Sunday, September 23, 2007
I actually finished this series awhile ago (I started Uglies at the beach) but haven’t taken the opportunity to blog about them. The series falls under the Sci-Fi umbrella but I didn’t find it unmanageable. (I find it difficult to read a novel that is too futuristic and fantastical.) The books are set in a futuristic society that makes everyone “pretty” at the age of 16. Pretty means symmetrical features, big eyes, full lips, not too tall, not too short, not to thin, not too fat etc. The books follow Tally from a rebellious teen who doesn’t want to turn pretty, to a pretty who ends up ends up breaking out of the pretty thought bubble, to a super-human special with enhanced sensory organs, speed, and strength who again, breaks from the system.
The whole society, with the reasoning and development behind the pretty operation, are all fascinating and well written. The writing reflects the physical state of Tally, book one being fairly normal, book two and three using completely different language to reflect pretty (e.g. bubbly, dizzy-making) or a special (e.g. icy) mentality. I read Pretties at work during the small breaks between tasks and found myself wanting to use words like “bubbly” and spicing my sentences with “totally!” It was a bit disconcerting to hear myself talk like a futuristic valley-girl.
Overall though, I found myself annoyed by book three due to Tally being manipulated and unable to make her own decisions. Books two and three were rather derivative of book one. Yeah, Tally may be a pretty or a special, but the general plot line stays the same: Tally being manipulated until she somehow finds it in herself to break free and becomes her own person.
The consensus: fun, quick reads but I won’t be buying them for my permanent collection.