Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Copyright 2005
Simon Pulse - YA/Sci-Fi/Dystopian
370 pages

I read and reviewed Uglies (<---link to my review), the first in Scott Westerfeld's dystopian series about a world where people are divided by looks, and enjoyed it so much that I rushed out to buy the second and third in the series. Pretties is the second.

It's not giving anything away to say that in Pretties, Tally (the heroine of Uglies) has gone through the surgery to make her beautiful and now lives in New Pretty Town. However, there's a little bit of spoilery stuff, here -- which will also spoil Uglies, if you haven't read it, so beware.

****WARNING*****Skip this bit if you don't want to read a potential spoiler!!!!****

Out in the Smoke (the world where the rebellious few who don't want to go through surgery live), Tally found love, betrayed a friend and inadvertantly caused a disaster. During her time in the Smoke, she found out there's more to the Pretty surgery than meets the eye.

Knowing she was on the verge of being caught by the Specials, a police force of cruel-looking pretties, Tally wrote a note to herself to be delivered after her surgery -- a surgery that would take some of her memory away.

****It's safe to read, now. You may come out from behind your chair.****

I'm not going to say much more about the plot because I really don't want to spoil the read for anyone, but I will say that I enjoyed Pretties almost (not quite) as much as Uglies. The further I got into it, the more I liked it. Like Uglies, there were times I thought the author did something that I'd have edited out if I had a red pen and the power (mwah-ha). For example, instead of saying something made Tally dizzy, he would say it was "dizzy-making". In the first half of the book, those hyphenated adjectives were way overdone and then he eventually toned it down.


- A solid, enjoyable continuation of a fascinating series. Not quite as thought-provoking and discussion-worthy as the first in the series, but a terrific read and highly recommended.

I hope to read Specials, the third in the series, soon.

This is, I believe, my 5th book for the YA Dystopian Challenge -- obviously a challenge I am diving into with enthusiasm.


  1. Good job in knocking out these book reviews, though it's too bad about the lack of sleep!

    I'm in the same place as you in the series. I have Specials checked out from the library and should be reading it soon.

    I actually liked Pretties a bit better than Uglies. I find the change in Tally and Shay's relationship to be fascinating. I liked Zane too as a new character.

    I have a theory about the hyphenated words. When the pretties talk, they use this hyphenated silly slang incessantly, so it makes sense that it would scale back as Tally and Zane 'wake up' out of their pretty minds.

  2. Christy,

    The lack of sleep did suck but at least I used the time well. I've been trying to get some sleep and I think I just need to invest in black-out curtains. No luck.

    Very cool that we're in the same place on the series! I usually tend to fizzle on a series as I read; I'm not a series person, in general, but I did like the relationships in Pretties better. Zane is cool. I hope his head doesn't blow up.

    Your theory about the hyphenated words makes total sense. That didn't even occur to me. I'm glad the author backed off on that silly hyphenation, regardless of the reason. It grew old pretty quickly.

  3. I just picked up UGLIES at the library on your recommendation. Looking forward to reading it!

    Life by Candlelight

  4. My hubby liked this whole series, but I'm not sure which book he liked best - I'll have to ask him tonight.

  5. Amy,

    Oooh, the pressure! LOL I hope you love it. I was so stunned at how deep Uglies is. The cover and title are so misleading.


    Ask him if the fourth book in the series is worth reading. That's what I'm dying to know. I've seen comments that go both ways.

  6. The way they talked in this book drove me CRAZY! But as long as I got passed that I really liked the book. I looking forward to your thoughts on book 3. :)

    Are you going to do the Virtual Advent Calendar this year? :)

  7. Kelly,

    Annoying, wasn't it? I loved the book otherwise, too.

    I hadn't planned on doing it. Not sure I understand what it's all about. Just posting about Christmas?

  8. Ah, yes....I read this one during breaks several months back. It is quite a forward looking view of (hopefully not ours) the world....creepy though at the same time. I mean who wouldn't love to be pretty and all, but to lose your identity/personality, that's another matter.

  9. Good to hear you liked this one too. I plan on reading Uglies next month (I'm staying out of the library till the Clear Your Shelves Challenge is over).

  10. No, not really. We do count down to Christmas, though, which maybe we shouldn't... You can post about whatever you want. Some people are talking about their favourite holiday read, while another person is talking about snowmen... I was thinking you had done it before! Anyway, it will be a lot of fun. It's the fourth year. I hope you reconsider, but I understand if you don't!

  11. GMR,

    It's definitely a creepy thought, having people completely separated by looks. I think part of his point was that all the pretties looked so perfect that they had to start adding extra features to distinguish themselves, so being beautiful wasn't even enough. Remember the tattoos and the jeweled eyes? So, even if they hadn't lost their personalities, an all-beautiful society was a little on the dull side.


    I'm really enjoying this series; I hope you enjoy them, too. I haven't been to the library in a long time, either (except to drop off donations), although our library usually doesn't carry what I'm interested in so I've always ended up buying from our perpetual library sale. I need to avoid doing that. I've decided I'm going to dedicate 2010 and at least this last couple of months of 2009 to clearing out the excess. So far, so good. :)


    I think I don't have the heart to talk about Christmas, just yet. It's become something I kind of drag myself through, in recent years; not having parents or exchanging gifts with siblings is a real bummer. Maybe next year I'll be ready to join in.

  12. I JUST finished reading uglies yesterday it so AMAZING now i CANT wait to get pretties! (which is in 2 weeks!) i cant wait that long so im trying to start reading it online but it work its driving me CARZY!!


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