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Uglies: Cutters (Uglies Graphic Novels) Paperback – 1 Mar 2013

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Looks Great - Don't Start Series Here 13 Dec. 2012
By James Marsh - Published on
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Pretties: Cutter manga as part of a promotion. I have not read the previous volume, nor was I aware of the YA novel series Uglies written by Scott Westerfeld before opening the pages of this manga. I went in completely blind.

The first thing that jumped out at me was that the illustrations are gorgeous. Steven Cummings knocks it out of the park with his manga style artwork. This unfortunately makes the difference between the Uglie (shown in flashbacks) and the Pretties almost indistinguishable. It all looks beautiful. I am not sure how much of this is intentional or not. It is never made clear if the Uglies are supposed to be deformed or just look like normal people. It does not matter. They are every bit as breath taking as the "Pretties" (and sometimes even moreso) Especially the fantasy sequence spaced throughout the book that I believe recaps the first volume. I could read volumes of him drawing that story.

The writing had a difficult challenge. The story is being told by someone who has lost their memories of their previous life, with occasional flashbacks to hint at what came before. Everyone seems to have 3 names (an Ugly name, a Smoke nick-name and a new Pretty name) which get used interchangeably, especially as more memories are uncovered. Since apparently everyone undergoes some form of plastic surgery to become a Pretty they have different faces in flashbacks. They use a futuristic slang reminiscent of the doubletalk in 1984. (Everything is "Pretty-making" or "bubbly.")

This made the narrative difficult to understand, and the scenes seemed to jump around quite a bit without explaining the significance of what had just occurred.

After doing a little research, I have discovered that this volume is essentially the second book in the series from the point of view of Shay rather than Tally. (They are frenemies who seem to be at constant odds with each other.)

The world is interesting if frivolous and I still cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone feels the need to have an operation to be pretty, how the world economy works (Pretties are given large mansions with clothing producing replicators and do nothing but frolick and go to parties) or why people simultaneously have no memories of their pasts but seem to be referring to it constantly.

I would have to suggest reading the first volume before the second or the novels upon which the series is based.

The art is exquisite. The larger ideas of the world are interesting but I thought the adaption someone lacking in the ability to stand on it's own. I think a recap page would have helped tremendously.

There is also the eventual realization that the only way to maintain your mind is to either take experimental drugs or to cut yourself. So one of the characters forms a gang/cult around cutting yourself in order to clear your mind and maintain your identity. I cannot understate what an incredibly dangerous and irresponsible message this is to give teenagers (the presumed target audience)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Seen from the other side 2 Jan. 2013
By Tim Lasiuta - Published on
Format: Paperback
Nothing is every what it seems.

Shay, after her operation and Prettification, is not comfortable in her new role. She has no real memories of her past, yet she knows all is not what it seems. As her memory returns, her friends begin to see her as she was, with difficult to take costs. Is the price of being a cutter worth the risk? Or is the Special circumstances option worth all it asks?

Grayson and Westerfield give us a look behind the pretty, behind the requirement to 'cut' yourself to feel something. This is no mere YA graphic novel, but rather a commentary on what it means to be a youth in our culture even, as being pretty, slim, and popular takes on more dangerous behaviours. That is what I like about this series, even though at first I did not. This is a series that examines the status quo, and what is required by society.

The art is great, and from this point on, I am hooked.

Well done Westerfield, Grayson, and Cummings.

Tim Lasiuta
Good companion novel to the Uglies series, but doesn't stand alone well 1 Feb. 2014
By K. Eckert - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read the original Uglies series by Westerfeld a long, long time ago. A couple years ago I picked up the first Uglies graphic novel and really enjoyed hearing Shay’s side of the story. I have had Cutters on my wishlist for a while and finally got my hands on it. It was a well done book and I enjoyed it. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if the series was a bit fresher in my head. I think you will probably need to read the original book series in order to grasp what is going on here.

