REVIEW: Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld

PrettiesRating: 3 out of 5 stars, Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Pages: 370, Level: Easy

Book Description:

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?

Pretties is the second in Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Uglies was a decent beginning to a dystopian fiction book series but I was a bit underwhelmed by Pretties. However, my 10-year old daughter liked it. Having said that, I wouldn’t normally recommend this series to 10-year olds. The story contains excessive drinking, partying, implied sexual interactions and risky and dangerous activity for entertainment. If you are going to allow your child to read it, I recommend you read it first and discuss it with him or her, or read it aloud together. We are reading it aloud and I edit some of the language as I go. I also explain to my daughter that this is not acceptable behavior.

I was excited to see how ‘the other’ side lived and you definitely get a nice look at that. It was interesting. Unfortunately, the language came across as a new Valley Girl lingo. Valley Girl was annoying even when it was in style and it is even more annoying now. For example, the most frequently used word in the Pretties vernacular is ‘bubbly.’ What do you think that would mean? Happy, right? Considering there’s a lot of drinking going on, the reader might think bubbly meant they were high on liquor. Not so. Bubbly means that someone is alert, free from the effects of alcohol or drugs. Sort of like sober. There’s a more significant nuance to bubbly that you will understand if you read the series; I don’t want to ruin anything, but bubbly is used so much that I found it extremely annoying.

Pretties was a decent read but not as good as Uglies. In addition, if you can get past the annoying Valley Girl quality of Pretties, there are some good discussion questions in the story. For the most part, it is a quick and entertaining read with a little of the whole teeny bopper love triangle thing thrown in. If you enjoy Young Adult books, you may want to give this series a try.

Reviewed by Christina
May 8, 2014

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