Friday, June 10, 2011
Author: Scott Westerfield
Date Released: February 8, 2005
Rating: 5 out of 5
Description: Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where you only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world - and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
Review: This book is pretty notorious. Most of my friends have read it and every single one gushed about how good it was. So I decided to give it a shot. And I wasn't let down at all - this was definitely a GREAT read.
The book is set in the future and addresses an important controversial topic - looks or smarts? This is the choice that Tally is forced to face, and her adventure in doing so is spread throughout the whole novel.
The book started a bit slow, because to me, the setting where Tally lived seemed so shallow - everyone cared about looks, there was some childhood mischief thrown here and there, and that was it. Tally herself seemed really annoying to me in the first half too, her morals too questionable and her character seemingly shallow and simple.
However, once Tally is faced with her ultimatum, and it is revealed there is a much darker force behind the pretty operations, the book starts moving faster and faster, gaining speed and suspense until it really is impossible to put down. I finished the whole second half in one car ride - incredibly worth it, even with the splitting headache afterwards!
Once Tally is thrown into the outside world and discovers all about the Smoke, she is plagued by inner conflict in whether or not to return to her old society or start a new life. At this point, a lot of depth was added to her character, and I liked her a lot more, because she seemed a lot more relatable and real. Another twist that added to the plot was her decision between her friendship with Shay and her developing feelings for David. It was a really interesting kind of love triangle, with two girls and one guy instead of one guy and two girls.
Eventually, Tally is forced to make choices and face the impacting consequences that result from her actions. Her resolve to set things right that spurs her in the second half intensifies the book to a new level and by the end, has you on your toes jumping up and down like a poprock. And right when things reach their climax, the cliffhanger ending drops down on you. And your like ":O WHAT!? WHAT KIND OF ENDING WAS THAT!? I NEED MORE!"
Anyway, definitely pick up this book, because it's action packed, exciting, and intense, and I loved it! But if your impatient like me, check out Pretties, the sequel too, which I personally can't wait to dig into!
keep on reading fellow book geeks!