Friday, January 1, 2016

Book Review of The Beautiful Ugly by James Snyder

Goodreads Summary: She's sixteen. She's alone. And the world thinks she's crazy. What could possibly happen next? Well, she's going to show them...
When sixteen-year-old Connelly Pierce wakes up inside an unknown psychiatric hospital with both her wrists slashed, she begins the arduous task of piecing together the events of her life that led her there. Her own cognitive behavioral therapy (as she had learned so well from them). Beginning with the sudden death of her mother and father when she was six, and the only world she knew disappeared, literally, overnight. That's when, with no known or, at least, close relatives, she and her nine-year-old brother Eric find themselves cast into the nightmare quagmire of government child protection agencies, and Connelly begins her incredible fourteen-year journey--her dark odyssey--into her own brave new world. The world, she realizes, she must not only quickly adapt, but fight back as well if she hopes to survive. (Please note: this is the complete three-book trilogy in one volume.)
Goodreads rating: 3.90 stars with over 150 ratings.
Genre Listing: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary
Get the Book: Amazon

Review:

Edited 12/1/2016

Happy New Years Book-friends! It's been far too long since my last post, which is sadly becoming my trend in between books. I'm hoping 2016 will be kind and give me more time to read.

The Beautiful-Ugly is a trilogy by James Snyder and is not a book I would normally have chosen to read, but the book sort of picked me. I say this because as I was trying to find something on Kindle Unlimited to read, my Kindle freaked out. The screen was flashing, weird things happened, and the result ended up being this trilogy downloaded to my Kindle. Apparently, it wanted to be read, and so I did. It just took me a very long time.

I was instantly hooked by this book. It was dark, graphic, morbid, and oh so twisted. I like a good gritty novel now and then. I was shocked by how many just awful ordeals one little girl could go through. At first, it was interesting to me because Connelly seemed to keep a good head on her shoulders.  I felt a little sadistic being so immersed in something so morbid.

For the most part, the books started to keep me interested until Connelly got to New York. It was still interesting, but it didn't hold my interest as much as her earlier childhood did. I felt like by teaming up with Roxy (Was that her name? I can't even remember now.) she was losing so much of herself. It seemed to get a little ridiculous at that point. It just appeared to become this game of "how much twisted stuff can be put into one story?", but still, I read on.

What soured this book for me all of the after story with Liz and Will. I would have been perfectly content with this book if it ended with Connelly meeting Liz and them driving off to Texas together. I could have let my imagination wander on what happened. However, the book kept going on, and just proceeded to drag on and on and on. And then, enter Will. It was like at 80% this book became an entirely different book, specifically one of those $1.99 western romances that you can get at the Pharmacy. I don't get her relationship with Will. It was portrayed like they never spoke and then she fell in love with him. What? She's been through 10 years of brutal crap, and she's had a healthy life for five minutes and is in love with a guy she never even speaks to? No thanks. Not my cup of tea.

The rest of the book for me was this forced romance story. I was hoping that with all the dark, gritty morbid story line, in the beginning, there would be some profound ending making sense of it all. I don't feel like that's what happened at all. I really could have just done without this entire section of the book. It might have been better if it wasn't put off until the absolute end, and somehow brought in closer her to arriving at Texas. The way it is, however, just makes it seem like an afterthought. A sort of  "Oops. Forgot to give it a happy ending." type of thing. From the time she got to Texas on I just wanted to the book to end so, I could start something else.


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