Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee Salter


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can't go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can't make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.
Her older self has been through it all already--she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.
Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and The List, Every Ugly Word is a gripping and emotional story about the devastating consequences of bullying.
This is a new release of the previously self-published title Breakable.

MY TAKE:
When it came time to decide what to rate this book, I was torn between giving it 4 stars or 5 stars.

In Every Ugly Word, Ashley Watson is bullied relentlessly at her high school. Her only solace is her best friend Matt, her art, and an older version of herself that she speaks with through her mirror. Her older self knows something big is coming soon, but won't tell Ashley. Is there still any hope for her?

If there was one word I would use to describe this book, it's "raw." Not raw, as in unfinished, although there were moments and characters that didn't feel polished or real to me. By raw, I mean the emotions are real and heartwrenching and "unpretty" in the best possible way. That's why, after a bit of reflection, I decided to give this book five stars.

The story shifts from an older Ashley Watson to the 17-year-old Ashley Watson. The older Ashley starts to recount, or reacts to, the experiences of her seventeen-year-old self to a therapist while the younger Ashley lives through it in the next scene. It's probably not the neatest sounding thing, but it serves the story's purpose and the biggest plot twist. Although that particular plot twist was more magical than realistic, the rest of the story does feel real, like it really is someone's story.

There were several scenes near the end that brought me to tears. I was bullied in high school and there was one particular scene (the one with the vandalized art) that brought back some major feelings. I don't know if these scenes would have a similar effect on people who weren't bullied, but speaking from experience, it does make you feel what Ashley is feeling.

I liked the ending, even though it was expected. It was a nice way to end a story on a positive and hopeful note.

Thanks to NetGalley and Alloy Entertainment for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's raw and real.
  2. It has a positive message.
  3. Ashley can be irritating at first, but she'll grow on you.  

THE BAD:

  1. There were a couple of characters that felt cliched. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You've been bullied before.
  2. You are being bullied now.
  3. Your child is being bullied. 

RATING:
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