Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer
Ugly was a tough read. Domestic abuse is a difficult subject, difficult to face, difficult to stand up to, difficult to write about. But that wasn’t only why I struggled with the book.
If the purpose of the story was to give victims the courage to get help, then it is everything it needs to be. Including the addition of contact numbers at the end.
But as a story, it didn’t quite deliver. With one-dimensional characters and long drawn out chapters, this was a book I couldn’t wait to finish. It was written devoid of emotion, almost like a documentary and I couldn’t quite reach Lily. I felt detached from the story as though I was hearing it 3rd hand. Sensitive to other people’s emotions I cry over books and movies all the time but with Ugly I just didn’t feel it.
It was only at the end, where skimming through the author’s acknowledgments that I realised it was based on true story. I am not sure if I would have felt differently if I had known that at the beginning, but it does put the events into perspective and make me more aware that maybe it could be a lifeline to someone one day.
Recommended age: 16+
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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.
— abstract from Goodreads.com
The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.