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The Luck Uglies

(The Luck Uglies #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,474 ratings  ·  324 reviews
The Luck Uglies is the first in a tween fantasy-adventure trilogy brimming with legends come to life, a charming wit, and a fantastic cast of characters-and is imbued throughout with the magic of storytelling.

Strange things are happening in Village Drowning, and a terrifying encounter has Rye O'Chanter convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have retur
Hardcover, 395 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,474 ratings  ·  324 reviews

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Stefan Bachmann
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Got this one early from the publisher for a possible blurb and was kind of expecting not to read it because I was freaking out about school and other silly things at the time. Buuuut then I picked it up anyway and I completely loved it. I don't remember what I wrote in the blurb exactly, but it was something along the lines of "funny and action-y and magical" and that's what this book is. Also, awesome and light-hearted and original. Also, MG, which is always good. You should read it. :)
Rashika (is tired)
***This mini-review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Actual Rating 3.5

The Luck Uglies was a fantabulous novel and while I absolutely adored it and probably even loved it, I cannot bring myself to give it more stars for the reason that at times, it was BORING. And the fact it was boring was not really the book’s fault. A weird thing to say, right? I’ll come back to this.

The Drowning Village is currently ruled by Earl Longchance, who quite simply put... is a douchebag. He has rules that m
Shanshad Whelan
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on my blog: Views from the Tesseract

I don’t often open reviews with the first line, but in this case, I think it’s my favorite first line of the year so far.

“Rye and her two friends had never intended to steal the banned book from the Angry Poet–they’d just hoped to read it.”

First lines are like the first bite of food in a meal. They give you an instant impression of what the book will be like, sound like and feel like. While a great
Amy Yingling
My Likes About This Book:

1.)It is full of magic with every turn of the page.

2.)The names of the people, places, and things fit them just perfectly with extraordinary whimsy.

3.)The awestruck feeling I got when I read the first Harry Potter book I got while reading this book. I want to be a Luck Ugly!

My Dislikes About This Book:

1.)That this story is fictional, lol!
Lou Anders
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since a book pulled me through itself as rapidly as Paul Durham's The Luck Uglies. Lately, I've been reading a lot of material because I felt that I ought to, or needed to know about it, or required it for research. I have been wanted to get to The Luck Uglies since I first spotted Petur Antonsson's wonderful cover, but as time wore on, I was worried that it wouldn't hold up. I needn't have. The book starts beautifully--with a rooftop chase--and it's all uphill from there!

The Grimm Reader

The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham.

I can't begin to say how much I loved this book! It was amazing, one of the best I've ever read.

I new I'd like this book the first time I saw it a couple of months ago. But I was not expecting it to be this good, and for me to like it as much as I did. It has a marvelous beginning, well written and nicely thought out. It was cute, quite funny, and I loved the illustrations for each chapter. It had a good plot, a can't say I didn't like a character, and I thought
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I picked up this book the other night for my son, the cover art looked just like something he would choose. He however is busy finishing a different book and I needed something to read so I began to read it...and finish less than 24 hours. Yes, the laundry was calling to me but it could wait; I had to know what Rye O'Chanter was up to next!

I love books that feel new but familiar all at the same time. I felt that way with Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Gregor the Overlander and now The Luck Ug
Leah Waters
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I tried to love it. But it's SO SLOW.

Ugh, I just couldn't take it anymore after 200 pages and DNFed. It had such potential. But even the action scenes were boring.

It's become so hard to find good MG fantasy. If you have recommendations, please help!
Mel (Daily Prophecy)

This charming middle grade is compared to Stefan Bachmann – The peculiar and I can see why. It has the same tone to it, with it’s mystery around the notorious group that is called ‘The luck Uglies.’ and the appearance of a dangerous beast. I think this book has a lot to offer to both adult as children.

