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Uglies #2


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Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect.

Perfectly wrong.

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.

370 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2005

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About the author

Scott Westerfeld

118 books19.9k followers
Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He is best known for the Uglies and Leviathan series. His current series, IMPOSTORS, returns to the world of Uglies.

The next book in that series, MIRROR'S EDGE, comes out April 6, 2021.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,026 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 10, 2020

What happens when perfection isn't good enough?
Undergoing the Pretty Operation - aka the mandated set of operations at age 16 designed to make everyone as beautiful as possible - was all that Tally ever dreamed of....

Well, until (in typical YA fashion), she learns that her loving and kind government actually inserted lesions into the brain thus neutering the population.

These lesions made Pretties incapable of anger, meanness and anything that required difficultly. Everything is "bubbly" and "happy-making."
“Being pretty-minded is simply the natural state for most people. They want to be vapid and lazy and vain . . . and selfish. It only takes a twist to lock in that part of their personalities.”
This operation was deemed necessary to save the remains of society - just look at the "Rusties" - aka everyone who used fossil fuels and started wars. They nearly killed the planet with their pollution and strip mining.
..humanity is a disease, a cancer on the body of the world.
Tally Youngblood, despite being horrified at what was done to the Pretties, undergoes the operation herself. There (might) be a cure to the lesions and there needs to be a test subject.

Only, when Tally becomes Pretty, it's becoming harder and harder to remember why she fought so hard to keep her mind. Everything is foggy and is so difficult to maintain alertness.

Then (in typical YA fashion), our heroine meets a bad boy who convinces her that yes, this revolution is truly worth it. That they must fight back in any way they can.
“Their reasons don't mean anything unless I have a choice.”
And finally (in typical YA fashion) we have a love triangle shoe-horned in to keep the everyone guessing at who is Tally's true love.

Honestly, this wasn't a bad sequel.

I like how different Westerfield made this one from the first. Notably, Pretty slang is scattered throughout the book (aka bubbly!) but instead of being a sore thumb, I think it really helped immerse me in this novel.

I think he really did a great job of fleshing out the Pretties and their society - and note to this world, we really need to up our hoverboard game.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Emily Tremaine - and this was a fabulous one to listen to. I really enjoyed her tone and inflection.

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Profile Image for Kristina.
50 reviews16 followers
March 22, 2009
I'm pretty disappointed with this book. The last one was pretty good but this one... not so great. They kept using this stupid pretty language that annoyed me to no end. If i hear that anything is "Bogus, bubbly, pretty-making, fashion-missing" ect. EVER again, i might have to strangle that person.

Besides the annoying slang, the main character is now a complete twit. She is a "Pretty" sure, but she made some really stupid decisions. The worst was at the end. She picked the WRONG guy. and that's all i'm going to say on that subject.

There's also the fact that Scott kept comparing her to a princess in a tower. Well, not even princesses are that dim. She completely left her old friends for some guy who didnt even really like her. He only liked the fact that she was rebellious. So, for this guy she leaves her BEST friend Peris, her TRUE love, David, and turns her back on her only REAL friend Shay. For what?

Not a good book. I'm not even sure i want to read the next.
Profile Image for Rachel.
119 reviews9 followers
June 19, 2011
Here's what I wrote on my book club blog about Pretties, and the whole series: Westerfeld knows that he's writing to teens, so he's trying to address a LOT of issues that teens face. One is, obviously, being superficial. Remember reading the teen magazines, hearing all of the celebrity gossip (not to mention your own school gossip), trying to dress well and be "cool?" Maybe you were better than I was and didn't get pulled into that, but most teens are. And often the pull doesn't go away once you turn 20 and aren't a teen anymore. I still find myself tempted to read the covers of the gossip magazines at the grocery store, to watch another cookie-cutter, uninspiring chick flick or to read the mindless quick-read books. It's harder to choose the book that I'll struggle through but that will make me think and maybe even change, or to turn off the tv when a couple of beautiful people are on the screen, no matter what kind of dumb things they're saying. When Peris chooses the promise of blissful ignorance and laxity of the Pretty society, part of you can't really blame him. Who wants problems? Who wants to have to think and to work when we can just be entertained instead? We have to consciously choose to resist that pull, and teens are just being introduced to it.

Another issue is our treatment of the environment. I think that Westerfeld isn't advocating the pristine, sustainable development of the Pretty society, or the wasteful stupidity of the Rusties (our present state), but something in between that Tally gets a glimpse of with the Smokies. A reverence and appreciation for nature, but an understanding that nature is to provide for our needs, and so cutting down a tree is not a sin (some tree-hugging extremists today might take the Pretties side on this, don't you think?).

When the Rusties come along, he's again attacking our tendencies for senseless violence, adherence to illogical traditions (women's subservience) just because "it's always been that way," and even religious piety. "Question authority!" he's saying all throughout the book. That's what teens do naturally, but he's targeting an authority that they don't always recognize - the media. Teens now can't live without their iPods, they go to the movies every weekend, spend hours and hours online and are basically overloaded by the media. All of this keeps them from thinking on their own. This book makes you think and hopefully can encourage some teens to think on their own and pull themselves away from all of the media that tries so hard to tell them what to think.
In addition to all of his preaching, Westerfeld writes a captivating series with convincing characters and and draws you into his intriguing world as you read his books.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
February 28, 2021
Pretties (Uglies, #2), Scott Westerfeld

Pretties is a 2005 science fiction novel and the second book of the Uglies Trilogy written by Scott Westerfeld. The premise of the novel relies on a future set in a future dystopian world in which everyone is turned "Pretty" by extreme cosmetic surgery upon reaching age 16. It tells the story of teenager Tally Youngblood who rebels against society's enforced conformity. ...

