Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Every Ugly Word

Rate this book
#1 Amazon Bestseller: Books for Teens (Oct 2015)

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

257 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 30, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Aimee L. Salter

5 books148 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
799 (33%)
4 stars
894 (37%)
3 stars
522 (22%)
2 stars
116 (4%)
1 star
32 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 423 reviews
Profile Image for Aimee Salter.
Author 5 books148 followers
Read
January 10, 2019
As the author I don't think I can objectively review my own book. Instead, I'll tell you what drove me to write it:

Bullying, for me, started mildly in the seventh grade, became a bit of a problem in eighth grade, and got completely out of control in high school.

Remembering those years is kind of a slide-show of "I hate you" and expletives, gleeful finger pointing, and internal stress. I used to live in this constant state of preparedness -- waiting to see who might suddenly show up and have something hurtful to say. It isn't healthy, and it had a very detrimental affect on my mind and emotions, well into my twenties.

So, when I wrote a protagonist as the center of a story, it was just natural for me to include bullying as a part of her daily life.

Although Ashley's story isn't "mine" (this book is not autobiographical), I wanted to give young readers who might be experiencing similar pressures a sense that I remembered how it felt. I wanted anyone who read it who'd felt rejected or put-upon by their peers, to feel that they were connecting with me as the author. That we understood something about each other. And, if possible, I wanted to offer some insight. Some hope.

Conversely, when writing Matt, although I hoped readers would understand Ashley's connection to him, I never intended for him to be her "hero". In fact, I hoped they'd see his flaws and see him for who he really is: A young guy with problems of his own.

I love to read romantic novels and maybe one day I'll write one. But for now, I want to be a voice that speaks to the realities of young love and relationships -- how often we see in others what we want to see, rather than what is truly there.

Matt isn't a bad guy -- in fact, deep down he's very well-intended. But he's a "real" guy. He has problems, and usually his problems outweigh his ability to be noble, or unselfish.

There's no doubt, Ashley's story isn't light reading. This book isn't an escape. But I hope it resonates for those who maybe feel socially isolated, or romantically rejected.

And for anyone who reads this who might be experiencing similar problems, I would say this:

I get it. I remember what it feels like to have all the negative messages completely overwhelm the positive ones. I remember how it feels when people don't understand or tell you "Just ignore it" -- and how impossible that is.

I remember the moments when I was alone and those words and sneers just looped through my head, convincing me that I was the problem.

And that's the real problem here.

If you're being bullied, you're starting to believe what they say about you. Don't. They are wrong. They have no right to treat you this way. But they're doing it anyway.

I can't tell you it will stop tomorrow, or that your dreams will suddenly come true. But I can tell you that healing is out there. That you have a place in this world. And that these people are downright wrong about you.

Start talking -- to teachers, to parents, sport coaches, older siblings, aunts, whoever. Find someone who "gets it" and can support you. Because we all need love. We all need to know that we're loveable. And you are. You just aren't having the chance to find your place.

And trust me, your place exists. You aren't alone. I promise. Keep going. Keep talking until you find someone who can help.

If no one close to you seems capable of that, then talk to someone like these people. They understand. And they'll give you a place to be safe:

IN THE USA: TeenLine (Teens helping Teens)

Phone: (800) 852 8336
Text: 839863 (5:30-9:30pm PST)
Online: http://teenlineonline.org/


IN THE UK: Childline (for teens)

Phone: 0800 1111
Online: http://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Hom...
or
https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can...


IN AUSTRALIA: KidsHelp

Phone: 1800 55 1800
Online: http://www.kidshelp.com.au/teens/your...


IN NEW ZEALAND: Youth Line

Phone: 0800 376 633
Text: 234
Email: talk@youthline.co.nz
Online: http://www.youthline.co.nz/

IN GERMANY:

online: http://www.nummergegenkummer.de



*** If you know similar contacts in other countries, please message them to me and I will add them here.***

I hope Ashley's story can help you believe that what is happening isn't your fault -- that you aren't so deeply flawed, or socially "out there" that you don't have a place in this world.

