Don’t hold your breath but the pretty things are going to hell

i just finished reading the ‘young adult’ novel ‘pretties’ by scott westerfeld:

“But you’re….”
“Pretty? Think again” She smiled. “I’m Tally Youngblood. My mind is very ugly. And i’m taking your car”

‘pretties’ is actually the second part of a trilogy of books starting with uglies which i’m embarassed to say i hadn’t actualy read before i started ‘pretties’. i was aware that it was a sequel but i was given it by a friend and decided to have a bash at it anyway. i’m sure that there are several things i missed due to this however the fact that the central character, tally, is amesiac herself at the start of the book allowed me to discover a lot of the backstory along with her. that said, whilst it didn’t hamper my enjoyment i’m sure it would be advisable to read them sequentialy.
without giving too much away (it’s that kind of a book) ‘pretties’ deals with a sort of dystopian future where everyone is made ‘pretty’ at the age of sixteen. this involves some rather incredibly plastic surgery as well as increased improvements in health and lifespan. however, it soon becomes apparant that ‘prettieness’ is more than just skin deep…

i really loved the way this book was written. it is funny, emotionaly engaging and a real page turner. the ‘pretty’ characters talk in a kind of invented valley girl speak (‘that is so pretty-making’, feeling ‘totally bubbly’ etc..) which as the book progresses becomes more and more a deliberate and subverted ‘language’. because the novel has a deceptively light feel to it i thought that it could probably be equally enjoyed by the gossip girl types as well as those who allready prefer more chilling thrillers.
there is a lot of amazing visual imagery in the book (tatoos that spin in accordance with your heart rate, gem stone eye decals, hot air balloons, wardrobes that talk) and it paints a very vivd mental picture for you. because of this i also couldn’t help thinking it has the potential to make a wonderful film or tv series.
dealing predominantly with issues of conformity, social pressure, self, friendship and romance ‘pretties’ retains an overall fun feeling whilst having some unexpectadly dark pockets.
i will definately be reading the third book ‘specials’ very shortly and will then, i guess, double back and read ‘uglies’.
highly reccomended.


i have now read all three and they were all just as good, specials being *perhaps* my favorite. great series.


0 thoughts on “Don’t hold your breath but the pretty things are going to hell

  1. I always enjoy your book and movie reviews even if it’s not something I am going to read/see. You should get paid for your view point by a movie or bookstore.

  2. That book looks fucking amazing! I had something really intelligent to say, but I’ve just forgotten what it was. Seriously. My mind is suddenly empty. I hate when that happens.

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