You could be so Pretty

“But it is my face. It is. It is. And my face is enough.”

Book title

You Could Be So Pretty

Author

Holly Bourne

Date published

28-09-2023

Date started

25-03-2024

Date finished

26-03-2024

Page count

400

Stars

5

Summary

“The Doctrine exists to make us believe we are less than, so we don’t have the strength to overthrow everything. Masking, and Ceremonies, and Chosen Ones – how we’re all groomed to worry constantly about what we look like – it’s a deliberate pressure. It’s designed to keep us down. To limit us. Divide us. Masks…Beauty…it’s all about weakening and dividing us.”

Belle Gentle follows the rules of The Doctrine to the letter and is so close to Having It All. She’s the highest Pretty in school, A Chosen One in her spare time, and she’s about to win The Ceremony and fulfil her destiny. So why does she feel so suffocated by her perfect life?

Joni Miller is an Objectionable and hated by everyone for her repulsive looks. But Joni doesn’t care. She just needs to win the Scholarship to The Education, so she get the power to overthrow The Doctrine and wake everyone up. The only person standing in her way is the prettiest girl in school.

Set in a dystopian world, of normalised sexual violence, and where girls are expected to maintain impossible beauty standards of beauty, You Could Be So Pretty explores what happens when two enemies are thrown together. As Belle and Joni confront their prejudices, the reader is left asking themselves: Is this world really so far from our own?

My review

HOLY I knew this book was going to be good, but I did not expect this! This dystopian YA could be not so dystopian after all, and it hits all the pressure points about what is wrong with today’s society. It definately not a light read and your mind will be blown. I could not sleep because I had to finish this book, which I couldn’t because my body needed sleep. Holly Bourne did it again, she touched so many issues and right on the spot too. Can this be required reading in high school, please? I feel like it needs to be. The world is so similar to ours, but because of the words like Pretties, Smut, Vanilla, Frigid etc etc I could keep the reality in check. Otherwise I would have been completely lost and would have thrown the book across the room for sure. My mind keeps racing back to this book, and I don’t know how to put it behind me. Maybe a reread will help?

Quotes

“The Doctrine exists to make us believe we are less than, so we don’t have the strength to overthrow everything. Masking, and Ceremonies, and Chosen Ones – how we’re all groomed to worry constantly about what we look like – it’s a deliberate pressure. It’s designed to keep us down. To limit us. Divide us. Masks…Beauty…it’s all about weakening and dividing us.”

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