A Pretty How World

A Pretty How World

66 chapters / 57332 words

Approximately about 5 hours to read


8/6/2017: Currently adding new chapters every day. Goal is to have the complete edited novel up by August 19th. *National Gold Medal in 2015 Scholastic Arts and Writing for Novel Writing*

A novel about a beautiful world. A novel about a cruel world.
Please enjoy.

Copyright J. Li 2014 All Rights Reserved

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7 days ago Christina Jane said:

The first chapter does an excellent job of introducing the reader to the voice of the character, and into the story in general. It's definitely effective as a hook. I also like how the other chapters transition into a more normal setting, so the reader can almost forget the setting is futuristic. It makes the world itself less flashy and more based on reality. For some reason or other, the first chapter does seem really familiar, although I can't quite place what it is. In any case, I definitely think you do a good job of getting your reader's attention and keeping it with your short snappy paragraphs and chapters!


about 1 month ago Mariella Baird said:

It's cliche, overdone and sounds like something someone else has written. Something multiple other people have written. Disappointing for something so well liked.


over 1 year ago Lorelei said:

What is this a satire of? :I


over 1 year ago b. e. nordgren said:

Hi. Penicillin is an antibiotic, not a bacteria. it kills bacteria. It comes from a fungi... Just so you know.


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almost 3 years ago Johanna Pascalnova said:

I also have no idea why that came out without paragraph breaks.

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almost 3 years ago Johanna Pascalnova said:

