by Scott Westerfeld
Published 2005, Simon & Schuster
Paperback, 370 pages
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."
I found the second book in the Uglies trilogy to be an excellent pick-up from the first book. I was very curious about the subculture of the Pretties when I read the first book, and this one opens up right in the middle of it, thick with the new vocabulary of the Pretties, with words such as bubbly, bogus, surge, pretty-making, fashion-missing, spinning, criminal, etc. At first, I liked being immersed in the world of the pretties, a mixture of familiar and foreign aspects, but it quickly became very apparent how much of the Pretties were complete air-heads! Being shallow is the social norm, and if anyone even attempts to have a little depth, the authorities are quick to step in. I admit, being a Pretty is not completely unattractive, what with an improved immune system and perfect skin, teeth, and eyesight. The focus of the book was mainly on escaping the Pretty society with more development of the world of Uglies, Pretties, and Specials. I found the discovery of the reservation that the Pretties maintained to study Pre-Rusty civilization very interesting and a great way to reveal how deeply people are being controlled by the authorities. She made an excellent observation about the Smokies, that even though they lived in the wild and lived similarly to both Pre-Rusty and Rusty civilization, they still had not completely escaped from the influence of the Pretty / Ugly society because of the devices they depended on and how their mindset has changed in regards to violence and caring for the earth.
Even though I had no doubt that Tally would be turned into a Special in the end, I can't help wondering how the people in charge think they can keep a leash on her, since it has become very apparent that she will always try to escape. I look forward to the final book in the Trilogy, Specials.
The Cover: The cover is done similarly to that of Uglies, but with two people to represent whom I would guess to be Tally and Zane, both Pretties. Thier faces match what would be considered the surgical aspects of becoming a Pretty, such as flawless skin, full lips, big eyes, lush hair, etc. If I had not read the first book in the series, I would not have been attracted to the cover of the second book.
First Line: "Getting dressed was always the hardest part of the afternoon."
A very bland first line at first glance, but it actually shows the typical mentality of a "pretty" - vapid, lazy, and vain, as well as the fact that the "day" of the life of a pretty begins in the afternoon
Favorite Quote: "At least one thing was consistent about her life: It just kept on getting more complicated."
Read For: Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, The 2nd Challenge, Speculative Fiction Challenge