Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

I recommend this book for: grade 8 and up
Tally Youngblood is now a Pretty. The biggest problems she has are deciding what to wear to which party and trying to get into the Crims, the hot clique known for the semi-criminal behavior of its members. She's been reunited with Shay and Peris, and Zane, the leader of the Crims, is showing a lot of interest in her - but even through her now-damaged brain, the past is tugging at her. When a Smokey arrives with the letter she wrote to herself at the end of Uglies and two pills, she has to choose between staying Pretty and ignorant or getting a serious reality check.
It's been over 2 years since I read Uglies, but I wasn't lost for a second. Maybe just because the story was so memorable, the world so facinating, the characters so interesting - I don't feel like I forgot anything other than the names of minor characters, and they came back rather quickly. This one was exciting in a different way - Tally and Zane have to navigate the Pretty world while trying to keep their minds above it, which they call "staying bubbly." There is action, a romantic plot, more betrayal, and a stellar cliff-hanger at the end which sets up perfectly for Specials, volume 3. If you liked Uglies, read this one. If you haven't read Uglies - what are you waiting for?

Some readers may disapprove of the Pretty lifestyle - lots of drinking is involved, although it's very clear that alcohol is one of the things that keeps Pretties from realizing how controlled and senseless their world really is. You're supposed to disapprove! There is no explicit sex, although Tally does stay at her boyfriend's place a good bit of the time - no further details are mentioned.

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