Rye and her sister grow up with a couple of rules to keep them safe from monsters, even when they are brushed away as scary bed time stories and rumors. Unti
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
I loved it. There are gruesome goblins (not too scary) and awesome adventures to pull the reader along and develop the characters (whom I loved). The good characters are a little bad and the bad ones a bit good. The families are (almost all) solid and protective and reassuring (this may make it sound boring and it was NOT). Warm and fuzzy in some places and scary and exciting in others, in just the right combination. I can't wait for the next one.
I normally don't read tween books, but this one caught my attention on our libraries website. I requested this along with 3 others. I have to admit. I really enjoyed this. Great action to hold a young adults attention and leaving them wanting more. I don't know if I will follow up with the rest of the series, but this is a great start.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Received this early from the publishers and found it to be an original fantastical read . Loved the characters set in a world of dark secrets , strange creatures, danger and adventure. Suitable for young teens and anyone else who loves a good tale Looking forward to reading more :)
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bursting with adventure, charming fantasy elements, plucky characters, and irresistible wit, The Luck Uglies is a fantastically fun first book in Paul Durham’s debut middle-grade trilogy!

Eleven year old Rye O’Chanter doesn’t really believe in the nasty, man-eating Bog Noblins...until she has a terrifying encounter with one. Now, Village Drowning is in danger from these devilish beasts, and their only hope may lie in their biggest outlaws: the Luck Uglies. A band of rogue “criminals”, who saved t
WTF Are You Reading?
This book offers readers a very complex and capricious story line. It manages to couple just the right amounts of magic, whimsy, action, and suspense that great middle grade books need to both capture and cultivate the imaginations of younger audiences.

Rye is a girl who, is in and out of so many adventures, so much of the time, that it is very clear that she is not one to be confined by prescribed limits upon her gender.
In fact, she gets so much done in such a gung ho fashion, and proves to be s
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The Luck Uglies", is a fantasy for the child in all of us. Paul Durham's fantastical world has a great young female character, nasty villains, monsters, a little magic, an evil Earl and plenty of secrets and mysteries to discover. It's a perfectly splendid fantasy read.

My daughter, who is not even a fantasy fan, loved this book. Most of the characters are not mere stick figures, but fleshed out people. Durham also pulls the reader along as his young character must unravel the mystery of her her
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
The first book in a trilogy, this fantasy is dark and marvelously filled with monsters. Rye has grown up in the worst part of Village Drowning. Her mother owns a shop in the market section of town where Rye helps out. Together with her two best friends, Rye begins to piece together the story of her family and her father. It all has to do with the monstrous Bog Noblins, creatures that are considered extinct but that Rye is convinced have returned to the village. The problem is that the only peopl ...more
Another great fantasy series for middle grade readers, The Luck Uglies starts with a bang as Rye, the main character debates the risks of jumping from roof to roof only to be frightened into it by a moving gargoyle. Rye is an appealing main character with appropriate strengths and weaknesses. I especially appreciated how she's not an athlete, in fact she's a bit clumsy, especially on rooftops. Rye's strength is her determination to help those she cares about. But she makes her share of mistakes, ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great adventure tale, steeped in lore and legend. This was a bedtime read aloud for my 11-year old, and we both really enjoyed it. Here's what I liked about it:

**I love Rye, the smart and brave heroine of the story.

**I love the dynamic between her and Harmless. The moments between the two of them were some of the best in the book. The epilogue gave this book just the right ending.

**It was refreshing to see that many of the characters were not really all good or all bad. It was easy to
Kate Johnston
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Luck Uglies, by Paul Durham, is a fantasy adventure whipped up and served with charm, humor, and excitement.

Rye O’Chanter, an eleven-year-old girl, lives with her family in Drowning, a village ruled by the arrogant and cruel Earl Longchance. But Longchance isn’t the only threat to Drowning. Terrifying monsters known as Bog Noblins are a danger, too, and only The Luck Uglies, a secret society banished from the village, are capable of stopping them.

When a Bog Noblin called Leatherleaf ventures
Joseph Cognard
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it

I won this book in a Goodreads contest. I really
thought it was well written and I enjoyed reading. I originally entered the contest expecting my daughter the perfect age for the book would love it. For some reason, the title and cover though I think more the tittle bothered her. I am sure this would have pleased the Earl.

I really liked the main character, she was fun. Her family was also enjoyable and I really liked her interaction with Lottie.
There is quite a lot going on and multiple bad cre
Eden Bowditch
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are books we all hope to find that do more than simply tell a story. These books take us with them. They take us with them on the adventure and we feel like we know the world around us when we go. And these are rare treasures we keep and pass along. Author Paul Durham’s first MG/YA novel, The Luck Uglies, is one of those rare books.