The book begins with Tally, the main protagonist, as a Pretty debating what to wear to a bash. While attending the bash at which she is to be voted into the "Crims" clique, she is followed by someone who appears to be a "Special", a member of Special Circumstances.

She soon finds him and discovers it’s Croy, a Smokey she knew before she turned pretty. He then told her that he left a note for Tally somewhere in Valentino Mansion.Then he went back to The Smoke and Tally tried to follow him by pushing Peris off the balcony where the bungee bounced, and kneed her head hard enough to make her bleed and was voted into the Crims by the bubbly movement. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم ماه اکتبر سال 2019میلادی

عنوان: زیبارویان: کتاب دوم از سه گانه ی زشتها؛ نویسنده: اسکات وسترفیلد ؛ مترجم: شیرین لاهوتی‌نژاد؛ تهران آذرباد‏‫، 1396؛ در 312ص؛ شابک 9786008537373؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده ی 21م‬

وسترفیلد برای نوجوانان مینویسند؛ در این کتاب «تالی» زیبا شده، نمای او عالی، و لباسش دل انگیز است، دوست پسرش «زین» نیز دلنشین؛ این همه ی چیزهایی بوده است که او هماره آنها را میخواسته؛ اما در زیر همه ی مهمانیهای پی در پی، و جاه و جلای با کیفیت بالا، و آزادی بی کم و کاست، یک حس ناخوشایند نیز هست، که او را آزار میدهد، اینکه چیزی اشتباه است، یک چیز بسیار مهم، پیامی از بگذشته های خویش، زمانیکه «تالی» هنوز زشت بوده، به دستش میرسد، با خوانش آن پیام، «تالی» به یاد میآورد، که چه مشکلی در زندگی زیبایش، وجود دارد و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Jessica.
826 reviews28 followers
July 24, 2007
What I found most interesting about Pretties was its thematic use of various forms of bodily mutilation/eating disorders. In a perfect society, where everyone is brain-damaged into peace and transformed into absolutely perfectly beautiful creatures, how do you rebel? By starving yourself, cutting yourself - in a lesser sense, by covering your body in tattoos. (Tattoos as mutilation is a controversial thought, and I'm not sure I know where I stand with it - I mean, are some tattoos okay, but a body full of them not? The social stigma and our association of tattoos with crime, wild people, tramps, etc. has a lot to do with it. I like my tattoo, and Jim's three tattoos, and yet I really don't want either of us to get any more. It's kind of weird.) But these teenage boys and girls - they look perfect, they've been surgically transformed into the universal pinnacle of beauty, and they're still starving or mutilating themselves in order to "wake up," to "feel it." It's a very dark aspect of this series, one I'd like to see addressed in further detail, if possible.

I'm very excited to read the last installment in the series, Specials. I'm just waiting for it to come out in paperback so I can complete my set.
Profile Image for Ivana - Diary of Difference.
559 reviews710 followers
February 13, 2022
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#1 Uglies - ★★★★★
#2 Pretties - ★★★★★
#3 Specials - Not read yet

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I loved the first book a lot, and I had to continue the series!

In the first book, we are introduced to a world where beauty means everything. People are born as Uglies, and once they turn 16, they undergo plastic surgery and become Pretties.

Tally is still an Ugly, and all she ever wants to do is become a Pretty. After all, all of her friends are already Pretties. But she meets Shay, who doesn’t want to become pretty, and during amazing adventures in the first book, Tally discovered that there is much more in the world than just being a Pretty.

If you haven’t read the first book yet, please be aware that this review will contain SPOILERS. If you want to know more though, I would suggest reading my review of the first book, Uglies.

In Pretties, Tally is now a Pretty herself. She is completely different, until one day a person from the old crew pays her a visit. She can vaguely remember some things, and a challenge is in front of her. A letter from herself from the past will make her remember why she is a Pretty now and what she needs to do next.

But accepting such a task means danger of being found out and silenced forever. But if she succeeds, she might actually find a cure to being a Pretty.

My Thoughts

Filled with adventure, I read this book in only a few sittings. I am in love with the world the author created, and the moral dilemmas he tests us on. The chapters and scenes are vivid, entertaining and never dull.

I did, however, struggle with characterisation. Even though I am a huge fan of Tally, she wasn’t much different from any other character. They were all sort of the same, believing in almost the same things, and not much else was said. I would really have loved to see more perspectives from the Specials, but I think that is coming in the third book, which gets me all the more excited.

The last few chapters were everything and I will cherish all the moments. Many “book highlightings” were done and many quotes were remembered. I also need to mention that plot twist in the end. I should have seen it coming, because all the clues were there, but I didn’t. And I can’t wait to read book number 3.