All right...Where shall I begin? I set out with high expectations for this one, a very-well reviewed satire by one of Figment's most prominent writers. And while I won't say that the dazzling reviews were underserved, I will say that I alternately spent this novel cursing myself for not thinking of something first and wanting to bash my head against the wall in frustration. The style of this novel screams VONNEGUT at the top of its lungs. The short chapters, relative sparseness of description, short declarative sentences, graphic sexual objectification of the women, a general sense of people running around like headless chickens. All you need is a couple Trafalmadorians and a "so it goes." I'm going to go as I did in the past reviews and start with what I didn't like. The world has some implausibilities. A few examples: -Deer hunting. Do you hunt? I have bow-hunted deer since I was fifteen. First, even if a deer had never seen a human, it would still be scared. Deer are flight animals. Everything scares them. Seriously. I've seen deer run from angry geese. I've seen deer run from trains. And while some animals who have never seen humans don't know to be scared, these usually animals at the top of the food chain. (Ellis Island wolves are a good real-world example.) Second, even if Lucas did slit a deer's throat with a switch blade, it wouldn't drop dead. It would only die once blood had filled its lungs. (This is the same strategy you use when bow hunting. The lungs are a major target.) That can take twenty minutes, and during that time, the deer would run a while, kick and flail. Third, field-dressing a deer is difficult. Physically cutting open the stomach the remove the organs takes a lot of muscle. I'm incredulous that Rose could do it with a switchblade, even if she had read books about the matter. Fourth, roasting an entire deer carcass on a spit takes days. And there is no way to make a fire hot enough to roast meat in ten minutes. Maybe if you set whole logs on fire with a flamethrower...but not starting from tinder. Wow...that took a long time. I understand the symbolic value of the hunting scene, with the idea of killing innocent lives and Lucas's gradual hardening against it. I don't want to undermine that, but it should be believable. If your characters need food, I suggest they kill birds by throwing rocks, a strategy common in the middle ages. Maybe even doves. You could still get strong symbolism out of that. - The factory work. Though I think the blending-while-hungover scene was funny, I think you would need more than twenty blenders to provide enough smoothies for a population of millions. -The island's population. You mentioned there being about a hundred kids in Lucas's grade, then say he had no idea who Felix was. With that few kids, they would probably know each other's name and have talked a few times, even if they barely knew each other. - The kids steal drugs from the white trucks. I get that it's pretty much anarchy in the cities, but if the Oldies are dependent on these drugs, and they stopped showing up, I think somebody would notice. -Speaking of which, why do the Oldies need more drugs if they're lobotomized and get Cain's Folly every month? -Chipping through pavement to bury Felix? Did they do it with shovels? You'd destroy the shovel before you made it through four inches of concrete. If you've every tried to use a shovel to pry rocks of the ground, bending or breaking it is not that hard. And speaking of which, where did they get the shovels? -Injected drugs reach the brain within seconds. After injecting half the pack of morphine, Felix would probably go unconscious before he could re-load the syringe. -For two hundred years, nobody found that Camero that just happened to be sitting around with its key in the ignition and a tank full of gas? Hundreds of thousands of teenager perusing that junkyard... Really? -Also, a few words of about dialogue. Honestly, I think the actual quotes are the weakest point of the story. They often sound stilted. There are a lot of "since normally" moments, where the characters go out of their way to explain something so the background of something is crystal clear to the reader. Honestly, two-third of the time, you don't need the explanation or its was implied elsewhere. In other places, the speech is just too organized. This the pronounced in the "play starring our characters" section. Frederick's blocks of speech are so neat and clean they sound rehearsed. That's not how people talk. They spew random facts. They tell the fun part first. There is more focus on the emotional aspects instead of the factual ones. It's normally a mess, but thankfully, we are very good at making sense of those sort of messes. Now for the good stuff. -The idea of not forcing anybody to work was brilliant. As you imply, withholding the reward is just as effective as punishment, and better yet, people don't resent the person who holds out a reward as they would resent their punisher. -That the police use Brooklyn as a way for teenagers to vent their angst is also brilliant. Less work, less cost, heap all the responsibility on the kids, and heck, it's even an effective population control mechanism. -The absurdity of the Russian roulette scene made me laugh in horror. So it goes. -Same goes for the blank block in "silence." I should have thought of that ages ago. -I love how you don't slam the reader in the face with your theme. The inherent paradox in the meaning of life (there is no meaning) vs the fact that Lucas obviously found some sort of meaning out in the countryside with Rose. The Whisperer is not wrong, and you still manage to laugh in his face. And yet at the same time, you do get the sense that the Whisperers have come up with a pretty good system, because by the time the teenagers in your world make it to eighteen they probably have PTSD and all sorts of trams-related emotional problems. Self-medication in those circumstances, unfortunately, makes a lot of sense. -I have never seen such affection depicted between two male best friends who are not gay. And that's a problem, I think, in modern literature. I mean, it's great that we are opening to the idea of LBGQT relationships, but in that, I think we often loose the fact that there can be an immense amount of non-sexual love, intimacy and devotion between two platonic friends. Not all affection has to be a precursor to sex. Well done. -And finally, I read this whole thing in two sittings. I'm not normally the type to stay up until one in the morning. 'Nuff said. Anyway, I hope this wasn't overly harsh, but there's little point in being harsh with something that can't be improved, is there? A generally strong, very different from Arrivist/Gypsy. Thanks, JP PS. I love references. I love catching references so here are all the ones I saw in your story. Felix- refers to Felix Hoenikker in Cat's Cradle. Jonas, Gabriel and Lily- references to the Giver.Also taken from the Giver, the idea of assigned spouses and the absence of feeling as relief. Prometheus- that's like getting smacked in the face with a ping-pong paddle. You might want to consider renaming him, because that particular same is so obvious as to be cliched. Lily and James could also be a Harry Potter reference. Lucas and Frederic I haven't figured out. For Frederic, all I can think of is Frederic the Great of Prussia.For Lucas, I have no clue. The island and its Creole are inspired from San Lorenzo and its creole, also from Cat's Cradle. Rose is perhaps a derivation from Eliot Rosewater in Slaughterhouse-Five and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Drug references and the massive dining halls are inspired by Brave New World, though I give myself no credit for that one because you said as much. Sunville- the ruins of the town you created in Gyspy/Arriviste. Another bit of a stretch-- but the lack of technology, the rigid structure of age-comes-with-assigned-role-in-life, the massive factories and impersonalness also remind me of Ayn Rand's Anthem.