Book Review : Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

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Product details
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, March 2010
  • ISBN-10: 1847389074
  • ISBN-13: 9781847389077
  • Ages: 12 and up

Tally has finally become 'pretty'. Her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are cool, her boyfriend's gorgeous, 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 feeling that something's wrong. Something important. And sure enough, when a message from Tally's 'ugly' past arrives, the fun stops cold. Now Tally has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life...

In Pretties, Tally is back with a brand new look, and a brand new brain. But despite having all the luxuries and fun a pretty can ever wanted, Tally is not content with her current situation. She senses that something is not right, and when someone she recognizes from the Old Smoke comes to her with a message, she starts to find the way to regain her lost memories.

Let's talk about the good things first. I loved the adventures that Tally went through in Pretties. I admired her spunk and courage. Scott had created a fabulous sequel to Uglies. Tally's escape from the New Pretty Town was very dangerous, but exciting at the same time. Pretties is full of unexpected twists and turns, which left me in awe of the author's creativity in writing.

Tally's life seems to be more complicated now. She is involved in a love triangle, with two charming princes --- one pretty (Zane) , and one ugly (David). Tally is not sure whom she loves more, but when the time comes and she has to pick someone, who will she choose? I'm sure readers will have a mix feeling for Tally's temperament, just as I do. Sometimes, I like her while the other times I don't.

"He turned to face her again, his late-pretty composure crumbling. "But you're..."

"Pretty? Think again." She smiled. "I'm Tally Youngbood. My mind is very ugly. And I'm taking your car."

On the other hand, I pity Shay, Tally's ex-best friend. She was once a good person, but she had now turned to a darker side because she wanted to seek vengeance on Tally's previous betrayal. Sometimes, the inability of forgiving others' wrongdoings will only burden oneself with never-ending hatred.

"YOU are like that, Tally. You have ALWAYS been like that! No cure is going to make you any different--you were busy betraying people a long time ago. You didn't need any operation to make you selfish and shallow and full of yourself. YOU ALREADY WERE."

Personally, I think Scott had other intentions when he explained the life of the 'Rusties' in this book. He reflected the damages that was caused by the human race towards nature which finally lead to their own doom. A new minor character called Andrew Simpson Smith (Tally's guide to the New Smoke) was introduced in Pretties. He wanted to kill the 'outsiders' who caused his father's death. Whenever I think of this, I wonder if it is better for the people in New Pretty Town to remain pretty-minded and be forever protected from the harshness and violence of reality?

Then she remembered Dr.Cable's words. Humanity is a cancer, and we are the cure.

I noticed that the author used the names of famous Egyptian beauties to name the places in the Uglies and Pretties, such as Cleopatra Park and Nefertiti Stadium. I wonder if any of Scott's fans notice about this? What does it actually imply?

Even though Pretties is full of adventure and the ending is a perfect cliffhanger, I still have to comment on some petty little things that I disliked while reading the first 3o+ pages of the book. The words 'bubbly' and 'bogus' seems to have a constant appearance in the first 3o+ pages, that is, about 12 times each. It bothered me a little to read the words again and again, but still, that's not a big problem.

Overall, I think Pretties is an enjoyable and interesting read. If you have read (and liked or loved) Uglies, you might want to check this book out. I'm looking forward to read the third book in the series, Specials, as I'm anxious to know what will happen to Tally next!

Rating: 4.000

My deepest gratitude to Kathryn from
Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a paperback copy of Pretties for this review! Thank you, Kathryn!

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Scott Westerfeld was born in Texas, and received a BA in philosophy from Vassar in 1985. He splits his time between New York City and Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Midnighters, Uglies, So Yesterday and Peeps. You can visit Scott Westerfeld's website to know more about him.

Buy Pretties (paperback) at:
Simon & Schuster UK :: The Book Depository

Visit the Uglies Fansite
Follow Scott on Twitter

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