Keep going. It might not get better tomorrow, but it will get better.

- Aimee
Profile Image for Paula M.
546 reviews643 followers
August 4, 2019
YOU CAN ALSO READ MY REVIEW HERE.

WHERE DO I EVEN START?! First of all, I want to give thanks to the ladies over Mark My Words PR for the ARC, you guys rock! And of course, to the author herself, Aimee, for writing such a masterpiece! Her latest book gets nothing from me but admiration!

Let's put these photos here for a second:

Instagram3   Instagram4

Instagram6

 

***Photos not mine. See more HERE .***

I started reading Every Ugly Word without any clue of what’s it about (not unusual for me). And yes, I personally think that the first chapter was so gripping enough that I have to sit and finish it on one sitting.  When I started the second chapter though where it was then revealed that our protagonist, Ashley, is on therapy session. Her therapist is making her re-hash everything that happened until that ‘incident’ (which is the reason why she’s doing therapy in the first place) It’s a past/present narration. It was in a situation where Ashley is just having a back flash. And let me tell you, the narration is impressive! It’s compelling and as soon as you’re on track, it will not let you go. You will find yourself hanging on every word that Ashley is going to say.

You see, Ashley was bullied. And her honest and open voice as a protagonist is what's literally breaking me inside every time she tells a scene from her past. There are no tears, it just aches inside. Because I know that all that kind of stuff happens in real life and it’s painful to think that someone out there is being bullied and no one is being there for her/him. Just like Ashley. I’ve never wanted to hug a fictional character so bad. There’s also a lot of rage inside me. These people, these cruel and ruthless people, I  can’t believe that they exist in this world. But we’re all being real here, right? We all know that in this world, people like them exist.

Though Ashley thinks she’s alone and isolated, she’s neglecting the one true person that cares for her, Matt. I’m not going to say  that I’m a fan of this friendship. Because first of all, it’s one of the many reasons that Ashley is the way she is. And Matt has flaws too. I love how the author made a guy that is authentic. Yes, he’s swoony and Ashley is totally in love with him, but he’s... not perfect. He can be a douche. He still cares about his rep. And he’s stupid. See? A normal high school boy.

But the most interesting part here is that Ashley talks to herself. OKAY. So we all talk to our self. But Ashley actually sees her Older self. In the mirror. And they’re having normal conversations. It’s a fascinating thought to think about. Imagine your older self giving your present self advices, and talk you out about stuff that you should not do. Pretty cool if you ask me. But Ashley and her Older Self have a complicated situation. First, it shouldn’t be known by anyone and second, Ashley is convinced that her Older Self is keeping something from her. Which I tell you, dear readers, is right. So I’m going to stop here because this is the part where I got mind blogged (is that even a word?)

ANYWAY, I really don’t know what I... felt. It’s just, I got mind blown. SERIOUSLY.

whoawow

Yeah, I’m sorry, only a gif can explain it. It’s such a plausible and incredible concept and I don’t know, maybe I’m stupid for not figuring it out, but I was really astonished. It was a total WHOAH moment.

Every Ugly Word has a powerful grip on me. I felt everything Ashley has been through. Aimee Salter made a moving novel with a set of bona fide and memorable characters. It’s haunting, provocative and touching. I highly recommend it!

 



Note: Hey! Do you know that Alloy Entertainment and Amazon Publishing announced a digital-first imprint that will focus on young adult, new adult and commercial fiction. The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized, targeted marketing reach. Every Ugly Word is one of the THREE books that was published on July 29th. Visit Aimee's blog here when she announced it. And if you wanna read more of this, read this article from New York Times  HERE .

You can stalk Aimee here because she's awesome: TWITTER | WEBSITE | FACEBOOKAnd check out her moving essay HERE .

 
Remember, #Stopthehate



 
Profile Image for enqi ༄ؘ 。˚ ⋆♡.
321 reviews584 followers
July 18, 2018
Every Ugly Word is a book that left me with a myriad of thoughts and feelings, and until now I’m still finding them very hard to put into words. I’m really not certain what I should feel about this book, but it is definitely a well-written debut and I did enjoy reading it.

