Tuesday 6 August 2013

Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties (Uglies Quartet #2), by Scott Westerfeld
Published by Simon & Schuster UK

Tally has finally become 'pretty'.
Her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are cool, her boyfriend is totally gorgeous, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun - the non-stop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom - is a nagging feeling that something is very wrong. Something important. And sure enough, when a message from Tally's 'ugly' past arrives, the fun stops cold. Now Tally has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life...
The effective cliffhanger of Uglies pulled me in, and I couldn't resist reading Pretties. Tally is in full-on 'pretty' mode when the book starts, and although I did have to push the annoying lingo to one side, I was hooked from the beginning.

The world of a pretty sounds very frivolous, and operations such as 'surges' are available. For instance, Tally's friend Shay gets crystals put around her irises, which are then revealed to be a backwards clock. Then there's a hole in the wall that gives people anything they want to wear - as someone who struggles to find nice clothes, that appealed to me! It's so over the top that even though I know I would probably hate it there, I couldn't help but be fascinated by all the technology - be it cosmetic or purely gadget.

This book introduces us to Zane, who becomes Tally's boyfriend. Things aren't black and white about whose side the reader is supposed to be on, so I knew things were going to be even more complicated with David when they met again (because I knew they would). Even though I liked David in Uglies, I also liked Zane in this book. Either way, the love interests don't overwhelm the plot, making it a better story.

Like in Uglies, there's nonstop action, a wicked-fast pace, and a 'bad guy' that's close enough to home and intriguing enough to warrant its own book (Specials, next in the series). I loved it. I think the two books in the series I've read so far would translate well to film - I'd be intrigued to see what they would do to (already gorgeous, no doubt) actresses; whether they 'uglied' them up in the beginning, or made them completely gorgeous. Or both, I guess!

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