Book Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science-Fiction

Publishing Info: May 2011 Simon Pulse (first published 2005)

Pages: 348

Star Rating: 3/5

Back Cover Summary:

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, 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 sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

I wasn’t really aware that this book wasn’t very spectacular until the end, when I looked back and realised that not much had happened in it. Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series and I definitely liked the first book better.

As stated in the previous paragraph while I was reading it I was reasonably hooked and wanted to keep reading. But when I finished I felt fairly underwhelmed.

The plot was good, I’ll give it that, and there were several twists that I really wasn’t expecting. It kept me on my toes at certain points. Some new aspects of the world were revealed but weren’t explained fully (but perhaps this will come in the next book as the revelation came towards the end of the novel with not much time for explanations).

Tally went through some changes but as a result of the plot (no spoilers!) rather than actual character development. It kind of annoyed me how whenever anyone argued with her she just wouldn’t explain why whatever had happened had happened and then moped that said person didn’t like her when she should have just told them. This girl never learns. I liked her in the first book but by the end of this one I was starting to get kind of bored of her sameness and lack of character development.

The other characters were okay but nothing spectacular. Surprise surprise a love triangle reared its ugly head (excuse the pun there) which seems to be near impossible to avoid in YA literature. However, it wasn’t a completely pointless love triangle and was kind of to do with some memory loss stuff but it still ended up with Tally going ‘ooh who do I choose’ in the last quarter or so which was really annoying.

Overall I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me away and I didn’t love it in the same way I loved the first one. I’ll read the next two books in the series because I’m curious about what direction the plot is going in but won’t keep my expectations too high to avoid potential disappointment.

To read my review of the first book, Uglies, click here. Read my review of the final book, Specials, here.

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