Caitlin (tyne_serapis) wrote in authors_abound,

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BIG MOUTH & Ugly Girl




I don't like "young adult" books in general. Most books about growing up, and teenagers making it through high school make me want to punch the author. But "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl" is by far one of the most amazing books I have ever read.

(CAUTION: I tried, but some people may consider my synopsis a spoiler. JUST IN CASE.)

First off, it's unique. Most teen books are NOT about the fruit loops and the kids involved in major stuff, at least not the innocent ones. Okay, so a lot of them are about the weird kids. But not in this sense. It's written in two tenses: one is first person, by Ursula, who has a sort of mask, if you will, that she calls Ugly Girl. Ursula is shy and scared. Ugly Girl is confident in herself and rather strong. The other is third person, written (sort of) from Matt's perspective. Matt is a Big Mouth, who decided, just to get some laughs, to mock shooting people. In sarcasm, he said something about blowing up the school. Next thing you know, there's an investigation, and hatred, and the once-liked Matt is now avoided like the plague by those he considered friends. Ugly Girl, however, sticks up for him, and so starts the story of Big Mouth and Ugly Girl. If you want a good, interestingly told story of two outcasts who simply don't care, pick it up. That's "Big Mouth and Ugly Girl" by Joyce Carol Oates. This book ranks with some of my favorite books, which are few and far between. The only other of its rank is "Jinx" by Margaret Wild, which I won't go into here. Just read it. You'll feel better.
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