[Review] Ugly

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Title: Ugly

Author: Margaret McHeyzer

Genre: Young Adult, New Adult

Published: October 26, 2015

Source: Copy provided by NetGalley

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads

If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to see.
If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to feel.
If I were dead, he'd never raise his hand to me again.
If I were dead, his words wouldn't cut as deep as they do.
If I were dead, I'd be beautiful and I wouldn't be so...ugly.
I'm not dead...but I wish I was.

*This is a dark YA/NA stand-alone, full-length novel. Contains violence.

When I requested this book on NetGalley, I was intrigued by the summary and the fact that it is a dark YA/NA book. I love dark tales regardless of the subject, but as someone who has never read anything pertaining to the well-known subject of domestic violence, I didn't really know what to expect. If I had any expectations to begin with, they would have been absolutely blown away.

I was angry. Really angry. Not at the book itself and not at the main character. I was angry at the author. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE YOUR CHARACTER SUFFER SO HARSHLY? I was angry that I was reading a book that pertains to things that happen to people in real life -- not just women, but men, too. I was angry because sure, I knew how terrible it could be/get, but reading this book was like I was actually witnessing it in person and couldn't do anything to help those who were suffering.

Ms. McHeyzer knows full well how to make you feel every range of emotion while drawing out the darkness and thrusting it at you with so much force, you literally drown in it. The book was suffocating but simultaneously, it was absolutely overwhelming and perfect. I cannot, for the life of me, say whether or not this was realistic or not as I haven't dealt with this type of subject, nor do I know anyone who has dealt with it. Emotional manipulation, yes, for the most part, but not something like this.

As for the characters; the fact that Lily would immediately fall in love with someone who reminds her a lot like her father is beyond me. In the beginning, you get a sense that she knows what her father does is wrong, yet the first time she sees the telltale sign her father shows before things go south for her, she still lets it slide. Maybe it's because I haven't been in her mentality before. I don't know.

This was very hard to read for me, but I pulled through and I'm so glad. I say hard only in the sense of the subject matter and how deep and depressing it is. The author did a wonderful job making me feel for the characters. The ending was beautiful, but it was also sad as I realized that not everyone gets that sort of ending in their life after dealing with domestic violence.

To all of those who currently suffer or have suffered through this; I'm sorry. You're beautiful/handsome. You're perfect. You're stronger than anything. Love yourself.

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