Review: You Could Be So Pretty by Holly Bourne

Title: You Could Be So Pretty

Author: Holly Bourne

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Usborne

The Blurb


In Belle and Joni’s world there are two options for girls:

One, follow the rules of the Doctrine like Belle: apply your Mask, work hard to be crowned at the Ceremony, be a Pretty.

Or two, fight the rules like Joni: leave your face bare, work hard to escape to the Education, be an Objectionable.

But maybe there is a third option…

If Belle and Joni work together, can they destroy the rules and set themselves free?

Uglies meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this visionary and timely dissection of the beauty industry.

The Review

Holly Bourne is one of those writers whose books I will pick up without reading anything about them. I trust her as an author and I like to go into her stories without any preconceived ideas. And wow, what a read. You Could Be So Pretty is a powerful dystopian exploration of what it is like to be a teenage girl in modern society.

Looking at several aspects of being a teenager – academic expectations, beauty expectations, the control of social media and the power of ‘likes’, how information about sex is consumed. All of this whilst packaging it within a patriarchal society. It is a dystopian novel but as someone who works with teenagers I can also see how alarmingly accurate this dystopian world is.

You Could Be So Pretty is a perfect gateway novel to more adult texts such as The Handmaid’s Tail and Vox. It will be a book I demand our school library buys and I will make sure it gets into the hands of our teenagers. It is a must read.

You Could Be So Pretty by Holly Bourne is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) please visit

For more information regarding Usborne Publishing (@Usborne) please visit their Twitter page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.