There is no doubt that this book is a page-turner. At the very beginning of the book we are introduced to a gripping premise and there’s also a ticking time bomb that adds a sense of suspense to the story. Ashley is telling her shrink the long story of how she even had to see him in the first place. Framing devices are sometimes confusing to me, but this one worked pretty well, and also served to remind the reader of that constantly ticking time clock. Also, the writing wasn’t overly lyrical or flowery, but solid and well polished, and the transitions between Ashley’s recount and the present-day are smooth and seamless.

There is also no doubting how raw and emotional this piece of writing is. Ashley is cruelly and relentlessly bullied at school, and the bullies do all kinds of terrible things to her. It’s very clear that they’ll pull out all the stops to bring her as much pain and humiliation as possible, and it’s very hard to watch Ashley’s ridicule and suffering. (Bullying is a personal trigger for me, as it’s happened to me before, and I’ve always had low self-esteem and insecurity issues which just made it worse. I know how it feels when you believe every word they say about you, when you start to see less and less worth in yourself, when you truly think that every stinging comment thrown at you is true. It’s not. You are beautiful, and you are wanted, and you are loved.)

Aimee Salter’s story stands out in one way: Ashley sees an older version of herself in the mirror, and her older self can talk to her. But this is also the downfall of the book. This space-time continuum concept, while interesting, made for a very confusing ending. It’s the main reason why I didn’t really enjoy this book. Besides, Ashley spends half the book wilfully ignoring the advice her older self gives her. I’m pretty sure if I was talking to someone who’d been through the exact same things I did and was trying to warn me from the wrong paths, the last thing I’d do is ignore her. And the big reveal at the end was just utterly confusing. I spent a lot of time trying to understand what had happened in the end, and I still didn’t get the parallels, if there were meant to be any. It was like the perspective of the book suddenly changed without any warning to the reader and it really threw me off.

But Aimee Salter does write good, believable characters. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and backstab each other for their own personal gain and I love it. Her characters are vibrant and alive. That being said, Ashley didn’t really appeal to me as a heroine. She wasn’t any less real, I just thought that there would be some character development, some character arc or turning point where Ashley stood up to the people tormenting her, found some creative way of retaliation, or maybe even did something about it - transferred schools maybe, or approaching someone. But she didn’t. She just sat back and took it and I did feel for her so much, but ultimately I felt she was lacking.

I’ve seen so many rave reviews about Every Ugly Word, so I guess I’m one of the minority in saying that I thought this book was purely average for me. It didn’t start out like that, though - my boyfriend picked a random book off my tbr and it just happened to be this, and I remember when I was reading the initial chapters I was entirely hooked. The flaws I’ve pointed out could be subjective and many other readers might not see them as issues. Nevertheless, if you’ve ever been bullied, stepped on, or treated like a doormat, you must read this book. It is relatable and will resound with your soul and break your heart.
Profile Image for Yulitza Moncada.
38 reviews93 followers
September 21, 2016
Every Ugly Word es un libro magnifico, con un final tan perfecto que cuando lo terminas sientes esa sensación de querer llorar porque te sentiste tan identificada con muchas cosas que le pasaron al personaje principal, este libro no es la clásica historia de una chica que sufre "BULLYING", NO esto es diferente, fresco, es raro pero ese raro bueno, y que te deja con tantas preguntas, cuestionándote tantas cosas que quieres hacer o que has hecho, en fin este libro es de esos que llegan a ti y tu no quieres leer porque alguna cosa se te hizo "aburrida" pero que luego le das una oportunidad y mira, te deja con la boca abierta y pensando muchas cosas de tu vida.
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,927 reviews216 followers
January 31, 2018
Everyone deals with a bully: whether you were the one bullying or being bullied.

Every Ugly Word definitely deals with the bully situation head on.

It makes you feel so freaking badly for Ashley, who is the MC. Now I wasn't bullied in school nor was I the bully - so I really don't really know how I would feel in this type of situation. However, whenever I read about bullying in a book or watch in a show/movie - I'm definitely so sad. Like full on ugly crying sad. I hate bullying. If I saw it happening I would definitely shut that shit down.