An adventure and an introduction to Village Drowning and all its inhabitants, The Luck Uglies has a timeless feel, as if it might just as believably come from
Jill Sweeney-Bosa
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Much lies hidden in Village Drowning: history, identities, legends, secrets. When a brush with a dreaded, beastly foe turns 11 year old Rye O’Chanter’s world upside down, her search for answers catapults her from moonlit rooftops to the darkest of corners. Who can she trust? She soon learns that words and deeds are tricky things, indeed, that villains and heroes aren't always what they seem, and that help can come from some very surprising sources. She’ll need every ounce of wit and bravery she ...more
H.L. Stephens
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is by far one of the most delightful books I have ever read. The characters are charming, the story draws you in. The plot is well thought out and delivered in a manner that keeps the pages turning. I found myself reading into the wee hours of the night just to see what happens next. In the simplest terms, I loved this book. Yes, the main character is an eleven year old child but that does not limit this book to the realm of children's reading any more than Oliver Twist is limited to childr ...more
Barb Middleton
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This debut fantasy adventure has a strong heroine and plot that trots along before finding it's stride. The fantastical setting came across as a mix of British and Medieval times. The town is under the protection of an evil Earl with a corrupt Constable. A stone wall surrounds Village Drowning like a feudal city. Luck Uglies used to guard the village until the Earl banished them. Bog Noblins live in the nearby swamp and when they start to attack the townspeople, the Earl struggles with their siz ...more
Dorine White
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rye O'Chanter is a young girl living in the village of Drowning. She lives with her mom and little sister Lottie. On the night of the Black Moon, Rye does the unthinkable, she leaves her house to sneak off to her best friend's home, the Dead Fish Inn. While scuttling about she comes across a monster long thought to be extinct, a Bog Noblin. Frightened, Rye runs, and only the magic of the necklace her mother gave her saves her life. But, what can she do for the rest of the villagers? A long time ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Do you ever start a book and, after just a few pages, know how magical it’s going to be? THE LUCK UGLIES cast its spell on me early on, and I fell head over heels for the world, characters, and writing. The premise is insanely cool, mixing creepy creatures, nontraditional families, adventure, and secrets galore into an awesome package. Rye’s home, Village Drowning, comes to life as Rye and her friends navigate the mysteries behind it, and the story leaves plenty of hints of other unique towns an ...more
Enter into the village of Drowning, where Bog Nobles once lived. Or do they still? Eleven-year-old Rye lives there with her two good friends, her mother, and her toddler sister. Rye knows no fear and is determined to get to the bottom of the lore of her village, even though doing so is forbidden; in fact, girls are not even supposed to read. Stories of villains and beasts abound, but it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t. What are the raven-like gargoyles adorning the rooftops? Is the Ear ...more
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
Loved loved loved this fantasy set in a time reminiscent of feudal England. Rye and her family are poor subjects of a tyrannical Earl, there are creatures called Bog Noblins that terrorize the village, and others called Luck Uglies who have protected them in the past.

The action is wonderful and engaging. Writing is equally wonderful. And there are big ideas that kids should think about inserted throughout the story, e.g.
"it's easy to welcome something when you think it might benefit you" (even t
THE LUCK UGLIES by Paul Durham is one of the books you may have missed earlier in the year with the spring flood of new offerings. With the second book in this popular new middle-grade fantasy adventure trilogy coming out in March 2015, it’s time to catch up!

With elements of mystery, adventure, and monster thrills, tweens will quickly become absorbed in this fantasy world set in a medieval-style village. Both boys and girls alike will enjoy the intelligent writing and engaging characters. The sh
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Stven by: library
I've made quite an effort, but I can't sustain enough interest in this to keep reading, even though I'm less than 100 pages from the end. The writing style is pretty good, and the author has gone to a great deal of trouble to populate and decorate a lively olden village where magic and malice cross paths. Sometimes I think it's the pacing -- I wait and wait for something to happen. But then when something finally does happen, I don't seem to care.
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Paul Durham was raised in Massachusetts and attended college and law school in Boston. He now lives in New Hampshire with his wife, two daughters, and an enormous, bushy creature the local animal shelter identified as a cat. He writes in an abandoned chicken coop at the edge of a swamp and keeps a tiny porcelain frog in his pocket for good luck.

Other books in the series

The Luck Uglies (3 books)
  • Fork-Tongue Charmers (The Luck Uglies, #2)
  • Rise of the Ragged Clover (The Luck Uglies, #3)

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