Review: Pretties (02) and Specials (03) by Scott Westerfeld

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 384 pages, 400 pages

Publisher: Simon Pulse; Original edition (November 1, 2005
Language: English
genre: dystopia, sci-fi, adventure
 The first part of this series, Uglies, I reviewed here.
As it is impossible not to spoil if you deal with the second and the third installment  I decided to limit the synopsis to bare minimum.

In “Pretties” Tally’s story continues as she is being made into a Pretty to prove Maddy’s pills can erase brain lesions. Then bad things happen and she is turned against her will into a Special. Deep down she remains the same Tally though but it will be a rough journey till she finds it out and rediscovers herself. As you see – short and sweet and almost spoiler-free. I have a surprise for you, though.

 The full synopsis with many juicy details and spoilers galore is published on the Black Hole page linked for your convenience – if you don’t mind reading it and  you are as brave as a lion you are very welcome to go there and check it out. There will be dragons! It will stay published for two weeks (roughly) and then will be deleted. Unfortunately you can comment only here. Have fun!

What I liked:
Oh believe me I liked plenty indeed! Although the second book was not bad the third one was simply brilliant. Just be warned – if you’re looking for a cliché, smooth novel with a “normal” romantic trio (if such a thing exists of course) , then you should end reading with Pretties, Specials is not for you. However, if you are searching for a fast paced novel with adventure and twist and turns of every kind, I highly recommend the third part. There’s a quick pace with a helping of on-the-edge excitement that makes Specials a good choice for almost any teenage/young adult/adult sci-fi fan reader. Once you have begun, it is impossible to stop. I personally have found this to be a book you have to sit down and just read in one day.
I did like the way Tally’s story developed and especially how it ended- it was unexpected but very, very exciting and somehow right in the accordance with her character. Shay was not bad either! The ideas, creativity, imagery, and almost everything about the third book astounded me.
What I didn’t like:
In the second part one thing drove me mad – the word “bubbly.” It was repeated practically every page for the first two-thirds of the book showing the flatness of the Pretty world but also making my head spin. “Bubbly” was a slang version of any number of adjectives including, but not limited to: weird, impressive, exciting,exhilarating, fashionable, cool, cute, interesting, smart, happy, buzzed,  daring, rational, thrilling, shocking, good, intelligent, trustworthy, rewarding, conscious, smart, riled up, cognizant and so on. Quite a lot of possibilities, isn’t it? Another such a “master key” word (but not abused so outrageously) was “bogus”. Apart from that it seems that Westerfeld spent more time developing a romantic relationship in the second book than in having his characters engage in adventure. In my very humble opinion it’s a pity as adventure is his main strength. Fortunately it was corrected in the third book.
The cover of Pretties is the worst of them all either btw – I totally don’t get it!
Final verdict:

Rare thing – a series with a good, strong beginning and equally strong ending. Highly recommendable!!!

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12 Responses to Review: Pretties (02) and Specials (03) by Scott Westerfeld

  1. Repetition in YA seems to be a theme – it makes me so mad! I love your review for this though, and I really want to finally start this series. Great review 🙂

  2. anachronist says:

    Thanks Melissa I am looking forward to your review!

  3. Demitria says:

    I thought the cover of Pretties was strange too, it looks like the guy has on a wig. :)I loved the series itself though bubbly got on my nerves as

  4. Blodeuedd says:

    Glad you liked them all 😀 Book 1 was my fav, book 3 was still good, but by then a bit repetitive like you say

  5. anachronist says:

    Demitria my thoughts exactly. If he is supposed to be Zane I would like to point out that Zane was proud of his ink-dyed hair, so raven-black, not red.Blodeuedd nice to know we think the same about this series!

  6. sigh. Zane. I love him. Also, the repetition of "bubbly" didn't bother me nearly as much as "pretty-making." Go figure.Are you going to read Extras? It's set a few years later and doesn't have Tally in it, from what I understand. I feel like I should read it to complete the set, but at the same time, I'm worried it will spoil the awesomeness of the ending as it stands in Specials.

  7. I finished the Uglies. I bought Pretties last night.

  8. anachronist says:

    I am not surprised – I also had to have the rest immediately after finishing the first one.

  9. anachronist says:

    LawralI finished Extras and there is Tally in it just not as the main character. I haven't written a review just because I haven't been in the right mood so far. The ending was a bit of a letdown but it also created a vista of possibilites…

  10. "The ending was a bit of a letdown but it also created a vista of possibilites…"hmmm… I know I'm going to end up buying it just so I have the whole series (there are few things I'm really OCD about, and this is one of them), which means that I'll probably also read it. I'd love to read a full review first, though, if you decide to write one!

  11. anachronist says:

    I might be tempted this week – we'll see!

  12. anachronist says:

    The black hole has managed to desintegrate its content – the spoilerized synopsises are no more.

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