Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies #2
Published: November 1, 2005 by Simon Pulse
(370 pages, paperback)
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: I was utterly captivated and hooked by this series during Uglies. And Pretties did not disappoint. Tally, a newfound Pretty and living the life she used to dream of having, has simultaneously forgotten her original mission of saving Shay. While she's busy partying and forgetting all of her worries, she meets Zane. And Zane is way more than he seems at the surface; he's actually a bit of a rebel, besides being gorgeous and programmed to fall in love with the new, gorgeous Tally. I have to admit, I fell in complete and total love with Zane. He was such a dare devil, and he really loved Tally from the start. Anyways, as Tally becomes more and more rebellious with Zane, she makes a dangerous decision that will possibly cost people their lives, and change all of the characters' lives--Uglies and Pretties alike--for good--again.
I've heard people say that this series went downhill from Uglies. I cannot disagree more; even though Uglies remains my favorite in the series, Pretties was interesting, dangerous, and edgy in a completely different way. The world Westereld has written is fascinating and eerie in its so-called 'perfection.' While Tally is being submitted to the all-encompassing society that doesn't want her to remember anything about her past life, she faces all new challenges to not only save her friends, Peris and Shay, but to regain her old spirit and memories. Even though I was all for David and Tally in the first book, I couldn't help but want her to be with Zane; he was different and related better to Tally; he was in her situation, and he wasn't afraid to face the challenges set before them. Pretties was different in a lot of ways from the first book, and I loved the changes in scenery and characters.
The society Tally lives in wants her to forget; when we start Pretties, she already has. But with the help of Zane (and, unknowingly, David) she gets a grip on the reality that she is no longer her own self; she is being controlled (again) by the Specials and by the society that wants her to be just like everyone else. Maybe my favorite part of this book was Zane, and probably because even though he had no help from outsiders or Uglies or from anyone, really, he managed to find himself again, and think his own thoughts. While Tally grows weaker in mind and spirit in this book, her friends grow stronger. I loved seeing more of Peris, too, even if he wasn't the boy Tally used to love like a brother. I missed the friendship Tally and Shay had, and I'll admit it seemed really kind of strained throughout the book, it added an extra element that was great.
In the end, Pretties added a lot of dimension to the story, and while the end made me cry a lot, I was still captured by how dynamic and amazing Westerfeld's world is. This book drew out more questions without answers and problems without solutions, and when I was done with it, I just wanted really badly to read the next one. I really connected with these strange, futuristic characters, and their complicated world is so interesting that I could read about pretty much anything from their society and be interested in it. The writing isn't always great; a bit simplistic, but because of the powerful story line and intriguing, deep characters, I found that I cared less and less about the format of the book, and more and more about what was happening and going to happen. Definitely recommended to any fans of the series and to YA readers in general; make sure to read this series if you haven't yet. It might not be too deep, but it is extremely diverse and different from any other fiction series out there, at least that I've come upon.
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars