I started this series a few days ago and at the start I was fucking hooked. I couldn’t put down the book and when I did I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This is a dystopian story about a world where every person gets an operation at the age of 16 which creates a ‘perfect’ symmetrical face and gives the ideal’ weight. But what the common population does not know is that it also alters your brain to obey commands and remain in euphoric state.
The story started out nice. A common girl who just wants to turn 16 and get the perfect life. Westerfield points out that before this cure the old world people, Rusties, starved themselves to get the ideal weight and they were judged by their looks and how beautiful they looked. We as the readers live in the rusty-world so we know what he is talking about. At first this is an ingenious solution but the question is; Is altering ourselves to achieve the so-called perfection really the answer? Who decides what is perfect?
As the book progresses we find out about the brain lesions which alter human mind to think a specific way and take away their freedom to think. This maintains peace. The end of the rusty-world happens because of a bacteria that infects petroleum. The thing is this actually shows that we are truly that dependent on a single product and wiping that product may as well be the end of our existence.
The story is good. The setting is pretty good. But stretching it over 4 books is not good. I would have preferred reading the stories of four different people. Pretties could be about Peris and Specials about Dr Cable and well Extras is about Aya. That would have been much more interesting than just one character changing roles and status across different books. I would give this series probably 3.5 out of 5.