I recommend it to all readers who enjoy different worlds, adventure, a bit of fantasy and dystopia.

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Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,399 reviews11.7k followers
April 30, 2009
Just like "Uglies," "Pretties" is an entertaining read. Tally's adventures continue as she becomes pretty and fights to regain her awareness. We meet some new characters, including Tally's new love interest. The story moves fast and gets more intense in the third part of the book. Like many mentioned before, the "pretty talk" gets annoying. There is only so many times you can take the word "bubbly" repeated. But I guess the author was trying to create a "pretty language" indicative of the slow pretty thinking...

This series, though entertaining, still lacks something for me. I think this "something" is emotional depth and intensity of feeling. There are some other authors (Suzanne Collins and Neal Shusterman, for example) who can convey emotions much better than Westerfeld, in my opinion.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,574 reviews271 followers
February 12, 2020
“What happens when perfection isn't good enough?”
― Scott Westerfeld, Pretties

I read this whole series from beginning to end. There were some things I liked about it. I liked Tally. And I liked the world building and the imagery.

However there were so many things I did not like. I was n ot all that drawn in and I thin k that is because the story has so much action and non dialogue to it that it really did not do anything for me. I was a bit bored frankly.

As mentioned by others the cutting sequences bothered me and I too do not think that is great stuff for a YA to be reading (Oh man..I feel so OLD!). But it is true. I have known many real life cutters whose world would not be better served in reading this.

I did enjoy reading about the hover crafts and the life of the Pretties. But Tally's nemesis was so distasteful and the end of part two really bothered me although of the three books, this one is likely written the best and the only one I did not skim. I really disliked part three..don't even get me started.

I also just think it was a Bit to YA for me. I loved the Hunger Games series, The Divergent series and part of the Delirium series but the Uglies/Pretty series I can take or leave.
Profile Image for Scottsdale Public Library.
3,220 reviews209 followers
August 2, 2022
Everything is always perfect in Pretty Town. The clothes, the shoes, the food, the parties. Everyone in Pretty Town is so lucky to live there. Except for one thing.
They don't have a choice in the matter.
Tally Youngblood is living the life she always dreamed of. She is finally a member of the Crim society- a group of daredevils that shake things up in Pretty Town. Their latest trick is the best thing the town has ever seen. Although the surface of her life is bubbly, she is haunted by a stranger in gray who gives her a letter. If she reads the letter, she can never turn back.
This series is riveting, with Tally moving between two extreme civilizations: those with absolute luxury and no free will versus those living in the woods with very little, but with the freedom to choose. A heightened form of Uglies, readers of the first book won't be disappointed. For fans of Pretty Little Liars and all things Teen dystopian literature, check out the sequel to Uglies- and find out if Tally escapes Pretty Town!

Find a copy at Scottsdale Public Library
Profile Image for Ash.
123 reviews134 followers
April 18, 2020
This review contains spoilers for Uglies.

After rereading Uglies and finding it just as engaging as I remembered, I was looking forward to rereading Pretties next. While I didn’t end up liking it quite as much as Uglies, it was still enjoyable and I’m still looking forward to completing the series and rereading Specials (we’re ignoring Extras).

One thing didn’t change from book one to book two of this series: the pacing. I mentioned in my review of Uglies that Scott Westerfeld had me hooked from very early on with a unique premise and an exciting, fast-paced plot; I was turning pages late into the night, unable to put the book down even though I already knew what would happen. My experience with Pretties was nearly identical. The brief exception to this occurred toward the end, , which was unnecessary and distracted from the plot.

Tally is still a strong and relatable character and maintains her spot among my all-time favorite protagonists. She remains relatable and realistic, with strengths and weaknesses; I find it easy to put myself in her shoes. She’s not inherently different from anyone else in her world, which makes her something of an everyman (or everygirl). But as the story progresses, she becomes different and noteworthy because of the people she meets, the decisions she makes, and the series of events she’s experience. Her “specialness” seems equal parts personality and luck and is, as a result, more believable.

Where this book fell flat for me, at least compared to Uglies, was Tally’s relationship with Zane. While there was romance in Uglies, it wasn’t a central theme throughout the entire book; the first third of the book is dedicated to Tally’s friendship with Shay, and then there is a significant portion where she’s on her own and has a chance to develop independent of her relationships with others, and then there’s romance. Her love interest in book one, David, was a rational, resourceful guy with a friendly nature and a kind heart.

Zane is more of your typical young adult love interest in personality and appearance, and you know how I feel about those (if you don’t know, I don’t like them). However, I have to admit, he’s a nice, likable guy and, like David, he serves an important purpose in the plot, so I don’t completely resent him. My main issue was that romance was a much bigger focus in this book than it was in Uglies. Tally and Zane enter into a relationship within the first few chapters and spend most of their time together throughout the book, leaving less time for Tally's solo character development and her relationships with other characters.

Thankfully, Tally's friendship with Shay wasn't completely sidelined, and in fact saw major development. I think Shay is a fascinating character and her relationship with Tally is one of the most dynamic and interesting relationships I've encountered in fiction. I can't give too many details without entering into spoiler territory, though, so I’ll leave it at that.
Profile Image for Beth Given.
1,228 reviews33 followers
February 20, 2008
Pretties is the sequel to Uglies, the second in a trilogy which I had started back two months previous. I opened the book with some hesitancy, despite the fact that I'd enjoyed the first book and had been anxious to start the second, since the details of the first book were kind of fuzzy — would I remember enough to piece together a coherent story?

