Let’s Talk Books — Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter

Warning: Spoilers!

Hey guys. It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been in kind of a reading/reviewing rut for a while, and I think everything caught up to me and I needed a little time away from WordPress.

I feel like 2016 has been a pretty weak year with books for me. There have been some I really liked, like Lolito, the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. But overall most of my reading as been okay at best and hating at most. Honestly, reading has felt like a bit of a chore lately. And I hate feeling like that.

Luckily, I’ve recently read something I loved so much it brought me straight out of my rut and back to wanting to read again. And that was Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter.

Ugly Girls was one of those “see on the shelf in Barnes and Noble, pick it up, become interested by the synopsis, mark it as to-read, skip ahead a few months, and randomly see at the library on a trip when you can’t find anything you really want to borrow” books for me. If that, indeed, is a type of book. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve read it, so sorry if I don’t remember as many details as I normally do.

Anyway, Ugly Girls is about two high school girls, Perry and Baby Girl. They’re a couple of troublemakers and don’t really have any friends outside each other. And I use the term “friends” loosely, because half the time they hate each other. The book begins with them breaking into cars in ritzy neighborhoods and going for joyrides. During this time, each chapter shifts to a different girl’s POV. We see a complicated relationship between Perry and Baby Girl, two people with trust issues, relationship issues, family issues, social issues — honestly, they only have each other to relate to. And I’m guessing because they see parts of themselves that they hate in each other, the friendship can get pretty hateful, too.

So as you may have guessed, Ugly Girls isn’t about a couple of girls that are physically ugly (as both my parents asked when they saw me reading it). Ugly Girls is more about the ugliness inside people. The attack thoughts, the jealousy, the selfish desires that hurt other people — Ugly Girls explores all of this and does a great job to boot. This is one of those books that excel at showcasing a part of humanity, sort of like Chuck Palahniuk’s writing if you’re familiar with him.

And it’s not just the two girls we get perspectives from, either. We also get chapters told from the POV of Perry’s mother and stepfather. They have their own set of life issues to deal with, and it’s interesting to see how they handle them. For example, Perry’s mother is an alcoholic that acknowledges Perry’s bad behavior, but excuses her for it because of her own issues with an overbearing mother. Her stepfather struggles with finding any kind of spark in life, working a depressing job as prison guard overnight and failing to connect with his family. We see the ugly sides of people not only in the two teenage characters, but in the adults as well. And I love it. 🙂

Anyway, between these four different POVs we see a story develop around an online predator stalking Perry and Baby Girl. Initially posing as a friend and romantic interest to both of them, the two girls discover the guy they’ve each been secretly flirting with is the same person. Once they realize this, they make plans to meet up with him to tell him they don’t want anything to do with him. I won’t spoil what happens next, but things get pretty crazy for the rest of the book involving this guy and the book ends on a very sudden note.

In fact, the ending might be what makes or breaks the book for a lot of people. It just sort of ends during a pretty intense scene. Like I said before, Ugly Girls is one of those books that showcase a section of life. The ending kind of fits in with the book’s mentality since despite ending abruptly, there aren’t really any unanswered questions that hurts the overall experience. However, I know a lot of people take issue with abrupt endings, so I guess in the end it’s up to each reader to decide if they can live with it or not. Either way, I’d absolutely recommend reading this, especially for fans of multiple POVs. I can’t promise you’ll love it like I did, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Thanks for reading! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Book reviews might be a little more spread out for a while. I have a ton of Perler bead stuff to show off (haven’t posted much of that in a while, either!), so expect to see some of that in the next couple of weeks. Hope you’re all having a great week! 🙂

Ugly Girls

Info for my edition of Ugly Girls:

  • Published 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Hardcover, 240 pages
  • ISBN 978-0-374-53386-1