Vow to the Older Book is a meme hosted by me (Sam @SIK Book Reviews).
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. 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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…
I was really excited to read this book, due to all the hype surrounding it. I thought, finally, another book that will grab my attention and threaten to not ever let go until the words stop! However, I was disappointed. It’s not that the novel isn’t good; it is good, it’s just not great. Certainly not as great as one would expect when there is so much hype.
The story is definitely unique and creative. I applaud Westerfeld for coming up with this unique dystopian world where everyone is ugly until they turn 16, at which point they turn pretty and enter a world where everyone else is pretty too. The point of making everyone basically look the same to to try to create a world without war or bullying – a world where everyone gets along and everyone is happy. But, is it really better this way? Turns out, there are some things you can’t change and there are some people who will still disagree and fight against the system. Though I do like the uniqueness of this world that Westerfeld created, I feel as though he should have went into more detail at the beginning. I found myself questioning things and not really knowing much about the cities and how these people live until later on. The reader will have to put the pieces together while reading in order to figure everything out about this world.
The characters…hmm...the characters are okay. I didn’t feel as though Westerfeld created the main character, Tally, as well as he could have. I didn’t really become all that attached to her throughout the story. Maybe a little more during the end of the novel, but I wasn’t as attached to her as I like to be with main characters. I can’t quite put my finger on just what the problem was with these characters. They were developed pretty well throughout the story and they were likeable, but something prevented me from fully connecting with them.
The writing is pretty good. Good quality of writing and it makes sure to catch your interest. Again, something was missing that was preventing me from really being captivated by the book. But it was good enough.
Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of YA dystopian fiction. I wouldn’t highly recommend it, but I feel it’s worthy of a read if you are looking for something creative and unique. One thing that bothered me was the city names. I think that Westerfeld could have come up with some better names than “Pretty Town” and “Uglyville”. They seem like childish names and are not very creative. But these are not big problems at all, just something that bugged me.
Quote from the book:
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