October 09, 2011

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties is the 2nd book in Westerfeld's dystopian trilogy. I highly recommend reading the first book before this one, or even reading this review. Plotlines could be revealed.

Tally has been changed into a Prettie after going back to civilization in the guise of wanting to turn herself in. She and her friend Shay are just like any other pretties now; they love to party and think of the next things to do for fun. But something never settles quite right for Tally. She feels like there's something she's missing. When a New Smoke representative manages to talk to her it makes those questions even larger. She finds a secret and things start changing at a rapid rate, and she starts remembering and thinking again.

Westerfeld creates some great characters. They are very engaging and realistic. Even Tally, though she has her flaws, just seems to be a real person, albeit in a future very different than any you can imagine. I liked the addition of Zane too. I thought he was interesting and made a good partner for Tally. Shay on the other hand I wasn't sure what to think about in this book. I still feel very sorry for her as she seems to get the short end of the stick every time. I was disappointed to see that the characters of Smoke barely got to make any appearances in this book. Most of the time everyone was in New Pretty town so there wasn't a chance for them to have a lot of book time.

This book wasn't as well done as the first. The pacing wasn't as good and was slower moving. The amount of time spent on the parties was just excruciating at times. I understand it was to show the culture, but it was still a little much for those of us readers who aren't "pretties". This is a young adult book and as such lacks strong language or themes, although sex is mentioned, just not described. Probably the most interesting part of the writing is the lexicon that was developed for pretty speak. It cutesified everything and was very inventive.

I did like the book, I just didn't think it was as good as the first. I am looking forward to the next one though and can't wait to read it.

Copyright 2005
370 pages

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