Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies #2
Published: November 2005 by Simon & Schuster Simon Pulse
Pretties seamlessly picks up right where Uglies left off. Tally is now a pretty, living in New Pretty Town, with perfect clothes, and popular friends. She is living the life she remembers always lusting after as an ugly. Tally hopes to become a Crim, the clique Shay and Peris are a part of. It is a clique full of all of the people who did “bubbly” and criminal things as uglies. All she has to do is stay bubbly enough for all the members to vote her in. The only problem, that night a person of her past follows her at the party. What he leaves for her will change her life, again.
Pretties continues to address all of the issues of the modern world that teens face. If anything, the book is even more heavy with the obsession of physical perfection. Now that Tally is a pretty, she can change whatever she wants. People even get “party surges” to look a certain way for a certain party.
The book also touches on eating disorders, and cutting. In New Pretty Town, everyone is a specific weight, and everyone is similar. They are given pills that burn off the calories. Pretties mentions how there used to be people in Rustie times who would be sick due to eating disorders, but is taking pills to stay thin any better? Also in an attempt to “stay bubbly” some pretties turn to self-harm. The want to be in the cool crowd, be popular, and join the best clique is another theme. These are major real world problems that are masterfully shown in the book.
The book continually compares the different ways of life. The pretties live in a world without waste. They are taught as uglies about how wasteful the Rusties (people of today) were. The city strives to not waste anything, and they don’t touch nature. The smokies however, seem to have found some type of balance, because they know not to clear cut and waste nature, but they realize they need nature to survive.
Pretties was a great sequel that kept me guessing. The general pretty language was annoying at first, but once I got over it, and realized it was a part of being “pretty”, I started to enjoy the book. Tally acts like a real person would act. She has made mistakes, and has to deal with them. The book doesn’t portray her as perfect, and I really like that. As the book goes along, it gets more action packed, and the characters begin to show their true colors. I didn’t like Pretties as much as Uglies, but it was still a good read. What amazes me the most about this series, is not the brilliant idea of the world, but the themes. There are so many things this series has to say about the problems of our world. It was a good read. I would give this book 3.6/5 stars.
“Everyone in the world was programmed by the place they were born, hemmed in by their beliefs, but you had to at least try to grow your own brain.” -Scott Westerfeld, Pretties
“At least one thing was consistent about her life: It just kept on getting more complicated.” -Scott Westerfeld, Pretties
“Sometimes it felt like her life was a series of falls from ever-greater heights.” -Scott Westerfeld, Pretties
“Being pretty-minded is simply the natural state for most peopld. They want to be vapid and lazy and vain…and selfish. It only takes a twist to lock in that part of their personalities.” -Scott Westerfeld, Pretties
“So there was this beautiful princess. She was locked in a high tower … She was stuck up there … So the only thing was to jump.” -Scott Westerfeld, Pretties
“Nature was tough, it could be dangerous, but unlike Dr. Cable or Shay, or Peris – unlike people in general – it made sense. The problems it threw at you could be solved rationally.” -Scott Westerfeld, Pretties