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Book Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties was a little less exciting than Uglies but still incorporated the same sense of excitement and amazing pranking. Plus the messages about beauty and image are lasting.

Book Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

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pretties scott westerfield

Title & Author: Pretties (The Uglies) by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: YA – Science Fiction

Release Date: November 1, 2005

Series: #2 in the Uglies series

Publisher: Simon Pulse

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

Pretties is as Pretties Does

I struggled with Pretties a bit. The pace was much slower than Uglies, probably because Tally travels much less in Pretties and is doing a lot of planning to escape once again.

One thing I noticed more in this book was the third-person omniscient voice used to narrate. Although most situations and thoughts are told about Tally and her life, I still felt distant from her. Maybe that’s on purpose, but I felt detached from her as a character. I didn’t really care if she made it to the New Smoke or not – or even who she ends up with.

And let me tell you, THAT is a whole different story. It’s gotten way more confusing than I ever could have thought. I have no idea what will happen on that front, and if you do, please share your spoiler-free thoughts! 😉

Another reason I don’t connect with Tally is because of her decision-making ability. She constantly chooses to do the wrong thing for the wrong reason. She is definitely a flawed character, but she doesn’t seem to have too many redeeming qualities.

For example, her friendship with Shay is so broken (I mean there’s only so much betrayal a friendship can take), yet Tally does virtually nothing to fix it, which only makes it spiral downward even more. Agh!

I did enjoy the daredevil stunts, like the prank pulled while on a floating ice rink. Pretty slick. Plus, some lovable characters return.


Although I will read Specials, the final book in the Uglies series, I’m going to take a break. Pretties was still exciting – a few twists took me by surprise – but it didn’t have the initial draw that Uglies did. If you love this series, I would encourage you to push through it, if not, let Pretties mark the end for you.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.