Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Just a caution: it is pretty much impossible for this review NOT to be a spoiler for “Uglies” (which I have also reviewed). If you haven’t read Uglies and are concerned about knowing the ending, please do skip this review.
Tally Youngblood is no longer Ugly, she is now Pretty and she is getting ready to join the Crims, one of the coolest cliques in New Pretty Town. Tally is finally at the party she’s been anxiously awaiting, the one at which the Crims will decide whether or not she can join, when some of the Smokies show up with a secret about the past she can no longer remember. Tally and her new boyfriend Zane fight to stay bubbly and not let themselves give into the lesions that make them pretty-minded, but it isn’t easy when the city and Zane’s own body are against them.
I really do like this series. Westerfeld keeps up the action without making this a brain-dead action book. The love-triangle also worked much better than one in another young adult I could name. Perhaps the best part is the social commentary, which works because of the dystopian society in which Tally lives. I don’t even want to describe some of the commentary both about Tally’s time and our own because I don’t know how to keep it from sounding heavy-handed, although Westerfeld pulls it off quite nicely.
Perhaps the only the I didn’t like about “Pretties” is that it ended with a similar sort of cliffhanger (although not quite the same) as did “Uglies.” They were a little too similar for my taste, but that didn’t stop the ending from propelling me straight into “Specials!”