Turns out I needn’t have worried. Pretties picks up where Uglies left off, yes — but the main character’s memory has been tampered with and she can’t quite remember what happened in the first book, anyway. My own stunted recollections made for a rather authentic read. :-)

Actually, I found myself identifying all too well with the emptyheaded, “pretty-minded” section of the book (aptly nameed “Sleeping Beauty”): if you’ve ever zoned out in front of the TV or computer, wasting away your time and losing some sense of reality all in the name of entertaining yourself, you’ll understand exactly the sensation Westerfield is trying to recreate. (Being sleep-deprived helps with this perception, too.)

The futuristic society that so intrigued me in Uglies continued to fascinate throughout this sequel. The Pretties, made beautiful through an operation at age sixteen, spend all their time amusing themselves and no time thinking — that is, until Tally Youngblood (flawed heroine of Uglies) arrives in New Pretty Town. Through the help of new friend Zane, Tally’s memory of her ugly past is reawakened. She and Zane search for a cure for pretty-thinking by staying “bubbly” — which is basically to be hyped up on adrenaline — all the time. (I loved the Pretties’ distinct dialect that infused the first chapters, and I loved that Westerfield taught it to his readers simply by using it repeatedly.)

Of course, as Tally slowly remembers the events of the first book, things get increasingly more complicated. And as hard as she tries, Special Circumstances (the almost-mythical enforcement agency of this rigid society) always seems to be one step ahead of her. Pretties concludes it a most cliff-hanging fashion, much as you’d expect the sandwiched part of a trilogy to be (think Star Wars or Lord of the Rings … isn’t the end of second part just about the most depressing, lowest point you can sink?).

Obviously, I can’t wait to get my hands on the final book of the trilogy, Specials!
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
July 17, 2013
My first completed novel for the #BookTubeAThon!

My thoughts on this book are simple:
- I enjoyed it, but I don't think it comes close to matching how great Uglies was
- The plot in the last around 100 pages was exciting, but the first 2/3rds of this book dragged and felt all-together unnecessary
- The novel felt repetitive and redundant at several points
- I feel like it's suffering from middle-book-syndrome

I did enjoy it, like I said, but it just didn't capture me like the first one. I will definitely be reading the next novel, and have a feeling it will be very action packed!
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
851 reviews447 followers
February 23, 2016
If I hear word bubbly one more time,I'll kill someone.

This was boring as hell.The story is boring,actions of the characters are utterly boring and stupid,the ending is stupid as hell...I'm really disappointed.And there's suddenly a love triangle(really Scott,REALLY?)


The only person I liked in this book was thankfully Tally.That's the only reason I'm giving this book 2 stars.She's really great.Everyone else...not so much.Shay is a freaking idiot and so is Peris.Zane seems like a decent guy,but I didn't really care for him through the book.
But my BIGGEST problem is that idiotic Pretties slang.Bloody hell.I just couldn't stand reading word bogus anymore.(...šašavo i trulo? STVARNO? Stvarno ljudi?)


Overall,boring and repetitive.

PS.Tally-wa and Shay-la?Jesus Christ.

Favourite quotes:

You know what's the best part of this book? That Virginia Woolf quote Mr.Westerfeld used when starting the chapter three.
''The beauty of the world…has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.''
Profile Image for Diane.
113 reviews4 followers
March 23, 2012
(EDITED: Updated star-status at the end)

Is this book really as bad I as I think it is? I need more friends to read this, to reassure me that it really is awful and it's not just that I'm sick (which I am. I mean, with bronchitis.) So do it! Read this! And tell me it is bad!! ("Ew, this is awful! taste it!")

Anyway, i'd say 2 stars just because i feel guilty giving only 1 star and I *did* finish it. So, 1.5 stars. Because you know something is wrong when "It Was Okay" sounds way too generous...

Where to start?

Could there be a more unlikeable main character? I know I'm not the target audience, age-wise, but geeze, as a female, I'd at least like to like her as a fellow female, even if a young one. And I don't. She's the exact sort of insipid, unintelligent, first-this-man-now-this-one type of female character I don't like. So, there's that straight off the bat. (Shay is a way better character.)

And then there is just the whole story telling, which is ridiculous for the most part. I mean, there is this whole section where Tally is with a primitive tribe (no! she really is! I can't even get into the whole 'what is this i don't even...' of that part as a whole) and she notices the women are making a fire for cooking (the men having just been out warrioring about, as it were) and she thinks -- snidely, I might add -- "oh yeah, i remember in Olden Times women used to get the crappy jobs". What? Leaving aside the fact that all of a sudden Tally seems to know/remember a lot of things, despite the fact that she was pretty clueless about ancient history in the first book (and this is a big thing to "leave aside" because it annoyed the f*** out of me), why on earth would she automatically assume cooking was a crappy job? I mean, she's never cooked. She lives in a society where food comes fully prepared to you pretty much technomagically and it has been this way for hundreds of years. Aside for that extremely brief period out in the wild where *someone* made stew (and I don't think it was Tally and I'm pretty sure it was likely communally done male/female equally), Tally knows jack shit about cooking. Certainly a person like that would never make an assumption that cooking = crappy job so OH NOEZ SEXIST PIGS (another concept that would be entirely alien to her in practice). And she's snide about the issue more than once.


