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review 2017-10-22 14:42
Book 69/100: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire
This is one of the best Maguire books I've read, right up there with the first couple Oz retellings (I only read the first two but heard the later ones weren't as good.)

Similar to "Mirror, Mirror," Maguire places the story of Cinderella within a firm historical time and place -- Holland at the start of the tulip trade. But unlike "Mirror, Mirror," it doesn't have the strange conflagration of fantasy and historical realism that didn't quite work for me. "Confessions" could be read as a straight historical retelling with the characters holding onto some "magical" belief systems, or it could be read as a very subtle fantasy rooted in a historical setting. This ambiguity worked for me.

The stepmother and stepsisters, as well as the "Cinderella" character, are all vividly drawn. The stepmother comes across as both wicked and sympathetic -- surely not an easy feat to accomplish. As soon as I got over my hangup that it felt as if this story should be told first-person (it's CONFESSIONS, after all!), I enjoyed the masterful and detailed writing -- although the level of detail and the change the characters underwent in the course of the story made it feel as though it should have taken place over a longer span of time than it actually did. Still, that was a minor quibble -- and the minor "twist" at the end really worked for me.

The retelling genre teems with Cinderella stories, but this one moves to the front of the line for me.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-09 21:54
Big Mouth and Ugly Girl - Joyce Carol Oates

Average book. A story about an American teen who loses all of his friends and becomes suicidal after an unforeseen event. Nearly kills himself but gets saved when a girl his age saves him. Everything and everyone are happy again, they kiss, the end. Pretty average storyline.

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review 2017-07-31 20:46
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love is the second book by Colleen Hoover that I’ve read and I had so much fun. It was completely different to the other one of hers I read, It Ends With Us. That one was to do with physical abuse and as hard as the topic matter was to read about, I thought the book itself was amasing and it got to me a way that few books ever have. Similarly, this one tackled difficult themes, but nowhere near the same level. It was mostly just a really fun read.


The story followed Tate and Miles who meet each other under dubious circumstances and a physical attraction develops between them. Miles doesn’t want a relationship, just something casual. He propositions Tate and she agrees.


This is a novel of dual perspectives. The chapters in the present day are written in Tate's, while Miles narrates the alternate chapters that take place six years in the past. The chapters from the past illuminate the reasons why Miles can’t bear the thought of falling in love again and only wants a sexual relationship.


I loved virtually all of the characters. Tate was fun and quirky and she showed such vulnerability when she began to see Miles as more than just a casual fling. All she wanted was for Miles to feel the same way about her and I could almost taste her disappointment when he kept shooting her down. There were several times when I wished Tate would walk away because I couldn’t bear to see her hurt anymore, but she kept coming back for more. This was infuriating to a degree, but communicated  the depth of her feelings for Miles.


Miles himself was a very stoic character who it was hard to get a measure of. His chapters, which were often written in verse  (I didn’t get that at all), really helped to shine light on his character. I preferred the chapters written in the present day as I did find the angst a little too much in Miles’s chapters, but they were okay.


A lot of people go on about Cap (one of the side characters), an old man who operated the lift for residents at the tower block where Tate and Miles lived .I liked him, but I really don’t get why people were so enamoured with him. He was fun, though, and I certainly didn’t dislike his parts.


This was such a fun read that was perfectly paced and really addictive. If you’re in need of a light read go check it out. It left me with such a warm glow!


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text 2017-07-26 22:11
Reading progress update: I've read 93%.
Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover

I didn't know if this book fitted the square I'd landed on or not, but just now three of the charcters boarded a plane and took a flight! I just love it when this kind of thing happens and you know a book definitely fits. Result!


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review 2017-07-03 04:27
What would you do to save yourself?
Every Ugly Word - Aimee L. Salter


People do what they want. They love who they love. No one else can change that.

The only thing you can control is you.

- Chapter 5


That was the last straw. I breathed too hard, then I broke. All the pieces inside snapped apart and fell away, tinkling to the floor of my life and leaving a yawning hole where my heart should have been.

- Chapter 28


It might not get better tomorrow, but it will get better.

- Author's note


This book is heartbreaking, and yet hopeful. Teenage main character Ashley is in love with her best friend Matt, but he thinks of her as just a friend. He is popular at school and Ashley is constantly teased and bullied. In the first chapter, we find Ashley speaking to her psychiatrist and hoping to be released from the institution she resides in. He is asking her to recount the events leading up to "the incident" which resulted in her stay at the institution. We find out that Ashley sees an older version of herself in the mirror. Older Ashley gives her advice and tries to help her change her life. Older Ashley wants Ashley to have a better life than she does. But, she leaves out details in the hopes of protecting her younger self.


That might seem a bit confusing, but the book is not. We see Ashely's attempts to be strong and we worry about what will happen to her. Ashley's mother is almost as bad, if not worse than the kids at school. Her mom treats her as if she is the one doing something wrong. If she could just be more normal, then she wouldn't get bullied or if she could just fly under the radar and not do things to aggravate the other kids. Seriously?? Bullying is never the fault of the victim. Ashley's mother should have been her protector, not someone who makes her feel worse.


I liked this book. I felt bad for Ashley, and yet hopeful that she would find the strength to survive, despite everything and everyone who hurt her. At the end of the book, the author talks about how bullying is a form of torture and that she was a victim herself for many years. She talks about how she wants readers to know that they deserve help and gives them phone numbers and websites to use for help.


I read this for the Electric Company space, author's first and last name contain all the letters in "Tesla"

It has 282 pages and is worth $6.00


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