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Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Review by Kaydence

Post Date:08/01/2020 9:00 am

 Pretties Book Cover

Scott Westerfield’s Pretties is the second book in a quadrilogy about a utopian society where

being pretty is the answer to solving the problems that lead to the end of society hundreds of

years ago. At the age of sixteen everybody is operated to give them all the best qualities.

This story follows Tally after she becomes pretty. She remembers parts of her life before but

can’t piece it all together. As she’s trying to fit in and become a Crim, a group of pretties who

were criminals in their ugly days, she is visited by some people from her past. Her curiosity gets

the best of her and she follows some clues to find pills that will cure her. The catch with the

operation is, they implant lesions in their heads to make them forget their past and stay happy.

These pills kill the lesions and restore your normal brain.

Tally finds the pills, with the help of the Crim leader Zane, and is scared to take them. As

Special Circumstances is coming they make a quick decision to split the pills and each take

one. They slowly get back their memories and have to send a message to the Smoke, the

rebellion, but can’t because of the metal bracelets that track their every move. Instead they plan

a big stunt to break a floating ice rink while people are on it. They know the news of this will

spread far and wide and the Smoke will see it as a sign that they’re cured.

Their next problem was escaping to the Smoke. Their problem is they can’t with their interface

bracelets that don’t come off. Their other problem is Zane’s headaches and medical problem

that can only be cured in the Smoke. While they try to figure out ways to get them off they also

have to figure out a quick way to get out once they're off. With Special Circumstances watching

them especially close and Tally’s best friend disappearing. This task isn’t easy.

Finally they figure out that heat will get off the bracelets and hot air balloons will get them out.

With the help of the other Crims they get their bracelets off and get out. At the last minute one of

the Crims starts to chicken out and Tally misses the spot where she had to jump. She jumps out anyway and ends up in a secluded part outside of town. There lives an experimental society where people live like cavemen and have long lasting rivalries. Tally soon finds out that Special Circumstances is using these people to figure out the need for violence and to rid it from the people in the city. It is guarded by an impenetrable force that can only be flown over. She has to wait a few days, with a tribe that believes she is a god because of her beauty, until Special Circumstance doctors show up. She is able to easily take their hover cars since they don’t expect any city people to be there. She gets to the ruins and finds the Smoke where Zane is getting worse.

Not too long after she arrives a tracker that was implanted in Zane’s tooth in a previous hospital

visit is set off and Special Circumstances are on their way to the Smoke to take them all back to

the city. Zane’s isn’t strong enough to move so the rest of the Smoke flees and Tally stays back

with Zane. When Special Circumstances arrives among them is Shay to take them away.

This book is a great sequel and didn’t ruin the plot. I liked reading about Tally slowly getting her

memories back and piecing together her past. Reading about her and Zane’s transformation

and new clarity of life was really interesting. We got to meet new people and see the different

sides of old people. It really added more details and cleared this up about their “utopian” society.

There were some things I could have done without. Shay’s storyline was a little confusing and

parts were unnecessary. I also could have done without the experimental city. It was interesting

but I felt it didn’t really follow along with the story.

Overall the book was an interesting addition. I give the book an 8/10 and recommend to anyone

who enjoys utopian society stories.

Checkout Pretties from the Newport Beach Public Library.

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