.Pretties by Scott Westerfield (Uglies Series, Book 2) by Scott Westerfeld

Themes: Romance, Action, Violence, Dystopian Society

Background: Pretties is set in the distant future of America in which a society that is obsessed with beauty has split its population into two groups: the “Uglies” and the “Pretties” (from which the book acquires its name). The Uglies are a group of children, from the ages of twelve to sixteen who are forced to live together a primitive society with significantly less privileges than there counter parts, the Pretties, until they under go mandatory cosmetic surgery to make them “perfect.” The main goals of the Uglies are act like juveniles, pull pranks, and break the law because when they can become a Pretty they can do anything they want. The Pretties are people who have had the mandatory cosmetic surgery, continue to recreationally participate in the surgery (for scars, reduction in height, etc.), and party 24/ 7, 365 days a year. Cutters, a faction of Pretties that cut them selves to stave off the affects of the Nanos injected into their brains during their cosmetic surgery, Smokies, a rebel faction that opposes the government, their secret goals, and the separation of Pretties and Uglies, Specials, the Enforcing Unit in their society, are also introduced in this story.

Main Story: Tally Youngblood has finally been made a Pretty, but she must now deal with the lesions in her brain as a result of the Nanos by using the “antidote” and combating the side affects of the Nanos using caffeine to stay alert and clear-headed (the Cutters use pain to stay focused), while she and Zane find a cure. Tally and Zane become the objects of the other Pretties’ suspicions, so they are outfitted with tracking bracelets and watched. Now, they must escape and continue with their rebellion, while Dr. Cable tries everything in her power to recruit Tally as a Special.

Interesting facts: Both the Uglies and the Pretties are afraid of the Specials. The Specials undergo a special cosmetic surgery that makes them both extremely scary (i.e. more pointed teeth) and pretty.

Criticisms: Too much use of slang word like bubbly. Also, the violence depicted in this book can be a little disturbing/graphic at times. Ex. ”They all watched, and then, one by one, they cut themselves. And as each did so, their faces transformed to become more like Shay’s: ecstatic and insane.”

Praises: This book was a great continuation of the first book in the series. It was very suspenseful and left me wanting to read the next book!


uglies, pretties, specials, extras


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