Tuesday, August 19, 2008

REVIEW: Pretties

Title: Pretties
Author: Scott Westerfeld
ISBN: 9780689865398
Protagonist: Tally Youngblood
Setting: a rather scary Utopia sometime in the future
Series: #2
Rating: A-

First Line: Getting dressed was always the hardest part of the afternoon.

This second book in Westerfeld's trilogy takes up where Uglies left off. Tally has been forcibly taken from the band of New Smokies with which she was living. (New Smokies are free-thinking people who live outside the "Pretty Utopia" and its rules.) She's had her operation, as every 16-year-old does, and now she's what she always wanted to be: Pretty. From her rooms in New Pretty Town, Tally lives for nothing but parties, booze, clothes and the latest surge (cosmetic enhancements to a person's appearance). She's forgotten all about the New Smokies and the promise she made them, but the New Smokies haven't forgotten her. During one of the nightly parties she attends, they deliver a coded message to Tally that reminds her of everything she's promised to do.

If you read Pretties out of sequence, you're going to be lost. These Young Adult novels are not standalones. Westerfeld's vision of the world as it may be and the interactions of his characters are riveting. The first third of this book bogged down a bit for me, but I had warning from a friend and expected it. Why did it bog down? Because Tally had been turned into a vain, airhead Pretty, and reading pages of Valley Girl speak was soporific. Once she got her message from the New Smokies, she snapped out of it, I perked right up, and the pages turned with increasing speed.

I like to read others' views on the directions in which this world is heading. Some of them are very credible...and frightening. Personally, J.K. Rowling not only produced a wonderful series of books with Harry Potter, she re-opened the world of Young Adult fiction to me--a world that I left behind years ago. There are some wonderful books in this genre, and I count Westerfeld's among them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!