Ugly to Start With
By: John Michael Cummings
Released on: Oct. 1st, 2011
Reported by: Julianna Helms
Ugly to Start With is a book about sexuality, racism, and abuse, among other things. It is not a light read--and it's not for everyone. What I can say about it is this: your perspective on several taboo subjects will change, and this book is just as thought-provoking as it is heart-wrenching.
Jason is this boy I never really could relate to, though that may be because of the things he goes through so early in life. He's a dreamer, but he's also afraid, and though that made me sympathize for him, it didn't make me entirely feel for him. I surmise I just never really recognized his voice. That's one of the reasons why this book didn't blow my mind away, but still, I was shocked and timorous about quite a number of the situations Jason faces in this book, and I feared for him as well as with him.
It's not easy being a teenager, Jason very well proves that. John is very bold in approaching several topics the way he did. But the thing is, the teenage voice is difficult to nail, and I felt like the lasciviousness and obscenity was superfluous and overwhelming. It distracted me for a while, and I can't say the excess content minimized as the story progressed.
Overall, though, this novel is sure to wreck your brain for answers you don't have, and astonish you with questions you never thought of. Despite its flaws, it offers you something you don't normally get--the truth. Brace yourself, because you're in for a whirlwind of emotions you won't be forgetting about very soon.