This book starts right after Shay has been turned Pretty. She is puzzled by the loss of some memories and ends up struggling with the feeling that something isn’t right. She joins the Crims and they play harmless pranks on other Pretties...that is until Tally shows up Pretty as well. Tally has remembered something important and Shay needs to figure out how to remember her past as well.

Well done retelling of this story from Shay's perspective. It's honestly been a long time since I have read these books, so I had some trouble remembering who everyone was in the story and that really isn't clarified very well in this book. It would have been nice to have a quick synopsis or a cast of who is who at the beginning of the book.

Additionally there is a lot of that bubbly slang, that sounds a bit like baby talk...this bugged me in the original book series too.

The illustration is done in a very manga sort of style and is all black and white. A lot of the characters look the same throughout, so it was a bit confusing sometimes trying to figure out who was doing what. Not my favorite for illustration, but okay. The costumes are well done and it was interesting to see how the characters looking different, but the same, as their Pretty versions of themselves.

I enjoyed seeing the story from Shay's perspective and also enjoyed visiting this world again. The story lends itself well to this format. The story takes up from the time when Tally is first made pretty to when Tally leaves the city.

The format of the book is in general very manga-like but the book is read front to back like a traditional American book. The story wraps up at a good point.

Overall an okay graphic novel adaptation of the Pretties story from Shay’s POV. I would have liked a reminder as to who everyone is. Better illustration would have helped with this since many of the characters look similar. These graphic novels have been like companion novels to the original book series than stand alone stories. I would tentatively recommend this graphic novel series if you are a fan of Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Otherwise, I would skip this….these graphic novel books don’t stand on their own very well. I probably won’t be reading any more of them.
Not what I expected 5 Dec. 2012
By Emmi194 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Uglies: Cutters is a very unique and wonderful book that I will now read over and over again.

For starters, I personally have never read the uglies series to begin with. When I first started on the series at all, it was uglies: shay's story. And that was when I was at my school library, and I had to pick out a book or else.The book is riveting and suspenseful, overall mixing into a wonderful blend of imagination and teaching the reader about self importance.

When I found out what the sequel was about, I went ESTATIC. It took some sacrifices (And a whole lot of patience,)but my mom pre-ordered it for me for $6.07.

The book itself is just fabulous. I couldn't put the book down.


Tally was very mean in the book. She stole David in the first book, Zane in this one. In shay's dream sequences as a pretty, tally as the princess was also very intrusive and bossy. Like one of the popular girl in those high school movies.

Then Shay becomes a crim and Tally becomes a crim and then they do some crazy stuff. Dr. cable and the specials become secretly involved, though. Then shay learns by climbing the eifelle tower that if she cuts herself, she can remember things about her past. Little tidbits per cut.

And thus the cutters were born.

I held back a cry of confusion the whole way, though. How come shay's original haircut in the first book is not the case in this one? When did Tally and Zane take the pills and where did they come from? Since when did Tachs and Shay become an item? And when did Ho get into the whole Buisness?

Though the end was as suspenseful as the first one, there was no to be continued. I hope there is one, because this book deserves a sequel as much as the first one did.
The manga was splendidly done 4 Aug. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15
I love manga and was thrilled to get the chance read this book. I have not read any of the prior books in the Cutters series and I was quite pleased that this could easily be a standalone book. The manga was splendidly done and the drawings were kept on the brighter tones which is always easier on the eyes and more appealing.
"It's important to understand that the human brain is filled with meaningless chatter."
This is a total dystopian world I am glad I do not live in. Shay, the main character who is a bit whiny and oblivious, is obsessed with Tally, a heartless and ignorant girl, and wants to be better than her and will do anything to achieve it.

I did find myself confused throughout this book as I often felt that maybe there was something I was missing that just didn't get written in. For the graphics alone, I give this book four stars.
*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*You can view the original review at Musing with Crayolakym and San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review
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