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I received an eARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
“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.”
Every Ugly Word took me by surprise. Initially, I wanted to read simply based off of the cover. Then, I read the synopsis, and I was hooked. I had to read it. A young adult novel about a young artist being bullied, with the slightest hint of magic realism? Count me in!
The concept of the ‘older-me’ versions of people was really different, and captured my attention. The main character, Ashley, was being tormented by her destructive schoolmates/ex-friends. She had an older self, whom she could only see in mirrors. Her older self, having already lived what Ashley is living through, was coaching her through it. She was helping to make sure that current-day Ashley wouldn’t end up where she was, in a mental health facility.
All while Ashley is being bullied, she is working toward getting a scholarship for art school. Her escape from her tormentors; her chance to live a different life. Putting off her self-portrait for her portfolio, she creates amazing art. Specifically, a piece of her love interest Matt.
Every Ugly Word sort of had a psychological thriller effect (and everyone should know by now that I love psychological thrillers). It keeps you reading, just to see what is going to happen next. I still have questions, just like present day Ashley. What happened to older Ashley, is she living in her mirror world? I can say that I’ve never read anything like Every Ugly Word.
It was a pleasure to read this book. I would recommend Every Ugly Word to anyone who has an interest in magic realism, bullying, or young adult novels. If you’re looking for something different, you should definitely give this book a try!
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