Pretties: A Book Review

Pretties

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Hmm. I don’t know about this one.

Spoilers ahead.

What I liked about this book:

  1. I still like Scott Westerfeld’s writing style. As I stated in my Uglies book review, his writing is up my alley, not too serious and sarcastic at times. Still chill, knows what his demographic is, and doesn’t try too hard.
  2. The Pretties are explored more in this book, and the writing did convince me that these people are indeed shallow and vapid. I mean, it doesn’t take much, but there you go. Their vocabulary is so ridiculous that it’s convincing.
  3. I actually like that the book stated outright what Tally was thinking when Zane and her were making out. SEX. No flowery euphemisms here.

What I didn’t like about this book:

  1. Those pills, seriously. Spoilers: If you are to design two pills which work in two very different ways, at least color them differently. Or label one with a ‘1’ on it and a ‘2’ on the other so the recipient would know which one to take first without giving anything away if the pills were to fall into the wrong hands.
  2. I am a bit skeptical about Tally’s apparent strength of will that she was able to cure herself of brain lesions.
  3. I also got a bit lost to why Shay thought up of the idea of cutting herself to stay “bubbly” and the whole transition to being a Special Cutter (is that right?).

Rating: 6/10 It’s not as strong as the first one. Understandably, it may just be a bit of a filler and a set up for more things to actually happen in a third book. It’s still an easy read and quite enjoyable.

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Uglies: A Book Review

Uglies

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

This book has been a pleasant surprise.

As soon as I read this book’s first line (the thing with the sky being the color of cat vomit), I decided to not take this book too seriously. This book felt too much like a satirical piece about how the insane actions of the people today will lead to eventual destruction of everything we know. Like putting down people, or hailing people as gods, just based on their physical appearance.

What I liked about this book:

  1. I really liked that this book, unlike other YA dystopian novels out today, didn’t try very hard. The writing was almost sarcastic, but it didn’t fail on getting its message across. It is a fun and easy read, unlike most books in the genre, which I said, tend to try really hard and bombard the reader with multiple (and often useless) events.
  2. I like how the world of Tally and the Uglies and the Pretties is constructed. Everyone normal (those who haven’t gone under the knife) is taught that they are ugly because of human imperfections. They are brainwashed from the moment they are born that life is not worth anything until you are a physically symmetrical Pretty.
  3. I even appreciate the way things are named in this book, it doesn’t try too hard and make up some ridiculous name for a simple gadget. Hoverboards are still hoverboards, water purifiers are still water purifiers, and dehydrated food in packets are labeled as amalgamations of their proper names (Spaghetti Bolognese is SpagBol).
  4. This book also answered the questions I had while I was reading it, like what happens to New Pretties if they grow older (they get another procedure), what happens to the children of the Middle Pretties (they stay with their parents until they turn 12 then they move into a dorm with other Ugly people).
  5. Basically, this book is just chill about everything.

What I didn’t like about this book:

  1. Lines like “The rocks felt reassuringly the-opposite-of-hovery under her shaky legs” are a little too chill and takes me out of the whole reading experience.
  2. Like other YA dystopian novels though, I felt the romance in this book is a bit unnecessary.

Rating: 8/10 Overall, Uglies is an easy read and doesn’t try too hard. The writing even pokes fun and points out the ludicrous fixation of human beings judging other human beings based on their face, and even touches on how important saving the environment is without getting too preachy.

Insurgent: A Book Review

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

What is it with dystopian novels and my desire to hate-read them? Anyway, here’s my (hate-)review, I guess.

One choice can transform you, or destroy you. Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

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DIY Kindle Case from a Hollowed-Out Book

Yes, I own a Kindle, and I’m about to carve out a book to make a Kindle case out of it. No, I don’t hate books.

The Kindle is a very convenient device for someone like me who likes to read and travel a lot. It’s very slim, but nothing compares to the feel and weight of a real book made of paper, so why not make a Kindle case out of it and maybe I can still have that fragrant old book smell?

My first Kindle case when I got the device a year ago was also a DIY case made by my boyfriend, Niko. It was made of cold press illustration board and gumtape.

The old case. Niko’s pretty crafty.

It served me well but Niko and I decided it has gotten to old and ratty and we were both feeling a little crafty so a new case was made and here’s the how we made it.

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