Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Review Tour and Giveaway: Ugly by Kelly Vincent

Welcome to my stop on the review tour for Ugly by Kelly Vincent. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as my book review. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content and reviews. Enjoy!
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Title: Ugly
Author: Kelly Vincent
Publisher: KV Books
Publication Date: June 7th 2022
Print Length: 380 pages
Genre: LGBTQ+ Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
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Sophomore Nic Summers tries to ignore the taunts of “ugly lesbian.”

Because she’s not sure they’re entirely wrong. But she also has bigger concerns for now, including prepping for the school’s art contest. And while she isn't certain of her sexuality, she does know her life is on the verge of falling apart when her best and only friend, Sam, drops the bomb that her family’s moving to Scotland. Together, to soften the blow and distract themselves from the inevitable, they start Operation Social Interaction for Nic—or OSIN for short—to try to find her some new friends.

But it’s an uphill battle for the introverted teen artist.

As Sam’s last day nears, Nic's self-confidence wavers even more, and she starts questioning everything. If lesbian doesn’t feel quite right, maybe she’s transgender? It isn’t until she stumbles across the label “gender nonconforming” that things start to make a little more sense, and fall into place. But finding the right label doesn’t really tell her what to do next, and before she knows it, Sam is gone.

Mustering all her resources, Nic realizes she needs to find her own path and live her own truth.

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EXCERPT:
Monday morning I slept past my alarm, so I was running late. Caleb was in the shower and I had to wait for him, but I really needed a shower. So I was sitting with my stack of clothes on my bed when my phone dinged.

A message from Sam. —there’s something I need to tell u

ok. what?

This didn’t sound good. My stomach made this noise and I couldn’t tell if it was hunger or sudden nerves.

not over text

call me then

The shower turned off. Caleb should be done any minute. But I still had time for a quick call.

can’t. have to talk to one of my teachers. see you at lunch

She wouldn’t have her phone in class and I never saw her in the mornings because of where our classes were. I would have to wait until lunch.

My stomach twisted again and I suddenly wondered if she was going to friend-break up with me. Everything had been fine Saturday, but I’d experienced things like this before.

But no, that couldn’t be it. Maybe she’d started dating somebody and wouldn’t be able to do lunch with me anymore.

What if it was something bigger than us? About her family? Oh God, what if she was moving?

I heard the bathroom door squeak open and raced across the hall to shower, all the bad thoughts swirling in my head.
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MY BOOK REVIEW:
I was so happy when I read the synopsis for Ugly by Kelly Vincent. This sounded exactly like the kind of book I needed to get me out of my reading slump. I was correct in my assumption. I absolutely loved this book!

Ugly is the story of a teenager named Nicole, or Nic as she goes by since she hates being called Nicole, Nic is 16 years old and lives in Oklahoma. Nic is made fun of at school and everywhere she goes. She's constantly being mistaken for a male everywhere she goes. During her sophomore school year, she starts questioning her sexuality and her gender identity. 
 
It's obvious that the author knew exactly what she was talking about before writing Ugly from being gender non-conforming to even the therapy sessions Nic goes to. Ugly is definitely a well written book for sure. I like how Ugly draws attention to the struggles of not conforming to every day gender and sexual standards. I also want to give a shout out to the author for mentioning asexuality in the book. (I wish more LGBTQ+ books would talk about asexuality.) However, one minor gripe I have is that it mentions a character might be asexual because they didn't want/hadn't been in a relationship. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction. Asexuals still can want a romantic relationship. Aromanticism is the lack of romantic attraction. (Even then, asexuality and aromanticism have many more identities under their umbrella.) If the character was an aromantic asexual, it would have made more sense why they didn't want a relationship. Other than that, I loved everything about Ugly. My favorite part of the book (although all of it was fantastic) was when Nic goes to Scotland and sees just how different the people over there are compared to the people in the United States. I felt the same way as Nic when I lived in the United Kingdom. It did feel like people in the UK were less judgmental and more accepting than people here in the US.

Reading Ugly was like being in the mind of a teenager throughout a school year in their life. While the book goes through even the mundane day to day life of Nic, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about Nic's life. Her struggle of trying to fit in whilst being made fun of and bullied really resonated with me. I felt like I was reading a biography about my life almost. I've never identified more with a book before! I think many teens and adults that were bullied, even those that are secure in their sexuality, will be able to relate to Nic on some level. Nic was the most relatable character I have ever read about. I would have loved to be friends with someone like her back in school (and even today). I also loved Nic's best friend Sam. Sam was just about the opposite of Nic both personality wise and looks wise. I loved how much Sam really cared about Nic.

Trigger warnings for Ugly include profanity, underage drinking, some minor drug use, some talks of politics, child molestation (though the book doesn't go into detail), bullying (including characters telling another character "kill yourself"), and depression.

Overall, Ugly is a book that should be in every school library as well as every public library. I feel like it's such an important book for teens (and adults), especially for those struggling with their sexuality and/or gender identity in this day and age. The research the author has put into the book as well as the author's ability to write a solid novel help to make Ugly such a fantastic read. I would definitely recommend Ugly by Kelly Vincent to everyone aged 14+ whether they are part of the LGBTQ+ community or not. This is a book that everyone should read due to its important topic.

(A special thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for providing me with an eBook of Ugly by Kelly Vincent in exchange for a fair and honest review.)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kelly Vincent wrangles data weekdays and spends the rest of her time playing with words. She grew up in Oklahoma but has moved around quite a bit, with Glasgow, Scotland being her favorite stop. She now lives near Seattle with three cats who help her write her stories by strategically walking across the keyboard, with her first novel, Finding Frances, a fine example of this technique. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Oklahoma City University’s Red Earth program.

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GIVEAWAY:
Kelly Vincent will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

52 comments:

  1. I cannot even imagine having an identity issue such as hers.

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  2. Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

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  3. this sounds like an amazing story

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  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  5. I really like the cover and think the book sounds good.

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  6. instagram , debpelletierc, email > r.d1@myfairpoint.net

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  7. Looks like an excellent book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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  8. Thanks for sharing Ugly with me, Kelly, I enjoyed the excerpt and your book sounds like a great one for my nieces to read!

    Thanks, All the Ups and Downs, for sharing your review!

    Have a terrific day!

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  9. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

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  10. is there a certain time of day you write

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  11. I hope you are having a wonderful day!

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  12. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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  13. Did you have any say in designing the cover?

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  14. was it hard deciding on the cover

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  15. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  16. Tell me about your favorite birthday.

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  17. Thanks for the great review, and excerpt. The book sound intriguing. Eye-catching cover.

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  18. Happy Friday, hope you have a great weekend!

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  19. enjoy your Friday and thanks for the giveaway

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  20. How long did it take you to write this book?

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  21. sounds like a great read, thanks

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  22. Do you enjoy writing more than reading?

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  23. do you have a particular place where you go to write

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  24. Do you check to see if there is another book with the title you chose?

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  25. thanks this sounds like an amazing book

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  26. What is your kryptonite as a writer?

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  27. I really wish there were more books like this when I was in high school, could of made a big difference!

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  28. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

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  29. have a wonderful week of writing

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  30. looks like a fun one

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  31. How do you "flesh out" your characters?

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  32. What book is currently on your bedside table?

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  33. thanks again for this amazing giveaway

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  34. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for the introduction.

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  35. Ugly is a book that will touch many readers' hearts.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  36. Have you made an effort to make more author friends lately?

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