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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pretties (Uglies #2), by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies quartet and I just finished it yesterday.  Read the review for Uglies here if you have not or if you don't know what this series is about, because I give all the basic info about the storyline and such there.  As for Pretties, I actually only had ten pages left from my reading the night before, but I had been too tired to finish even that tiny amount (haha).  So, my reading yesterday was short and surprising.  I didn't think ten pages was enough room for a twist, but apparently it was!  I bought the next book, Specials, and I have started it already as well.  As I was saying before, I recently reviewed Uglies and I gave it 5 out of 5 stars, but I can tell you now, Pretties won't be receiving the same review.  I did not enjoy the second one as much as the first one and there are a few reasons why.  My biggest pet peeve from this book came from the phrasing.  Scott Westerfeld uses different jargon to indicate whether someone is a Pretty or not and the Pretty-talk is terribly annoying.  I can see why he did that and it serves its purpose, however, I can't help but cringe when I read about something being, "pretty-making," or, "bubbly," a hundred times in one book.  I also was being driven to madness by Scott Westerfeld's love of an old phrase that isn't really used anymore, so it stood out and echoed in my mind every time he used it, which was a ton!  The most annoying phrase of this book is, "tried to gain purchase."  Every time anyone was climbing, hoverboarding, swimming, etc. he or she inevitably would need to, "gain purchase," and I swear I woke up with those words replaying over and over in my brain after a night of reading this book.  Maybe that phrase is more common and less of an eyesore where ever Scott Westerfeld lives, but in Colorado, that verbage is never used, so it was painfully noticeable and he used it way too many times in this book.  He used it a few times in Uglies as well, but he didn't go crazy, with what is apparently his favorite phrase, like he did in Pretties.  I am definitely wishing to see less of that phrase in Specials.  Hopefully someone else noticed and complained before he started writing the third one.  I don't know how his editor/proof-readers didn't mention it to him either.  Perhaps that phrase really is common somewhere else, but it seems more like an old-fashioned phrase that is out of use to me.  As far as the content and the storyline goes, it wasn't as much of a disappointment to me, but I did feel the book took awhile to get going and the first 75 pages or so were filled with a lot of fluff.  Pretty-headed fluff lol.  I still found myself looking forward to the upcoming pages though, because I wanted to know how everything worked out and Scott Westerfeld added a few last-minute surprises and twists that set you up, just in time, for the next book, Specials and I'm hoping that book will be worthy of five stars like Uglies was, because Pretties fell short.  I would recommend this series to any lovers of dystopians, sci-fi, fantasy, action or adventure.

Favorite things:  the twists and surprises in the storyline, the unique way Scott Westerfeld was able to develop a love triangle, the ideas for and descriptions of all the futuristic technologies and gadgets, the adventure elements that seeped through into this sci-fi/dystopian, the blurry line between friend and enemy that is so reminiscent of real life since many times a character in a book is flat and predictable it's nice to have such round supporting cast, and the brilliant lead-in to Specials at the end of the book.

Criticisms:  overuse of certain words or phrases, a slow start, more criticism about our generation than the last book almost to the point of being insulting and an ugly cover that doesn't match my other ones (some people might not be bothered by such things, but I know I am not the only one who is). 

Overall:  4 out of 5 stars...  needed improvement, but was released anyway.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite series! The world Westerfeld creates here is believable and terrifying because of it.

    I have different feelings about each book in the trio/quartet but I loved them all. I love them differently, and for different reasons, but I definitely love them all! :)

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