Pretties is the second book in Scott Westerfeld’s YA dystopian series. I will start by saying that I loved it – so much that I stayed awake until 1 am last night finishing it. The rest of this review will contain spoilers of the first book in the series, Uglies. If you haven’t read these books yet – and you should – then skip the rest of the review.
Uglies ended with a complete cliff-hanger: Tally gave herself up to Special Circumstances in order to be made Pretty, knowing that it would also result in her brain being altered so that she wouldn’t care about anything in her past, and possibly not even remember it.
When Pretties opens, we find Tally in New Pretty Town, trying to decide what to wear to the afternoon’s party. Her mind has obviously been altered, she is pretty, through and through. At the party, however, she meets someone from the past, and she begins to wonder what it is she can’t remember. The memories return, aided by her new love interest, Zane, and Tally has to find a way to get back to the Smokies.
This book was un-put-down-able. I read the first two chapters, set it aside for a day, and then picked it up and read until I had finished. Westerfeld is a master storyteller, and he has created a completely believable future world – one which is terrifying, because it’s not far-fetched or out of reach when you look at our society today.
I occasionally found myself getting frustrated with the character’s reactions – especially in the relationship between Tally and Shay – but then I reminded myself that these characters are only teenagers. Even though they are having to deal with some pretty huge issues and choices, they’re still young.
As I read the last chapter in the wee hours this morning, I was very happy to know that I have Specials waiting on my stack to start today, since Westerfeld again ended the book with a complete “oh my gosh!” moment.