Author: Scott Westerfeld
The books tells the story of Tally Youngblood, a teenager who lives in New Beauty and who recently got a surgery in order to become a Perfect. As soon as she meets Zane, another Perfect, things are put in motion and she begins to remember bits of her former life as an Imperfect.
This is the second part of another romantic trilogy for teenagers, with the classical love triangle set up. If in the previous book we met David, in "Pretties" we meet Zane. Now, do I like David better than Zane? I don't know. My main problem here is that, just like Tally after her surgery, I can't remember if I liked him or not. But I suppose I don't hate him, either. Anyway, though we never get a good description of Zane's character (or others), there is something about him which I really love. He's a very mysterious boy, and his constant strange headaches make him vulnerable (but he still wants to keep on with their plans)... He's very kind and lovely. I like him a lot. And of course, there's this certain feeling of need between him and Tally. I love all of that.
Shay, Tally's bff, is put aside in this book, sort of. As Tally comes closer to Zane and the possibility of a cure, she kinds of forgert about Shay, who is confused by the situation and tries to find her own way to feel alive herself, to cure herself. And when she remembers Tally's betrayal, she grows angrier with her. She becomes a darker character in this part of the story. Eventually, she's very, very scary.
Back to the love triangle matter, this is the first love triangle I really don't mind at all. Although Tally is a bit of a Mary-Sue, I don't hate her. David is OK, and so is Zane. Both guys are great. So for the first time in ages, I think I understand the main character, Tally, and her doubts. This is different than Twilight, because in "Pretties", Tally meets David again and she remembers her feelings towards him, and she has doubts but she knows she loves Zane now. So her doubts are more based on whether she should stay with Zane or go back with David. It's not like she loves David exactly the way she used to do. I think she's aware that her feelings towards David are older and not exactly simultanously to what she feels for Zane.
The last chapter exemplifies this, perfectly. she explains a recurrent dream in which she is a pretty princess, in love with a prince who sometimes is Perfect (obviously Zane) and sometimes is Imperfect (David), and she says she has to choose between the two of them.
She says it's going to hurt anyway. Personally, I don't agree with her. Although her bond with David seems deeper and stronger, it's part of her past. Her relationship with Zane seems motivated by the circumstances and their need of feeling alive, but it's he current relationship. And I'm sure Zane doesn't give a damn about what Tally looks like, but David seems to have problems with that.
The part about the wild people was a big WTF. I never knew where that came from. I think it only slowed down the pace and I felt very happy when it was over, because I didn't see it necessary.
The ending is quite similar to the first book, but more twisted. I can't wait to read how everything ends.