You can click the cover to go to its Goodreads page.
I received this book via Netgalley.
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.
Before I go in more depth I just want to say that this book carries an important message. Bullying is such a common problem in today’s society and not enough is being done to stop it. It can ruin someone’s life, can leave scars that will never heal. People, and especially children and teenagers, can be so cruel. Every Ugly Word portrays the situation of a bullied girl well but at the same time it has a sort of supernatural twist that was very interesting.
This novel starts in a psychiatrist’s room where Ashley is telling the psychiatrist everything that has lead up to “the incident”. So while you are reading this you switch between certain moments in time: when she is in high school experiencing the bullying and when she’s in the psychiatrist’s room where they discusses the choices and actions she has made to wind up there. I thought this was a very interesting way to tell the story. You don’t only get to see Ashley making the choices but afterwards she explains why. Often, in novels I am puzzled by the actions of a main character: I can’t understand why on earth they would have made that particular choice. But this way, Ashley gets to explain herself, and I think that was very important to her story and especially to her character.
As for the plot, I’m not going to delve into that. That would ruin the entire novel for you. The storyline is terrible. And by that, I mean that the characters in this book are horrible people. The actual plot of the novel and the way it was written are truly amazing in my opinion. But the story in itself, makes me angry and sad at the same time. I just don’t understand why people are so cruel sometimes for absolutely no reason. And the fact that people are being bullied like this every day, just makes me lose faith in humanity. I want to applaud the author for writing a story like this: they should be read and heard.
On to the characters. Firstly -and most importantly- we have Ashley. She thinks so little of herself which usually annoys me in novels, but here… Honestly, who could blame her after all the things people have thrown at her? In my opinion, Ashley is a very brave character. She tries her best to avoid her bullies but still goes to school every day even though she knows they will harass her again. And her art, I wish I could see it in real life! It must have been so inspiring and confrontational. Secondly we have Matt, her best friend. To be honest, at first I was angry at him for not seeing how bad it was. But while reading the novel, I got to understand why he didn’t. At times, he was a bad friend to her -ah boys, not always thinking with their brain- but other times he was such a good friend to Ashley that it made me forgive him for the moments he wasn’t. As for Ashley’s mom, I don’t even have words for that woman. I do not understand, nor will I ever, how you can say such things to your own daughter.
To conclude my review, I would tell everyone to pick this novel up. It’s captivating and interesting and above all, it makes you think. I read this book in 1 sitting, that’s how into the story I was. Every Ugly Word is a thought-provoking book that will captivate you until you’re done reading it.