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.
Whatever is at the top of your TBR list right now, ignore it. Go out and buy Every Ugly Word, grab a box of tissues and some snacks and allow yourself a good few hours to devour this book at once. That, i'm afraid, is the only advice I can give after reading this amazing book.
Let's face it, everyone has a bullying story. If you don't then count yourself extremely lucky. Everyone has been singled out for something which is wrong with them. In Ashley's grade, that's her. In mine, it was definitely me and now, at 21 years old, I can look back and say that I was a little crazy and I didn't really help my own cause. I was pushed to the very edge to the point where I cracked, and because of this I was really, extremely hit by Ashley's story. It was gripping, it was thrilling but more than anything it was real. It made me feel uncomfortable, not because of anything bad but because this author really touched on these feelings that a lot of people have felt themselves.
I empathised with Ashley, but she wasn't the only character which was multi-dimensional. I loved Matt, Ashley's caring best friend who she's a little in love with. He wasn't the perfect character, he wanted to be popular, he got annoyed at Ashley's drama and he was all around pretty flawed, but that's what made him a great character.
The concept itself was amazing - Ashley is getting advice from her older-self who she can see in the mirror, but her older self isn't all that open about their future. It's an amazing thought, and it's extremely well delivered. If this was any other book I might complain about why this wasn't explained and the few plot holes that the whole paradox thing causes and how they aren't stitched up all that well, however this book doesn't seem to require any of that. It just... works. That's probably massively down to the beautiful flow of Salter's writing and the way she makes this story come to love. The way the two tenses and perspectives stitch together to create this massive realisation at the end. It is fantastic, and I couldn't fault to writing style at all.
Overall, Every Ugly Word was hardhitting and even difficult to read at times, but it is also one of the best books I have read in a very long time. The writing was beautiful and the story was poignant and the book carries an amazing, self-security message.
Overall Rating: A
Book released July 29th 2014 by Alloy Entertainment