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Pretties by Scott Westerfeld


by Scott Westerfeld

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Uglies (2)

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6,304235630 (3.85)216
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English (232)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (236)
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
All of the excitement of a thriller but with the depth of a classic. It's not timeless literature, but I think it will last longer than a Christopher Pike novel. Timeless themes, certainly--gave me a lot to think about. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
I truly love this series! The world is a dystopian society based on the ideals of beauty. It is a society that redefined beauty as a conforming concept, a society in which everyone's entire worth is based on their beauty. The fact that beauty is a manufactured ideal, rather than natural, is of no importance. In fact, the reality that is manufactured forms the foundation of it all, that only created beauty is truly beautiful.

This is a book/series written for the young adult demographic and I am definately not that (!), but it is full of themes that are applicable to us all... at any age. With a society that is based on a conforming, created beauty, there is the inevitable theme of superficiality. Self worth is based on beauty, happiness found in the nonstop parties and pursuit of that beauty. There is also the theme of conformity, or fitting in. While there is no set way to look in the world of the Pretties, there is a fundamental set ideal. There is only so much "wiggle room" within that ideal for individuality, just enough to add to the array of physical beauty without supporting true unique identities. The theme of ignorance is bliss is also touched upon in this book. There is the rather sarcastic implication that living in blissful ignorance is preferable to facing the darker aspects of life. I think this is particularly poignant, considering the state of the world today. There is often the impulse to turn your back on the problems of the world and forget they exist. But ignoring them doesn't change them, doesn't solve them.

In this book, Tally has become a Pretty. She is living her life as all Pretties do, beautiful and in pursuit of fun. The problems in the world have disappeared for her in her new life and new mindset. But a message from her past reaches her and she suddenly remembers all of those problems. The fun ends for her, and that choice to face the problems of the world and turn her back on her new easy life is what makes her a hero. Not everyone will make that choice, although even those who choose to embrace the Pretty life are pretty relatable. I think all of us, at one time or another, would like to be able to turn our back and just relish in the good things.

Interestingly, there is a bit of an environmental theme, a subtler theme, but an important one. The environment of the Pretties is sustainable, but overly technological and extreme. The environment of the past Rusties (our own present world) was wasteful and damaging to the planet. It isn't so much that the author is presenting the environment of the Pretties as the ideal, but perhaps something between the two.

This is a book/series that makes you think and consider your own world and your own beliefs. There are both utopian and dystopian elements to the story and it is an interesting alternative perspective on our own world.

My Recommendation: The implications of the world of the Pretties are a little discomfitting in their potential and that inherent discomfort is exactly what makes this book such an engaging read. ( )
  Kiki870 | Aug 6, 2015 |
Tally has finally become pretty! And it's everything she's ever dreamed of: living in New Pretty Town, amazing parties every night, awesome clothes, a totally hot boyfriend and she's completely popular. Yet the feeling like she's forgetting something won't go away. Something important. After being stalked at a party by someone from her ugly past she receives a letter. Reading it Tally starts to remember what's wrong and realizes just how much danger she and her friends are in.

Pretties is the second in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. The story picks up a few weeks after where book one left off. Westerfeld builds nicely on his world showing us the another facet of society. As a Pretty Tally is annoying and shallow, pretty much what you expect for a society that glorifies personal appearance. Once her memory starts to come back she starts to grow as a character again becoming more interesting. It's also interesting to read about her relationship with Shay, just how different it is from the first book.

More characters are introduced. Zane is a fun addition as is the idea behind the Crims clique. Dr. Cable, shown to us briefly in book one, continues to be an excellent villain.

This time around the Pretty slang started to grate on my nerves. Everything is always bubbly or bogus or crazy-making. I know it's part of the world building but it was almost hard to read. There are parts where they story tends to plod along while trying to explain things in Pretty terms.

Still it's a good read and a good addition to the series. ( )
  Narilka | May 27, 2015 |
When I started reading this book, I was like "YES! This is what I wanted Uglies to be! Thanks Scott!" Tally's unease in her new life, her nagging feeling that there's something more, something other than partying and being pretty all the time. Suddenly, Tally's shallow self-involved cowardice and dullness which so irritated me in the first book fit perfectly here, and together with the nebulous but unshakable knowledge that there's something more, that being "pretty" isn't everything, isn't all it's cracked up to be but her inability to put her finger on exactly what, serves to make her sympathetic to the max - with the understanding, of course, that she'll learn and grown and grow out of these things.


Sigh. Sadly not, it turns out.

For a long time I strongly felt that the beginning of this novel should have started the series. You actually care about the viewpoint character, you are shown the disconnect between what she knows subconsciously and what she is told to believe, you get sucked into her life and root for her all the time. Even her love for Zane would have made a great triangle once she got back with David.

However, I am very sorry to say, that is exactly where the problem came in. Suddenly, now that she's all prettied up, now she loves Zane more because, according to Tally, they had 'shared so much'. Sure, they did, and I like Zane a lot too, but David and Tally went through so much more and shared such a special connection that I came to the same conclusion that David did - she was sticking with Zane because he was pretty and he wasn't.

Further, the unconvincing use of anorexia to escape the City, the gratuitous physical mutilation and danger to achieve and maintain a sense of "realness" and release and the overall shallowness - it was all just a little too casual, just a bit too flip. The emotions, consequences and reality of these elements were just nowhere to be found, for me. Further further, the of the point of view character. Oh good grief. She never grows up, never learns anything other than how to make everything work out nicely for herself, never willingly sacrifices anything. No, with her it's all "what's in it for me?" and it frustrated the crap out of me.

I will not be reading the third book, as I'm sure I'll just be further frustrated. I was so hopeful when starting this book that it feels like an extra-large letdown that Tally remained the same shallow, heartless, power-hungry conformist that she always was. ( )
  Leia-Ann | Apr 27, 2015 |
OMG! I'm so disgusted at Shay, I just can't believe her. ( )
  bookjunkie57 | Apr 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
The kind of book I loved reading at 15 or 16: damned fine science fiction and damned fine yarns.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Jan 1, 2006)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Westerfeldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corral, RodrigoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, RussellCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskoll, YaffaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montbertrand, CarineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelleteri, CarissaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Part I: Sleeping Beauty

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless.

- John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice, I
To the Australian SF community for all your acceptance and support.
First words
Getting dressed was always the hardest part of the afternoon.
Part II: The Cure

and kisses are a better fate

than wisdom

- e.e. cummings, "since feeling is first"
Part III: Outside

The beauty of the world...has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689865392, Paperback)

Gorgeous. Popular.

Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

Tally's transformation to perfect and popular including her totally hot boyfriend is everything she always wanted. But beneath the fun and freedom something is wrong and now Tally has to fight for her life because what she knows has put her in danger with the authorities.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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