I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for honest review. It does not impact my views or opinions on this book.
THIS REVIEW MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILER
“The whole thing was turning into a Sofia Coppola film: pretty to look at, but what did it really mean? Everything? Or nothing?”
What if someone gave you a potion that could turn you pretty? Like, supermodel pretty. Society standard pretty. Would you take it or leave it? This is the dilemma Krista, Evie and Willow faced. While they’re facing some problems that came into their life, Pretty comes like a solution to them. But taking it has cost them something too, something dark that weren’t that obvious, and yet it’s there.
This book is really addictive. I wouldn’t say it’s sexy or witty, I would say it’s pretty (ha) problematic. But it’s really easy to read and I don’t know… even though I could see the plot miles away, I just can’t stop reading. It’s just THAT addicting guys.
I have a love-hate relationship with the characters. I love how hard-working Evie is, how she seeks to empower women and stand true to her vision. But she just can’t see how her ideas don’t work with the magazine’s vision and tend to see only the things she wanted to see. Krista is a mess. And I don’t know if she’s a hot mess or not because I never pay attention to characters’ physical appearance, but she’s a mess. I love how she cares about her friends and how nice she is underneath, but she keeps making the wrong decisions. Even when she already gets help and second chances, she keeps screwing things up. She just don’t take things seriously and just don’t seem to try hard enough! Krista really frustrates me the most from all three girls. Willow… she kinda teriffies me. All the expectations and self doubt really weighs on her and I’m almost sure she has a bipolar or depression. When she’s Caroline, she’s really creepy.
In the end, their problems aren’t because they are not pretty enough. They had nothing to do with beauty. Evie’s ideas just don’t fit Salty’s vision. Krista don’t take things seriously. And Willow… She’s just too insecure, hurt and just needed help.
“If you’re not born with good genes or you don’t want to pile a ton of crap on your face every day, then you’re not as powerful. Beauty is power, but it’s not real power.”
Overall, this book has an interesting story and addictive quality to it, while pretty predictable plot-wise and messy characters. But it does pitched some good questions which I’m going to discuss in the next part.
“Intellectually, she knew how flawed a society that made beauty a value, the value, for women was. But could Pretty make her life better?”
A lot of theme and problem in this book is based on the fact that when the girls take the Pretty, they think they have more chance, power, and opportunity to do things. Do you really think “beautiful people” have more opportunity than “the regulars”?
Another theme in this book, though not so subtle, is how pretty people tend to be underestimated too. Chloe doesn’t have a say in Extra Salty creative content and Lenka barely had any lines in the movie at first. They’re just there to be pretty. Do you think this stereotype is actually real and have real impact in the real pretty people?
“Did Pretty affect behavior, as well as looks? Or was that just the effects of being pretty: an ingrained sense of entitlement or a survival-of-the-fittest-type cunning?”
Do you think the quotes above is true, that pretty people feels a sense of entitlement? After all, most of the pretty people in the books are movies are the popular and mean ones.
“After all, Evie Selby didn’t fail to notice how much better people treated Chloe Fontaine.”
Another quotes question; do you think people treat pretties better? Is this why they “have better opportunity and sense of entitlement”?
People said that beauty is subjective, it depends on people. And yet, society still creates a beauty standard that decide whether someone is pretty or not. What defines beauty to you?
In this book, Evie works in a magazine, Salty, that Evie thinks is empty and not empowering women. Evie thinks we should talk about the important things like sexism and beauty standards, instead of pretty dresses, sexes, and make up. And yet the editor thinks Salty empowers women in the other way, by providing publication where healthy sexual appetite is celebrated, how to give and receive sexual pleasures in fun and non judgemental way and celebrates that girls love shopping without caring what others think about it. What do you think empowering women actually is? Do you think what Salty does is wrong?