Tally has finally become Pretty. Now her looks are perfect, her boyfriend is cool and beautiful, and she has an awesome clique of friends. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun - the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, and being together with all her friends at last - is a nagging sense that's something's not quite right. Something important. Then a message from Tally's Ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with Pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.
- Tally Youngblood: The protagonist who has just been turned Pretty. At first she's happy to be nothing more than a Crim, but when she and her new boyfriend Zane find the cure, her life once again becomes complicated.
- Zane: The founder of the Crims and Tally's boyfriend. He has long suspected that something is not quite right with Pretties and is forever finding ways to rebel. When he shares the cure with Tally, it works immediately and he soon plans an escape from the city.
- Shay: A Crim and Tally's best friend since Ugly days. When she finds out that Tally split the cure with Zane rather than her, she feels betrayed and discovers a way to her own cure.
- David: He had promised Tally that when she became Pretty, he would bring her the cure himself. Unfortunately, it doesn't end up working out that way.
- Peris: Tally's "best friend forever" since they were littlies. A fellow Crim, he goes along with the plan to run away from the city, but he may not be as bubbly as he appears.
- Fausto: One of the more tricky Crims who helps Zane and Tally free themselves from the city and escape to the New Smoke.
- Dr. Cable: The head of Special Circumstances. She makes Tally and Shay an offer too tempting to refuse as part of her plan to crush the New Smoke.
- Croy: A Smoky who sneaks into the city to find Tally and give her the cure.
- Andrew Simpson Smith: The holy man in a pre-Rusty village secretly kept as a city experiment. Tally encourages him to challenge the boundaries of his world, and in return, he helps Tally find a way out of his village.