It seems to me that, if anything, given her recent experience Outside the only and/or first thing she would have thought was "oh! hey! I wonder how THEY go about setting up their fire pit/spits/outdoor kitchens/etc" in the spirit of this-is-new-and-interesting-to-observe and not this weird misplaced snide feminism for pet's sake.

Alright, I'm probably belaboring what seems like a minor point but my point is the book is pretty much entirely full of little points like that. It's awful.

And then it all wraps up neatly (not without fanning the flame of LOVE TRIANGLE in the last few pages though! couldn't skip that bit!) and once again Tally . Egad.

My heart wants to give this book one star but my head (sick as it is with bronchitis germs) is going to give it two, for the few bits I liked (Shay and Zane and some of the other characters) and for the fact that I actually did finish it.

But I will not be reading the third.

I am going to have to downgrade this to 1-star. I still stand by that it is 1.5 stars but when I was putting it in the appropriate goodreads "shelf", I felt rotten for some other books that were in the 2-star category, that they should be considered the same level as this. For example, the poor ol' Time Baroness. The Time Baroness, for example, is nowhere NEAR as bad as this thing. So, i'm downgrading to 1-star for sake of categorizing but my actual ranking still stands at 1.5.
Profile Image for bec..
142 reviews89 followers
January 24, 2015
*Sing to the tune of Blank Space*

"Reading this book felt like torture. Don't say I didn't say I didn't warn ya."

Angst. The angst is everywhere. I tried with this book, I really did but the plot just got even more muddled after the Uglies. I could not stop myself from rolling my eyes and suppressing the urge to fling this book across the room every 5 minutes.

Let's take a moment to look at this synopsis:

Tally Youngblood is popular and Prettyville boyfriend Zane leads the Crims gang. But Croy from her past smuggles in a message and pills. Her best friend Shay is jealous. Evil Dr Cable from the Specials is in pursuit. How can she reconcile her past, present, and future?

I didn't even read this until now but I am literally cringing. This sounds like a melodramatic soap opera or some type of Broadway musical. It got so bad that I wouldn't even be surprised if they just suddenly burst into song, High School Musical style. I don't even know anymore.

Right off the bat you're thrust with this new "pretty" slang now that Tally has turned Pretty. There's no explanation and you have to define things on your own from here on out. The amount of times they said "bubbly or bogus" in this novel is outrageous. I was tempted to claw out my eyeballs.

I had no idea know where this story was going, it was all over the place. Tally is pretentious typical YA "heroine" who some how thinks she is smart but doesn't have a lick of sense in her. She is constantly has to be coaxed by the male counterpart in order for her to do something it's ridiculous. I'm surprised how quick she rebounded with Zane.

*my hope for ya romance falls off a cliff*

Zane had as much personality as my big toe. It felt as if he came out of nowhere and all of sudden Tally is dating him and how "bubbly making" he is. (You can hear me gagging all across the world)

Shay I could stand in the first book but here she became my most hated character. (Even more than Tally. Shocker!! :0) Shay is even more unbelievably annoying in this book that I literally skimmed her dialogue. The fact that she suddenly turned into Tally's nemesis is preposterous. Who knows if I'll even finish this series, but we all know that's totally bogus. (Ha!)
Profile Image for ❤Ninja Bunneh❤.
263 reviews173 followers
March 1, 2014
*******Spoilers ahead******

In Pretties, we once again catch up with our heroine extraordinaire, Tally. Tally has now had the pretty making surgery and is drop dead gorgeous. But being pretty isn't enough for Tally. She wants to be in a special pretty group called the Crims. She and Shay are back in BFF land and all is well with the world.

Tally also meets Zane and insta-love is formed. I guess it was insta-love but, again, I didn't see any chemistry at all. All thoughts of David are out the window now that Tally has Pretty brain. Zane is also conveniently the leader of the Crims. He also knows something is wrong with Pretty brain! For some bizarre reason starving himself makes his mind clearer. Um, ooookay.

One of The Smoke show up and direct Tally to a place where some pills are hidden to get rid of the lesions in her brain that are controlling her. Tally is too chicken shit to take the pills, so she and Zane split them.

To make a long boring-ass story short, Zane and Tally decide to run away from New Pretty Town and join The Smoke. Zane has been having some bad effects from the pill and needs help. They hijack some hot air balloons, leave the city, then are supposed to jump out in a certain location. Brilliant. Of course, Tally doesn't jump at the right spot and she winds up in an area that contains some backward-ass tribes killing each other. Page filler, anyone?

They finally reconvene at The Smoke's new location where Tally sees David once again. In her mind he is completely ugly and she is a total bitch. I mean, honestly, I have never hated a character as much as this one. Not one redeeming quality. At all.

Somehow a beacon is triggered and The Smoke once again is going to get invaded by Special Circumstances. But, HOW??? Ahhhhhh, the smart doctors in the city planted a device in Zane's tooth! How genius! They have also attached it to his bone so that even David's doctor mom cannot remove it. Tally, decides to stay with Zane, which means getting carted back to New Pretty Town. Sound familiar?

