19 August 2012


By Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis: (hijacked from Goodreads)

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

I know, I know, I'm WAY behind on reading this book. What can I say, I just can't keep up.

Why did I read this book again?

A girl I met at a writing conference a few months ago commented that in this book the government simply wanted to make everyone happy, and that she had never heard of a dystopia like that before.

I thought, hello, ever read Brave New World? So I figured I would check it out.

4 out of 5


I listened to this as an audio book (how else would I listen, hmmm?) and unfortunately, this made Shay, the best friend character, sound like a tard, so I didn't like her. Tally, our heroine, did great. I liked her character arc. The other characters in the book filled the storyline in nicely. All in all I liked what the author did with the characters.

4 out of 5

Did I care what happened?

Mostly. Tally held on to her lie for so long that I wanted to smack her. But that never stopped me from wondering what was going to happen next, so that's good.

4 out of 5

Plot Holes

I didn't notice any huge plot holes. Tally carried around her idiot, lying ball for too long, I thought (I actually complained about it to a friend) but that's not totally a plot problem.

The one thing that boggles my mind is if the Specials/the government are so controlling, then why in the world do they not have cameras everywhere and know exactly what everyone is doing? These kids get to run around wherever they want, and basically do whatever they want and no one monitors them. At least not that I noticed. For such hi-tech, this part felt convenient to the story.

4 out of 5

How many times did I yawn?

I only got bored once, during the journey back to the city. Like the camping part in Harry Potter book 7, it dragged on and on. It may have only been one chapter, but it felt like much longer.

4 out of 5

Cool Factor

I loved the inventions and the technology in this book. And in general, who wouldn't want to be pretty? I mean if that other thing didn't happen too? A very cool premise that got me thinking a couple of times about how I look at myself and others and the world as a whole. Very thought provoking, and I hope that loads of teenagers read this and realize that being you is way more important than fitting yourself into someone else's box of “perfection.”

Unless of course you can be Batman.  Always be Batman.

4 out of 5

The End

I do not like cliff-hangar endings for first books. Not cool. However, I didn't hate this one. I very much respected Tally's choice (or maybe I was finally un-irritated with her after she told the truth) and liked how it played out. But beware, this first book doesn't have a nice, clean ending.

4 out of 5

Overall Enjoyment

So this is pretty much Brave New World for teenagers and with a few, awesome twists. That's putting it simply, but I was happy that my first impression of the book was right.

4 out of 5

Score= 32

That's a Brown Belt!


Tohru said...

I liked his other series better:)

Charlie Holmberg said...

I really should read this; I've heard it's very good.