Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Every Ugly Word 
by Aimee L. Salter

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: e-book
Source: Netgalley/Mark My Words Book Publicity

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.


Review: When I read the synopsis of this book, I was certainly interested in reading it, so I was glad that I was given an opportunity to do just that. I read a lot of contemporary, but most of it is very light. It's about the girl falling in love with a boy and spending her summer trying to get his attention, or something similar to that. There is a different kind of contemporary, though. The kind that focuses on deep, difficult things that humans go through in real life. This book certainly falls under that category. While it was much more different than what I usually read, it did not cause me to enjoy this book any less. 

Let's start by talking about the title and cover of the book. I do think that this book may have gone through a title change? I was reading some things on Goodreads, and some reviewers were calling it by a different name. I know that this can happen, though it is always a little bit confusing for me as well. I am completely in love with this cover, though. I like how it's a bit similar to what we are used to, but has some awesome changes. There is clearly a girl on the cover, but we cannot see her face because it's covered by a mirror. The mirror makes a lot of sense once you've read the story, too.

I do think that this book was beautifully written. Ashley is a character that has to deal with a lot, too much for someone her age. Unfortunately, this is incredibly realistic, which made the book that much better. She goes to school where she is basically living through torture. People say horrible things, they trip her, and do whatever mean things they can think of. While Ashely does not stand up and try to get revenge, I do not feel that makes her weak. It takes a lot of strength to get through something like this in life without giving up and refusing to go back to school. She did not let the bullies win, and I think that is a very important lesson for readers to learn. 

I did have some issues with the book, however. Some of them still added to the book, but some took away from it. The first thing was Ashley's best friend, Matt, who she has liked for a very long time. I was not too worried about him returning the feelings, as that was not the point of this book. What I did not understand was how he could call Ashley his best friend when he had to see everything she was going through, and he did not seem bothered to worry about it or try to help. That is not much of a best friend, nor does it make me see what Ashley saw in him. I know everyone has their flaws, but I do not think that Matt was even worthy of someone as great as Ashley based on his behavior.

The one thing that did not work completely for me was the fantasy aspect of the novel. I didn't mind that Ashley could look into the mirror and see her older self, who tried to give her advice on what to do and what was going to happen. I thought that this actually added interest to the whole thing. Sure, it was not realistic or anything, but I was okay with that. I thought that the conversations that Ashley had with herself, and her older self, added to the situation. However, I did not quite understand the climax of the story. I re-read it a few times, but it still did not make much more sense to me. I feel like some parts could have been left out and it could have actually added more to the story.

Overall, I was very pleased with this book. I think that Slater did a wonderful job of writing this book and making us feel something for a struggling character. While Ashley did not become the typical heroine from a book, I do believe that she grew and was someone that other girls can look up to. While I could have done without some of the fantasy elements, I do believe that the book was still very good. I would highly recommend it to others.

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

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