One thing I must note about this book that irked me to no fucking end was the Pretty language. Some examples:

Milli-Helens (the fuck that means I have no idea).
The cutesie tootsie nicknames like Tally-wa and Shay-la.
Brain spinning.
And, last but not least, my personal favorite.

Where the fuck were Bill and Ted?

1 Ninja-Bunneh
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
November 26, 2018
5 Words: Beauty, freedom, pressure, popularity, friendship.

One day it was sunny outside, and a girl wanted to read a book. She was already currently reading SEVEN BOOKS but, decided that as great as they were she didn't want them. She wanted some nostalgia for a better/worse time when she was in high school. And this was one of those books she had read all those years ago and it was still on her shelf. She remembered that it was pretty awesome. In fact, it was so awesome that despite reading it ten years ago, and reading almost 200 books every year since, she could remember everything.

So she plucked Pretties off of her shelf and sat on a lounger in the middle of the garden on that sunny day, and only put it down once to make a strong black coffee. She read until she had finished the book and her shoulders were a bright, burning red, because she got lost in the messed up world in the book and forgot to reapply the factor 50 to her pale, British skin and her shoulders always burn. She knows this and she could feel it happening but PRETTIES.

So yeah, I picked this up yesterday, read it in two long sittings with only a break to make coffee in the middle, and I loved it just as much as I did when I first read it ten years ago. God I'm old.

I love the characters, the world, the story. I love the conflicts, the pain, the love, the hate. This book has everything and I love it.

In terms of the series, READ THEM ALL. IN ORDER. The books themselves are amazing, but the series read in order is INCREDIBLE. This book picks up a little while after the first one, but there's no major gap or confusion.
Profile Image for meher !.
77 reviews
November 9, 2020
if these are supposed to be the most beautiful humans on the planet, why does the man on the cover look like a toad?
Profile Image for Mary.
106 reviews31 followers
July 12, 2008
Westerfield has a way of making me want to finish his books in one sitting, but I'm never sure whether that has more with his ability to build suspense or my ongoing desire to have it over with. Pretties, while not a book without merit (if I were being more fair, I would probably give it 3 stars, story-wise) irked me a great deal more than Uglies (which I obviously liked well enough to read its sequel) because of what I consider some poor authorial decisions. For a dystopia intending to critique the image-obsessed, beauty-myth-worshipping society in which we "pre-Rusties" live, Pretties has far too much backhanded endorsement of self-destructive behavior. The Pretties intent on curing themselves of their post-surgical brain damage resort to cutting and self-starvation for the sake of improving their focus, increasing their adrenaline, and producing a "bubbly" high. I understand that this can be viewed as the "false cure" (although it seems to work well enough for Tally) intended to speak to the reason those same behaviors are used in our own (less explicit) attack on teenage brains. But I'd like to think it's not too much to ask that my anti-pretty heroine not starve herself in order to escape the (literal) clutches of society. Rethink a few of these "solutions," Scott, and I'll read another draft. If only the third book in the trilogy weren't already published. Sigh.

Also... oy, with the boy drama already.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Daphne.
989 reviews48 followers
July 30, 2015
If you take the first book and add some slight differences, annoying slang, a more unlikeable Tally, a complete assassination of Shay's character, and a forced love triangle, you basically have this book.

The plot of Pretties really is very similar to the plot of Uglies. Tally starts out living in the city, not questioning anything about her life until a new friend shows her there is more to it. She ends up escaping the city and living in the wilderness for a while and then meets up with the rebellion.

All the hope I had for a decent female friendship between Tally and Shay is crushed. The love triangle that develops in this book is also really irritating and further ruined the book for me.

I have no interest in the third book, Tally only became more and more unlikable in this one and I have no hope for her, or the plot, to improve.
Profile Image for Violet.
445 reviews54 followers
May 10, 2009
Love, Love, Love!!! I totally love it. And here are some of my coments:

You learn more about the "Rusties" in this one. It was kind of creepy. They refer to us as stupid....Maybe we are. I mean look at what we are doing to the planet that we live on. We are killing the planet. And you know what they say, that there is going to be more and more of us in the future. And she said that the oil thing, killing most of the "Rusties", saved the planet. Well, I don't like the "killing most of the popuation" part, but if you don't find some way to control the popuation and how we use our resoures, then we are all (or most) are going to DIE!!!! And I don't side with the Specials with the controling everyone and giving everyone brain damage. And I don't side with Tally completely ethier. I want a mix of both. Control popuation, simi-set lives, and stuff like that. I want to be bubbly and pretty if you know what I mean.

And OMG!!! Talk about a love triangle!!!!! Zane and Daivd! Wow, I feel so sorry for Tally. I mean having a love triangle and dealing with what she did being ugly and what she did being pretty. I mean Tally has some major problems to sort out. I don't want to be her. Well, I guess if you can do all the things she did than you a deal with these problems.

I didn't want her to brake-up with Daivd, though. I mean, he was there FIRST and he wanted to go to Tally but he couldn't. So step off Zane. Daivd was first.

