about how long Tally has been Pretty, but we know that it is long enough for her to have settled down into the decadent and self centered lifestyle of New Pretty Town.  Having read Uglies so recently the events were fresh in my mind and it was easy to drop back into the story, and easy to reconnect to Tally and her friends.  Like with Uglies there is a subtle building of story within Pretties that lets you ease into the story and reconnect with the characters before the story builds to the action and finale of the story.  

For some readers the story arc from Uglies to Pretties and then Specials may be too slow, but Westerfeld has done an amazing job of world building and character building across the series - a skill that some authors lack.  You care about Tally, and through Tally you grow to care about her friends, and by association you care about what happens to her world.  There are some amazing theses here that would work well with class readings - social control, government control, societal norms, the implications of surgery and genetics, self discovery, and coming of age.  A great older series that still has a lot of relevance today.

If you like this book then try:
  • Renegade by J.A. Souders
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • The testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  • Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
  • Proxy by Alex London
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  • In the after by Demitria Lunetta
  • ACID by Emma Pass
  • Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera
  • The scorpion rules by Erin Bow
  • The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
  • Variant by Robison Wells
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • Sister assassin by Kiersten White

Reviewed by Brilla

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