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.
What I liked about this book:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- I am a bit skeptical about Tally’s apparent strength of will that she was able to cure herself of brain lesions.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- Basically, this book is just chill about everything.
What I didn’t like about this book:
- 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.
- 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.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Oh, Divergent. I really should have learned my lesson by now about picking up these Young Adult books which have high ratings on Goodreads. I decided to read this because it’s supposedly “the next Hunger Games” and because of the aforementioned high ratings and that a movie is coming out by next year.
Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.