2000 - 2007 YA

Pretties – Scott Westerfeld

 The second book in the Uglies quartet

I really enjoyed Uglies, the first book in this quartet, so was disappointed to discover that Pretties wasn’t in the same league. It is impossible to give any details of the plot without spoiling Uglies, so I’ll just point you in the direction of my Uglies review if you are interested in starting the series.

Uglies was packed with thought provoking scenes, giving a scary prediction for the future of a society that places beauty as a high priority. Pretties contained nothing that got me thinking.  It was a fast paced, but felt shallow and by the end of the book I felt as though the plot hadn’t made any progression from the end of Uglies.

I also found “pretty talk” to be very irritating. Words like “bogus” and “bubbly” were over used and began to wind me up:

Tally tried to be bubbly, but the thought of the costumed special lurking her was too dizzy-making.

….she knew it would be bogus not to agree. And that with a totally bubbly costume like a real-life Smokey sweater to wear, there was no way anyone would vote against her…..

They thought it was totally bubbly that real-life Specials were at the party….

Aaaaarrrggghhh!!  I can’t remember such annoying writing in Uglies, but perhaps the fantastic plot made me forget about it.

Pretties was so disappointing I’ve almost decided not to read the rest of the series.

Do you think I’d enjoy Specials or Extras?

 Pretties is dividing opinion in the blogging world: 

….this book just felt like filler. Kiss My Book

….ends with a cliffhanger that sends you scurrying for the next book in the series. Rhapsody in Books

This book was un-put-down-able. Books and Movies

22 replies on “Pretties – Scott Westerfeld”

So sorry you felt like this. Pretties was my favorite and I thought it was far more thought-provoking than any of the other books. The pretty-language felt appropriate.

Amanda, The pretty-language probably was appropriate, but for some reason it just wound me up – I guess I’m just not very cool (or should that be bubbly!) 😉

I read the entire series because I was teaching middle school at the time and they were VERY popular in the states. I enjoyed them all but liked Uglies best too.
You should know as the characters age in the books the novels go from PG (parental guidance) to R (restricted 17 and up – racy!) Specials was better than Pretties though, the females start standing up for themselves. Extras was, well “extra.”

SEY, Thanks for letting me know about the increasing raciness of the books – I had no idea! It doesn’t bother me, but I’m almost intrigued enough to see what changes between the books now!

I thought that Specials returned more to the nature of the story of Uglies, so you might enjoy it more than Pretties, but still not as much as Uglies. Extras was a fun read, but more of a companion read than a sequel.

Alyce, Thanks for the information. I can’t decide whether to continue with the series now. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if Specials begins to call for me 🙂

I actually liked Extras best of all, though Uglies was probably better written. I think Extras felt more relevant than any of the other three books did, since it deals with instant gratification and social media. Very interesting stuff! It has different characters, but I liked them more. You would probably need to read Specials just to know what happens, because it does inform Extras even though it’s not necessarily a continuation of the same story.

Lu, You’re persuading me to give it a try. I worry when you say that Uglies was the better written of the set, but I don’t think I’ve read a book containing social media before. It is looking as though I will have to complete the series….


Oh, I hated the pretty talk too! But I was willing to put up with it because of the reason Amanda mentioned. Also I am, as some have noted, a “series whore” so I generally feel compelled to keep going, especially if there is an unresolved plotline! :–) But, I will admit that after Specials, I was absolutely done with this particular series, even though there is a sort-of fourth book, as Alyce mentioned.

rhapsodyinbooks, I don’t have the same problem as you – I’m quite happy to abandon series midway! It looks as though I’ve been persuaded to keep going with this one though 🙂

Thanks for fixing that link Jackie. I now feel less of a stalker (ha ha). Do you ever get tired of people telling you how wonderful your blog is?? I love it. Of course it helps that our tastes in books are totally in sync !! (except for Time Travellers Wife , which I did NOT care for). I am soooo excited to have discovered a place where I feel I can now trust someones (and goodness, a total strangers too!) recommendations. Makes picking up my next book so much more exciting.

Ifi, Thank you so much for the kind words. It is really nice to know that my efforts are appreciated 🙂 I really hope that you enjoy the next book that you decide to pick up on my recommendation.

This is EXACTLY how I felt about PRETTIES. I felt it didn’t have anything original, while Uglies had tons original stuff in it. Instead PRETTIES was the same plot rehashed. It even ended the same. Very disappointing. I can’t bring myself to finish the series either.

The pretty talk didn’t bother me because it seemed necessary. But the rest of it bothered me a lot.

It is always disappointing when you enjoy the first in a a series and then you don’t enjoy the second book. Hopefully you will be rewarded by enjoying the next in the series.

Specials was actually my favorite of the trilogy and I liked how it ended Tally’s story. The Pretty Talk was annoying in Pretties but didn’t ruin my overall enjoyment of the book. I haven’t read Extras because I believe it features different characters and Tally was the main reason I enjoyed reading this series.

I felt exactly the same way about this book. I loved Uglies and was looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I made my way through Pretties and haven’t bothered to even think about the rest of the books since. Just ‘meh’.

I did understand the reason for the ‘pretty talk’ and how he used it wtihin the story, but it still annoyed me.

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