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A slightly smaller RAVE – Pretties & Specials by Scott Westerfeld September 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jamie @ 7:45 pm
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As you know, I absolutely adored the Uglies book by Westerfeld. So as soon as I finished it, I ordered the next two in the series online. And then I waited. And waited. And waited for them to arrive. Well, they finally did!! And here are the reviews.

Pretties started off with Tally Youngblood chatting vapidly with her friend Shay in New Pretty town. Her dilemma over what to wear to look really “bubbly,” quickly took a backseat when she was contacted by an outsider from the New Smoke. The visitor sent her on a treasure hunt that lead to two pills. Tally and one of her newfound pretty friends decided to split the pills as a show of solidarity. Almost immediately after taking the pills, Tally and her new friend had a burst of clarity that allowed them to think past the frivolity of “pretty life.” But Tally still couldn’t remember her time in the Smoke or why she agreed to take the pills in the first place.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story by saying more about the plot, but Pretties was just as engaging as the Uglies book and it continued the story of Tally and her friends.

I only had one major complaint about the book, as did a few other bloggers, (http://thebooksmugglers.com/2009/08/why-havent-i-read-these-books-the-uglies-trilogy-by-scott-westerfeld.html) regarding Westerfeld’s excessive use of “pretty-speak” words like bubbly and bogus.  It got really annoying, really quickly.

But, that small annoyance aside, Pretties was a pretty special book all on its own.

Speaking of special…

Specials was the final book in the trilogy (if you don’t include Extras, which was more of a follow up than a part of the series), and I feel like Westerfeld did a fantastic job of wrapping up the series perfectly.

In Specials (and I won’t say much, because I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t read Uglies OR Pretties yet) Tally “found her feet.” She learned to take care of herself, learned how to handle people who betray her and learned that she has the ability to take charge of her own life. Although the beginning of Specials confused me at first ( I couldn’t figure out why Tally and her betrayer from Pretties were being so friendly with each other). I know, duh. 😀 But once I realized what had happened, it all made perfect sense. It was at times sad beyond words and at other times exciting, but it was never dull. Specials was a perfect ending to a nearly perfect trilogy.

If you want to see how Tally’s world changed after Specials, check out Extras.

I give Pretties 7 out of 10 and Specials 9 out of 10.


RAVE – The Uglies August 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jamie @ 2:15 am
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Call me what you will… nerd, geek, dork… I have heard them all before and I will hear them all again if I continue extolling the virtues of the first book in the Uglies Trilogy. I’m a sucker for a good dystopian novel, despite my normally uber-optimistic outlook on life. And The Uglies is a fabulous dystopian story set in a society where instead of a Not-So-Sweet 16 Party, everyone gets to be knock out gorgeous via massive plastic surgery on their 16th birthday. Tally, the main character, has been looking forward to becoming “pretty” ever since she became an “ugly” at the age of 12. But when she meets a new friend who isn’t so sure that being pretty is the best thing in the world, she learns more than she bargained for about true beauty.
Westerfeld managed to build a world that is comparable to one of my favorite YA dystopian authors, Lois Lowry. The best part of Westerfeld’s first book in the trilogy? It was long enough to make me feel like I had the full story without being too much information. That’s a fine line, but Westerfeld walked it like a champion tightrope walker.
And to think, I almost passed this series up because I judged a book by its cover! Literally. I didn’t even read the back cover the first few times I passed by this book sitting on the bookshelf. I thought, OMG, yet another YA book about bratty teenage girls… blah blah blah… Boy was I ever wrong!

If you’re looking for a great dystopian novel that actually answers some of the questions it presents, check out the Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 9 of 10