Pretties by Scott Westerfeld: Review

Posted July 27, 2010 by Emily in book review, Uncategorized / 12 Comments

By: Scott Westerfeld
Copy received from
July selection for Tell Me What to Read

Synopsis (From Goodreads): 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.

My Review (contains spoilers from the first in the series Uglies):  It’s been awhile since I read UGLIES. I was afraid that I had forgotten most of the important parts of the series. Luckily, the book seemed to flow seamlessly, and most of the things that I had forgotten came back. Oh, and my review of UGLIES was absolutely no help. Man I sucked at writing reviews.

The more I read of this series, the less I like Tally. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that she lets things happen to her rather than taking control of the situation.  I really liked the new love interest, Zane. I would have almost preferred the story to be told from his point of view.

I was a little turned off by the introduction of new words. There seems to be a consistency in dystopian novels that as culture changes and evolves, so does the language. I have to admit that I have yet to see a story that I feel does this well.  The words used in PRETTIES are unfamiliar and sometimes comical. They were more of a distraction to the story, I felt. But, I know some readers will appreciate the new words and the changing of cultures that they symbolize.

The climax of this story was wonderfully done. In fact, I loved this book from about halfway through on to the end. Without giving away too much of the story, there is a very interesting subplot that involves taking anthropology a little too far.  I vastly preferred this subplot to the one involving Shay. Shay became less interesting to me in this novel because she seemed so bent on revenge and jealousy. I didn’t know quite how to relate to her.

I felt like this novel was just setting up for the third novel, and almost could have been skipped. I did like the addition of Zane. Learning about his past was interesting, and I really would have liked to learn more. That being said, I am interested to read the third novel, but really just felt like this one had little to offer on its own.

My Rating:

Profanity: None
Sexualty: Mild; only kissing and general tension

Drugs and Alcohol: Mild

Violence: Mild

12 responses to “Pretties by Scott Westerfeld: Review

  1. This entire series what a bit of a change-up for me too–I'm still not sure how I feel about Tally! Not the usual sort of heroine, but alas, I suppose that's part of what makes her interesting. I agree that she spent a bit too much time letting things happen to her. And I agree completely about Shay–let it go already, girlfriend! In any case, overall, I enjoyed these books a lot more than I expected to when I started them.

  2. Insightful review! It's been a while since I've finished this series… you've got me wanting to re-read all the books! I should do that – I'm curious to see if I'd still enjoy them.

  3. I'm with you on Tally. She can get pretty annoying! Zane is my favorite character in the Uglies trilogy. (Yes, I almost bought a Team Zane t-shirt.)

    The one thing that bugs me about the trilogy is it seems that Tally is always thrown into the same situations. That's as much as I can say without spoiling. You'll know what I mean when you read Specials!

    Nice review!!!

    ~Brooke, Brooke's Box of Books

  4. A.Lamb

    Do yourself a favor and stop with this book. Specials is even worse. I liked it for the closure but, really, I'd have rather gone on believing that things had turned out differently.

  5. Anonymous

    I really liked Uglies. I'm not even done with pretties but I don't like it as much. Actually, the whole "Bougus" and "Bubbly" thing really annoyed me. And I mean really. I like Zane, though. The only thing is, what up with David? Am I the only one who remembers him here?

  6. Anonymous

    The whole "Bubbly" and "Bogus" thing got old after a while, but I still enjoyed the book. I'm learning to dislike David, though I do like Zane. 🙂

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