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4.3 52
Young Adult Fiction 311
Pretty Thoughtful
Overall rating
Writing Style
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The thing that I love most about Scott Westerfeld’s "Pretties," the second book in his Uglies trilogy, is that it really makes you second guess which “state of being” is the best: Ugly, Pretty or Special. I’ve had seemingly endless conversations about this with fellow Westerfeld junkies, and the verdict is still out for me.

So many people argue that Ugly has got to be the way to go. First of all, Westerfeld makes it clear that Uglies aren’t actually ugly, they just look like you and me. And Ugly is an everyday person who just happens to have never had a lick of plastic surgery, and we’ve all seen one too many fish face (I’m looking at you Taylor Armstrong) to know that a little plastic surgery goes a long way, and often goes horrifically wrong. Furthermore, as an Ugly, your brain just hasn’t been messed with, and we don’t need people poking around in our cerebellums unless absolutely necessary.

But the Pretty way of life seems pretty dang good (pardon the pun): You are biologically irresistible and worthy of those Calvin Klein or Victoria’s Secret billboard ads. You can never gain a single ounce of fat, so go ahead and have that extra slice of bacon. You have absolutely nothing to worry about, ever. I don’t know about you, but a little poke here and a tad of nanotechnology there to never experience a single second of anxiety seems worth it. Worry free and explosively hot? Yes please.

And then there’s Specials, the superhuman results of surgery that lets you run faster, jump higher and kick butt better than anybody has ever hoped to before. People will fantasies of superhero status should apply here.

Of course, it all comes down to control. Does it matter if there’s a chip in your brain if you have the best life of luxury? Can you blame someone for wanting to be a Pretty and stop worrying about the world? Are looks on the outside that powerful in today’s society that you’d be willing to lose your intellectual freedom? What if that loss of freedom means you’re carefree for the rest of your life and in a constant state of bliss? Is having untold amounts of physical strength worth it if you have to use that power for someone else’s means? All of these questions are brought up in "Pretties" and it’s these questions that make the book such a refreshingly thoughtful experience.
Good Points
Makes you question notions of beauty.
Makes you realize maybe you can't blame people for wanting to be a Pretty.
A great follow up to Uglies and a great set up for Specials.
Further develops this fascinating world introduced in Uglies.
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