Monday, January 26, 2015

ARC Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Title: Every Ugly Word
Author: Aimee L. Salter
Release Date: 29th July 2014
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Find on: Goodreads

Quick 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.

Detailed Review: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback.

A review was long due for this book, but I found myself in a reviewing slump (and blogging slump) that's lasted for months.

So I'm going to start off the new year with a positive review, which I hope will give way to more positive things in the future.

  *drum roll and blaring trumpets*

My initial reaction after reading this book was just


This is why: main character= younger Ashley= older Ashley

Yes, I can imagine your eyes popping out of your head as you struggle to make some sense of this.

The thing is, with EUW, you don't. You just have to keep reading and trust the author to give you the answers. And even if you don't get said answers, you still find the story just as good.

The most appealing factor in this book is not the cover, nor the story itself, or even the characters; it's the way Salter managed to portray bullying in such a way that it makes you the victim. I could literally feel Ashley's fear and apprehension like my own when you read the parts where she gets bullied.

I'm personally really proud of the author for bringing up this issue in her book and for highlighting the effects on its victims. I understood Ashley's suffering and struggles because I, was once a victim of bullying. 

This book was an eye-opener for me as from experience, I thought that there was merely name-calling and physical force involved. EUW taught me that it was so much more than that. It could be the destruction of one's hopes and dreams and possibly even to the point of losing the people they love, as was the case with Matt for Ashley.

Another point awarded for the author goes to the fact that Salter decided to include an older Ashley to help out her younger counterpart. I decided metaphorically that it was her way of saying that the victim always needs someone, especially someone with experience to help them survive the ordeals they were put through.

Character development in this book was also a key element because I believe a person's attitude changes due to bullying. I 'witnessed' Ashley's transformation as she went through different degrees of bullying, that would have made me want to kill myself. Instead of doing what I would have opted to do, she stayed strong and I admire her so much for that. I feel like she could be my role model.

That sounds cool, actually. Having a fictional character as your role model. That could work.

Regarding the ways Ashley was bullied, I am speechless. I cannot find the words to describe what Ashley had to go through and I would let you experience it from her eyes should you choose to pick up this book- which I suggest you should (must).

The ending was both touching and perfect. One person dies (you'll never guess who- and it is not a spoiler). I actually thought it was the right way to end it because it added much-needed depth and character development to the book. Again, the author decided to give Ashley's story a happy ending because I felt that she wanted to tell us that it is possible to survive bullying.

*cries puddles of tears*

When the book ended, I was overcome with so much emotion (including being mindblown- how could you not?) because it was too relatable to my experience as a bully victim.

*more tears*

Brief Review: No amount of words can describe what Every Ugly Word was. It wasn't just a story of a person's life; it could be so many other people's. This book is one of the very few that describes the true side of bullying and the havoc it wreaks on people's lives and I admire the author for approaching this topic in her debut- in other words, for being brave. Bullying is hard to write about, since it is especially hard to capture the emotions involved, as is the case for mental illnesses. But Salter? She did it.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'

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