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Written by Elmina Jazvin
Love, friendship, and growing up
The less serious themes of this novel are those of love and friendship which are pretty much common in cases of novels for teens and young adults. Tally finds herself in a new love story with Zane. Their love is based on making each other feel bubbly, which means making each other feel alive and feel like themselves. The common goal to get out of the confinement of the artificial town bonds them closer. Towards the end of the novel where Tally has to essentially make a choice between David and Zane showcases her growth as a person. She realizes that David is a part of her past, of her former self and that Zane was there with her on her path of rediscovering herself. She also sees the immaturity of David and how he was shallowly influenced by his mother to believe that Tally only sees the outward appearance.
Tally is faced with life-changing choices throughout her experience as a pretty the same way as when she was an ugly, whether she knows this at the moment of making them or not. The choices she made as an ugly come back to haunt her in form of her friend Shay. Shay finally remembers Tally's actions from her ugly days. Shay feels betrayed and angry at her friend and can't see past her anger which will prove to have devastating consequences towards the end.
As a part of her growth, Tally is faced with the choice of cutting ties with Peris, her best friend from the past. She realizes the differences between them two and knows that she has to leave him behind as a part of her moving forward.
Manipulation and Artificial humanity
The reservation and the entire hunters' camp serve as part of the experimental manipulation for the purpose of creating the pretties, creating artificially modified humans. The cruelty of this truth is beyond Tally's comprehension. These people are left in the dark of civilization, living in a way where a human life is not worth much and where blood revenge is a very real thing. These people are made to believe that artificial modified beauty is a representation of gods and that they should worship these other humans. Andrew, as a man of god, is standing in the middle of these two worlds. He, as well as his father, deep down knows the truth. Andrew even admits to Tally as they say goodbye to each other that he is aware that she is human as well.
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