"Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect.
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."
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES ‘UGLIES’
My review for ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfeld can be found HERE
As I mentioned above, this review contains spoilers for ‘Uglies’, so if you haven’t read that then I wouldn't advise reading on.
In 'Uglies' Tally finds out that the operation to make people Pretty creates brain lesions, abnormalities that make them pretty-minded as well as pretty-looking. They are basically manipulating people's brains to make them more docile and less likely to make the same mistakes as the Rusties, and end up destroying the world.
At the end of the previous book The Smoke has been destroyed and all but Tally and David have been taken back to the city by Special Circumstances. By the time Tally and David go to rescue them, Shay has already had the operation and David's father Az has been killed in an experimental operation to try and alter his memories. They manage to rescue Maddy (David's mother), Croy, Astrix, Ryde and the newly-pretty Shay. Hiding out back at the Rusty Ruins, Maddy thinks she has come up with a cure that will get rid of the brain lesions and allow Pretties to think clearly again. Shay refuses to take the cure and Maddy is unwilling to test it on someone without their consent, so Tally decides to go back to the city and give herself up, in order to be turned so that she can then be rescued and they can test the cure on her.
At the beginning of this book Tally is a Pretty and is living in New Pretty Town. Tally is trying to come up with an outfit for a party she is going to that evening when she gets a ping from Shay saying that the dress code has been changed from semi-formal to costume. Tally is hoping to get voted into the Crims, one of the most popular cliques in New Pretty Town and wants to dress to impress. Tally and Shay decide to go as Smokies, the most criminal costume they can think of.
During this book Tally and Zane, one of the Crims, take any opportunity to try and make themselves feel 'bubbly'. Whilst they are feeling bubbly they basically have a clearer head and start remembering things from their ugly days, thus making the brain lesions have a lesser effect on them. In one particularly bubbly moment Tally and Zane find two pills left for Tally by Croy which are Maddy's cure to the lesions. Not knowing they are supposed to be taken together, Tally and Zane take one each which leaves them both feeling very bubbly indeed.
I like how in this book we get to see the city from an entirely new perspective. 'Uglies' was very much set in the world of Uglyville and The Smoke and we only got a glimpse of New Pretty Town, but this book is almost entirely set there. Tally is very much trying to shake off the pretty-mindedness and become herself again. It's almost like she’s back at square one trying to remember what happened in The Smoke and what the Specials have done to them.
I liked Tally's continuing character development in this book. There are some great new characters as well, especially Zane and Fausto. We also get to see a bit more of Peris in this book which was nice. There was a very predictable love-triangle between Tally, Zane and David but I felt like it wasn't just there for the sake of having a love-triangle in a YA novel. I think it helped with Tally’s character development as it is touched upon that she doesn't feel the same way about David because time has passed, not because Zane is a pretty.
I think this was a great second instalment to this series and I can’t wait to see where it goes in ‘Specials’.
I would give this book 4 stars :)
Let me know your thoughts about this series in the comments!
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