So that is my coment for Petties. If you want to hear more of my coments on Tally's world well then just wait 'til the next review. Which is for Specials. Stay bubbly! Bye!!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,215 reviews114 followers
November 4, 2008
"Pretties" suffers from middle-of-a-trilogy-itis. It has to move the story forward, setting up things to come in the final installment, but it can't necessarily push things too far ahead for fear of losing audiences in the next installment.

"Pretties" picks up a few months after "Uglies" ended with Tally having undergone surgery and become pretty. We're treated to glimpses of her hedonistic lifestyle now, but a lot of the first third of this story had me wondering when the real plot would kick in. In the last novel, Kally agreed to go undercover, get the surgery and then have it reversed so she could return to the Smoke. As "Pretties" unfolds, Kally has forgotten this due to the surgery and is more concerned with joining the hot new clicque. She is also developing a new love interest, who seems far more interested in the world outside than in the current situation.

In order to recall their ugly, rebellious days, Tally and her new beau must stay "bubbly." During one of these times, Tally is contacted by her old friends, given her letter and given the means to reverse the surgery.

Once Tally finds the way to reverse the surgery and begins to try to go back to her old self, things pick up. But a lot of the revelations in the last two-thirds feel incomplete, as if Westerfeld is setting up events and situations for the third novel. In the end, Tally is once again forced to make a choice she doesn't want to in order to save herself. We're set up well for the next book, which hopefully will provide some answers to a lot of the lingering questions left in this story.
Profile Image for ✨faith✨trust✨pixiedust✨.
396 reviews365 followers
May 23, 2018
The Writing and Worldbuilding

It builds on the world Uglies established, expanding and giving insight into the behind the scenes of the society.

The Characters

Tally: My sister warned me that she is very annoying as a Pretty, but honestly, she wasn't really, and if she was, it wasn't for very long. She was just as proactive as she had been in book 1, and I still really liked her.

Zane: I'm not a fan of love triangles, but he was a super nice and I loved him. He was distinct from David and lovable in his own way.

Shay: I'm so sad my hyper, lovable Shay is gone forever :(

Fausto: I loved him! He wasn't super important, but he was funny and even in his few appearances, I got a good feel for his character.

Andrew Simpson Smith: My lovable caveman! ❤❤❤ I don't care that he's stereotypical and a sexist, I love him.


I read this in almost one sitting and in less than 24 hours, so I think they gives a general idea of how engrossed I was in this, and how much I generally really liked it, but I didn't totally love it or anything. To put it in pretty speech: It wasn't totally love-making (which sounds dirty, but I swear it isn't)
Profile Image for Railee.
98 reviews3 followers
October 5, 2008
Scott Westerfield has a tallent that I enjoy as equally as it annoys me- he can change my mind like a remote control! At the end of the first book in this series, Uglies, I thought that it was the end of the world and that the next book couldn't possibly go the way I wanted it to go! But as I read Pretties, I found that what I had so stubbornly wanted while reading the first book dissolved and I suddenly wanted something else. At the end of this book the feeling of "Oh no! It's the end of the world!" was even more strong than it had been at the end of the first book and what I want is even more solid this time than what I wanted in Uglies was. I'm almost afraid to read the next book, Specials, because I know that he's going to manage to change my mind again, but I don't want my mind to change! That's the masterpiece of it- I'm feeling with each book the same way that the main character, Tally, is feeling. She doesn't want her mind to change, and when it does it seems like the end of the world, until she is used to it and her desires change. Masterful! Masterful! I wonder if he meant to write it that way!
Before begining the series, my Sister-in-law warned me that she did't like who Tally ends up with in the end (as a romantic partner), and I thought that I could trick myself into wanting her to end up with "the wrong guy" so that I would be happy with the end of the book, but with the way things are going, it looks like my little scheme backfired and I made myself like the "right guy" instead of the "wrong guy", who she's probably going to end up with. Oh good grief! It's exhausting, trying to beat the system. Yet another thing that makes me feel like I'm one of the characters in the book.
Profile Image for will.
64 reviews44 followers
June 16, 2012
Congratulations Mr. Westerfeld, you managed to impress me, amaze me, and convince me to read the third book.

When I finished "Uglies" (the first book in the series), I was really impressed and looking forward to reading "Pretties". 20% into the book, I was starting to feel depressed. What I had hoped for wasn't happening. There was no strong female protagonist, there was nothing new. Well, nothing new except for a new relationship with another boy. Aaaargh! I was worried that I was going to end up with another girl unable to choose between Edward/Jacob Peta/Gale situation. And then everything changed.

I should have trusted the author a lot more. The book quickly became a page turner. Once again I was sent on a wild ride. New situations, new characters were introduced - and not just for the sake of trying to make the book seem different to its predecessor, these things occurred to drive the plot forward. They slowly revealed that the author has a much bigger plan for this story, a story that he intends to unwind slowly.

