Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

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.

I used to be that person who read just a handful of authors. I never strayed from them. Ever. I think that I inherited that from my mom because she is the same exact way. Trying to get that woman to try out a new author when she still has some James Patterson to read? Not going to happen. And like I said, I used to be the same way but one day, something changed. I'm not sure exactly what it was but I wanted to try something out of the norm ... a new author, a new genre and it really paid off. Since then, I haven't stuck to my "safe choice" authors and I enjoy taking a risk and trying someone new. 

This time, it was super successful. I had never heard of Aimee L. Salter but when I saw the blurb for this book, I just had to give it a shot. Spoiler alert: It was really good and completely unexpected. I believe that this is Salter's first novel and that in itself made this reading choice a bit of a crap-shoot. I hate talking specifics about a book because I'm always afraid I will give something away but I'm going to be super careful this time. The whole idea behind this book ... looking into the mirror and seeing an older version of yourself who is trying to help steer you in the right direction without trying to tell you what to do ... was intriguing to say the least. I've never read anything like it and it totally worked.

While Every Ugly Word is incredibly sad since it has to do with extremely harsh bullying, it was also refreshing, uplifting and thought provoking. I dealt with bullying when I was younger ... nothing this extreme but it was bullying, none the less. If I could have let myself know that I would get through that time period and that what others think wouldn't matter in the end, that would have been nice to hear. When you are at that impressionable teenager, bullying can feel like it is never going to end and you're always going to be the butt of everyone's joking. This novel shows you that that isn't the case. It makes you think long and hard about each choice that is made and the repercussions that can happen due to every word that you say and every action that you make.

Anyway ... a bit of a derailment ... the book is really good. I found myself really pulling for Ashley at times and wanting to shake some sense into her during other times. She was that girl next door that you can't help but cheer on because she is that one girl in every school who is so incredibly talented and original that the kids pick on because she's different. I thought the way that she talked about her art was interesting and it made me wonder if the author was (or is) an artist because it seemed like something that was close to her for so much feeling to be put into the characters about it.

And OMG. I hate using that acronym but it is warranted here. The ending. That is all I'm going to say. Well, probably not ... but the ending is nothing short of AH-MAZING. I was completely surprised and thrown off and excited and sad and everything in between. It was the perfect ending for this book. Perfect.

I didn't really have any issues with Every Ugly Word except that it slowed down a bit for me at the end and that is the time when I wanted things to speed up a bit. It just lagged for me and that could be because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next ... I get a little impatient when a book is really good. I'm excited to see what else Salter comes out with and I'll be at the front of the pack to get my hands on it. 

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