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review 2017-06-16 01:59
Release Day ARC Review: Romancing The Ugly Duckling by Clare London
Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Dreamspun Desires Book 36) - Clare London

On the isolated island of North Uist, which is apparently off the coast of Scotland, there lives a man all by himself in a smallish house after running away from his assholish brothers and his neglectful parents to paint, dive for scallops, and be mostly a recluse, keeping to himself.

His four brothers, one of whom I hated on sight, all somewhat famous for some reason or other, hope to make a deal with a TV company to create a reality show a la Kardashians, but they can only get the deal if the 5th brother appears as well. Greg Ventura, gentle, kind giant, wants nothing to do with them or the TV show.

Poor Perry Goodwood (lulz at that last name), ambitious and fashionable, is sent by his boss to the island to convince Greg to come to London to participate. After a make-over, of course. He flies to Scotland and catches a boat to the island, and is then stranded at the port before being fortuitously delivered to Greg's doorstop, looking like a drowned rat. The team that was supposed to meet him to convince Greg to come to London is nowhere to be found, and Perry's boss is giving him a bunch of excuses.

Great start, amirite? City slicker meets backwoods grump, and opposites attract - excellent trope!

This book is full of cute and sweet and quirky, and as Perry slowly falls in love with the island and Greg, so does Greg fall for Perry. The setting is perfect, and rather well described, so much so that I felt like I was right there on the small island. There be heather and bogs and cold, cold lochs, and beautiful nature all around.

I really liked both Perry and Greg. Perry impressed me because despite his city roots, he really tried hard to fit in on the island, and he seemed so appreciative of everyone who gave a helping hand. He wanted to learn from Greg and experience island life for himself. Greg is a bit rough around the edges, and grumps a lot, but I could tell that this was mostly to protect himself. He was kind and gentle, if somewhat clueless on occasion. The chemistry between the two men was there from the start and truly believable. There are certain parameters for this series as far as on-page sexy times are concerned, and the author delivered within those parameters, but also managed to infuse a lot of emotional bonding outside of the bedroom scenes.

The locals on the island play a huge role in this book as well, and I just loved how the author gave them all unique personalities and characteristics. Dougie, Bridie, and Louisa were perfect in their roles, and I enjoyed especially Bridie's easy banter with Perry, and how she was ultimately... well, you read this for yourself.

The Scottish brogue comes across well in the writing, and I had no trouble reading the dialect.

Quirky. Cute. And utterly adorable. A perfect addition to the Dreamspun Desires series. I had a grand time reading it. The author did a fantastic job with the characters, the setting, and the pacing, giving us a really emotional romance between two men who are complete opposites at first sight, but turn out to both want the same thing after all.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-04-05 15:34
The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling - Jerry Pinkney,Hans Christian Andersen

This book would inspire my students to wish and dream to be anything they want to be when they grow up. The ugly duckling went through moments of his life and felt unwanted and some of my students will feel this way. I think reading this book would give them the confidence they need to persevere through any hard time in their life. I would read the book to them and show them how to make a comic strip that we will use to track the ducklings progress. With each transformation, we will draw the ducklings situation until it reaches a swan in which he finally felt accepted by others. I think this book is directed towards 2nd grade and up because of the acceptance factor. The students in these ages and grades are trying to find themselves and where they belong in this world. I think this book would help with their self journey. The Lexile Level is 40L.

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review 2017-04-02 22:03
The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling - Jerry Pinkney,Hans Christian Andersen

The Ugly Duckling has been around for over a hundred years and has many different versions. It is a person favorite with mine and this version stays true in the timeless tale of a very awkward duckling that does not fit in with his brothers and sisters. This little bird is made fun of and has to struggle through life without a great support system to back him up. However, through the endless tormenting of his fellow ducklings, the hunters, and cruel seasons he survives. Not only does he survive but he grows up to become a graceful swan. This story in the end has a happy ending but it is the journey to get there that brings the story to life and reminds the reader that life is not always easy. Sometimes we will have to struggle and work hard for what we want. In the classroom I would use this story to focus on sequencing and working with the students to focus what happens in the story and when does it happen. This could easily be done by having the students cut out pictures or drawing pictures that represent what happens in the story in the correct order it happens.

Reading Level: Kindergarten to 3rd grade


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review 2017-01-20 19:11
The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling - Jerry Pinkney,Hans Christian Andersen

This story is probably considered to be well known throughout society. It is about a duckling who is born not quite as beautiful as the rest. The duckling gets treated as though he does mean as much to the world as the others due to his image. Later in the book, the duckling grows up to be the most beautiful duck. This book would probably have the best results if used in 1st-3rd grade. I believe the older students might have more of an opinion on the book than the younger ones. The book could open a lesson for students to not judge their peers by their looks. Though this book will probably take students in the direction of their peers who are not well off, it could also go the other way. Students should also not judge the ones who seem as though they come from wealth. Every student has a story; it is our job as teachers to make sure all students are treated as equals. 

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review 2016-11-11 21:26
The Ugly Duckling - Jerry Pinkney,Hans Christian Andersen

The Ugly Duckling is mainly about a duck that is left out because of his looks, but ends up being the most beautiful duck of all. I would use this book in a K-2nd grade classroom to teach children about diversity. Through the story the students can learn how important it is to not judge others just because they look different than you. This story would also be good to incorporate why it is so important to not be a bully. After reading the story students will be less likely to judge a book by its cover.

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