I am off to read book three - and this time I intend to be more patient while reading the first third!
Profile Image for Olivera .
724 reviews255 followers
June 4, 2017
Don't judge me, but the first time I have read Uglies, David was a character I didn't like at all, but I ended up having my mind completely changed about him. I honestly wanted more of him and Tally and I expected them to at least share a kiss (for the sake of my little fangirl soul).
On the other hand, Zane was someone I didn't enjoy reading about as much as I thought I would, and his and Tally's relationship was really boring for me in some parts.
Even though it was a good and fast read I more or less loved, dear mr. Westerfeld, you can't top Uglies with this sequel.
I am really looking forward to the last book in this series (+ Extras).
Profile Image for Valerie.
249 reviews74 followers
September 25, 2014
I liked this book better than the first. Maybe it’s because I'm more open to sci-fi or maybe it’s because it was just better. *shrug* Either way I liked it better. And I'm not a big sci-fi reader but I think the world Westerfeld creates is unique and things are explained well without it feeling like an overload of information. I didn't much like how the rusties (being us) are considered stupid but then again in the 1900s people took tape worm pills to lose weight, we know better now.

Anyways, getting to the book. I was annoyed at Tally in the beginning of the book but it wasn't her fault I guess. She was prettified after all. Other than that she is a good protagonist, who is a hero just by nature, she is smart and unintentionally responsible. Tally is pretty crafty too. What I most liked about the book was the fact that she was going against the top dogs here and had to find all these sneaky ways to do it. We’ll see if Tally succeeds in the final book.

Some things that bothered me: The constant use of words "bubbly" and "bogus." I don’t remember futuristic slang being used so much in the first book. I think that it's supposed to be 'pretty talk' but Tally talks and thinks those words even when she isn't thinking pretty. Also, yet ANOTHER LOVE TRIANGLE! I should know by now Trilogy=love triangle (okay it’s not exactly a trilogy but that is besides the point). The love triangle isn't that big of an issue until near the end.

The end was a cliffhanger as usual.
Profile Image for Ashley.
664 reviews32 followers
March 27, 2017
For me the Uglies series are the most under-hyped books I have ever read. This is one of my all time favorite series right up there with Harry Potter, Throne of Glass and the Hunger Games. I first read the series in high school and on this re-read I feel it really stands the test of time!
Profile Image for JohnnyBear.
169 reviews12 followers
January 15, 2022
7 out of 10

This is book two of the book, “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld. It takes place in the same world as Uglies, and it starts right where it left off. Tally Youngblood has given herself up to the government and has had the operation. All of Tally’s previous memories are very foggy and she has trouble remembering them. Tally is immediately popular in New Pretty Town because of her past as an Ugly. She joins into this group of Pretties named, “The Crims” and starts doing some risky things like meeting with some of the people from the Smoke and climbing up giant structures. Tally ends up falling for someone named Zane from, “The Crims” (despite the previous book’s love interest), and together they are led to the cure.

There are a lot of terms in this book that are important to know. The people who are Pretty are always repeating the phrases, “Bubbly” and “Pretty-Making/Happy-Making.” Around one-third of the interactions between the Pretties in this book include these phrases. Bubbly is the feeling of feeling non-pretty. The fogginess of a New-Pretties mind is intentional, so when you do or see something particularly exhilarating or off-putting, the fogginess in your mind clears up, and you’re able to think as yourself for a while. Pretty-Making is the opposite of Bubbly. It’s conformity, absent-mindedness, and being in the cycle of thinking that everything is perfect and happy. These terms are used a lot, so I thought I should explain the definitions because they’re important to the story.


One thing that I enjoyed about this book is how quickly things started up. The previous book had a beginning that dragged on and it wasn’t interesting. This book started right up with action and full immersion in this new world that Tally is put in. The exponential details of the previous book are briefly explained, but enough to fill you in if you’ve forgotten. The pacing is done very well, and it’s done better than in the previous book.

This book is a lot weirder than I’d thought it would be. Although the plot is still relatively predictable and filled with common tropes, I feel that this book brings a lot of new ideas to the table. I liked learning about New Pretty Town, which the author really alluded to in the last book. Despite the brain-washed nature of all of these Pretties, it’s still interesting to see how they think and to see what changes in them when they get bubbly. One thing I liked about the previous book was the author’s world-building and how good they were at creating a sense of distance. This carries on into this book as well.

I like how the author was more willing to put more weird ideas into this book. Although I do enjoy some of the ideas, I think they go a little far at some points. *Minor Spoilers Ahead,* there is a scene where Shay and Tally get into a fight about who got the cure. Shay goes insane and creates a group of Pretties who engage in self-mutilation. The author goes into detail about how insane Shay and the other Pretties look. At first, I thought they were doing some sort of ritual, but it is explained that they are cutting themselves because they’re trying to get bubbly. Then they just gloss over that like it didn’t happen at all. There is also a scene later on in the book where Tally enters a society full of brutes. It’s interesting to see that there’s secretly a culture here when it was proclaimed throughout the whole series that such a thing doesn’t exist. But then it turns out that, “The Specials,” (A.K.A, the villains) are spying and experimenting on them. Also, the author goes on and on about the latrines, which was, yeah.

Overall, despite a lot of things that could’ve been dealt with better, I felt that this book was a great sequel to the original. It captures a similar essence and the characters haven’t lost their souls, which I see with a lot of sequels. The sequel improves a lot of things from the first book, but it also adds in a love triangle and a lot of unnecessary scenes. If you’ve read Uglies (and liked it), then I recommend reading this one.
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