What happens when perfection isn’t good enough?
Undergoing the Pretty Transformation – aka the mandated set of operations at age 16 designed to make everyone as beautiful as possible – was all that Tally ever dreamed of….
Well, until (in typical YA fashion), she learns that her loving and kind government actually inserted lesions into the brain thus neutering the population.
These lesions made Pretties incapable of anger, meanness and anything that required difficultly. Everything is “bubbly” and “happy-making.”
“Being pretty-minded is simply the natural state for most people. They want to be vapid and lazy and vain . . . and selfish. It only takes a twist to lock in that part of their personalities.”
This operation was deemed necessary to save the remains of society – just look at the “Rusties” – aka everyone who used fossil fuels and started wars. They nearly killed the planet with their pollution and strip mining.
..humanity is a disease, a cancer on the body of the world.
Tally Youngblood, despite being horrified at what was done to the Pretties, undergoes the operation herself. There (might) be a cure to the lesions and there needs to be a test subject.
Only, when Tally becomes Pretty, it’s becoming harder and harder to remember why she fought so hard to keep her mind. Everything is foggy and is so difficult to maintain alertness.
Then (in typical YA fashion), our heroine meets a bad boywho convinces her that yes, this revolution is truly worth it. That they must fight back in any way they can.
“Their reasons don’t mean anything unless I have a choice.”
And finally (in typical YA fashion) we have a love triangle shoe-horned in to keep the everyone guessing at who is Tally’s true love.
Honestly, this wasn’t a bad sequel.
I like how different Westerfield made this one from the first. Notably, Pretty slang is scattered throughout the book (aka bubbly!) but instead of being a sore thumb, I think it really helped immerse me in this novel.
I think he really did a great job of fleshing out the Pretties and their society – and note to this world, we really need to up our hoverboard game.
Read by Emily Tremaine – and this was a fabulous one to listen to. I really enjoyed her tone and inflection.