28 August 2015
Series: Uglies #2
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Tally is back, and she's Pretty. The Tally from the beginning of Uglies would have relished in this fact. The Tally from the end of Uglies would have despaired, hoping someone was en route to bring her the cure. This Tally doesn't think much about it at all, thanks to the lesion in her brain that dumbs her down and makes her shallow and careless.
United with Shay and Peris, and now friends with Shay's friends from pre-operation, Tally is living it up large in New Pretty Town. But she's not just in it for the parties and gossip and the pleasure gardens. She's trying to join the Crims, a group of new Pretties that seem determined to keep up with their Ugly tricks and schemes.
Pretties, somewhat like Uglies, is a slow burn of a read for the vast majority of the story (I'd say at least the first half). Tally tries to navigate this new world and - thanks to the "bubbly" sensation of pulling tricks - to remember what her life was like before the operation. She, with the help of Zane (Zane!) and the other Crims, has to try to clear her mind of the Pretty haze and remember why she's back in the city in the first place. Pretties feels a bit like Uglies at times, the ending especially feeling a bit repetitive of the first novel. And some of the teen drama between friends and love interests in a bit shallow and laughable (but these are still Pretties we're talking about). At one point, the plot seems to veer sharply off course (cue Andrew) and I have to wonder what in the world made Westerfeld think to add that to the story.
But overall, Pretties feel like the naturally progression for the series. Sure, Tally is still a bit self centered and trying at times, but she is trying to fight the good fight against the system, so I have to give her credit for that. And I like the new characters that Westerfeld introduces in this story. While the Prettiness of the setting and people wears on me a little, and perhaps does not age as well for me as Uglies has over the past decade, I still enjoy this book. It's an easy read for a vacant day, and - no matter your feelings towards Tally - leaves you wanting to read the next one in the series.