Besides feeling bad for Ashley with any kind of situation she was in (school or family), the book does get a bit boring. At one point I felt like I was skimming through parts without really looking at the words and at other parts I was so freaking enamored that I couldn't wait to turn the page.

This book definitely was a toss up for me and I feel like my review doesn't really even make sense? I have no idea and I feel liked I should apologize for writing something super crappy. My mind feels all scrambled right now and I can't function.

Overall, I liked the book. I guess I just wanted or expected more from it.
Profile Image for LPJ.
572 reviews30 followers
November 20, 2013
I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this book, most of which are difficult to put into words. Let's start with the good: this was a page turner. The premise is interesting, plus there's a ticking time clock in play that gives you a driving need to keep going and find out just what exactly is going on here and how it will play out in the end.

The framing device: Stacy telling her shrink the long, sad story of how she ended up talking to the shrink in the first place works. I don't often like framing devices or the interruptions they keep adding, but this one served to build tension and remind us of that ticking time clock. The writing is also quite good. Not distracting and overly lyrical, but solid and polished.

However, at no point did I really like Stacy. This is a hard one because I did feel for her. She is a seventeen year old who is bullied horribly at school. Prank calls & texts, kids tripping her in the halls and overall making her life a living hell. It was pretty extreme and truly horrible, so I sympathized with her. But the thing about heroines is at some point they should be heroic. I kept waiting for that turning point that would be the match that lit a fire under Stacy's ass so that she would do something different. Become stronger, come up with some creative way to retaliate or at least just get out of dodge, transfer schools, make some new friends at other schools, get a job or something to get her away from her horrid life and allow her to shine. But she just keeps her head down, ignores it all, keeps pushing through - which is its own kind of strength, I guess, but it wasn't enough for me.

Her "best friend" Mark was kind of a tool. But then again, teenage boys are all kind of tools. Still, it was very hard for me to like him too given his obliviousness about what his friends were doing to his "best friend." Stacy accepts everything without really fighting back, which is not what I want out of a heroine.

Her long held secret, that an older version of herself visits her in the mirror to dole out cryptic advice, keeps the story fresh. But Stacy spends so much time willfully ignoring Older Her. If I was given advice by an older version of myself, how stupid would I be to not take it? Or to think I could keep something secret without her having gone through it years before? Older Stacy isn't very specific, worried about telling Young Stacy too much and blowing a hole in the space-time continuum or some such wibbledy wobbledy timey wimey thing, and Young Stacy, being the quintessential teenager who makes horrible decisions, is bratty about not being told every single detail that she wants to know, and goes into situations time and time again that Older Stacy warns her against. *head desk*

The redeeming aspect is that Salter has created some very vibrant and realistic teen characters with their chips on their shoulders, their arrogance, their cruelty, self loathing, fragile hopes and so much more. I always believed Stacy's actions even if I kind of hated her for them. She made me uncomfortable and sad, but she was very much alive.

The other pretty big issue I had with this is the reveal - when we learn what Older Stacy has really been trying to accomplish this whole time. The problem? It doesn't make a lick of sense.

In the end, Stacy says that she'll "never be the star of my own story." I'm not sure what to make of that. I'd just spent the past several hours thinking I was reading about her being the star of her own story. But I have to agree. If the point of this to make a non-hero hero then I guess Salter has succeeded. Stacy is a character who is decidedly unheroic. The courage she eventually displays is mostly out of desperation, not out of true character growth. I didn't understand how the events of the novel inspired her to love herself or believe herself lovable.

Still, I think this is a strong debut -- maybe it was just a little too real and not escapist enough for me. I'm attracted to characters who inspire me, characters who push through their circumstances gaining grace and courage and end up doing remarkable things. Though I didn't feel like Stacy was that kind of character, it was a good journey and I'd check out more from this author.
Profile Image for Booknut 101.
849 reviews918 followers
October 29, 2014
**Check out the original review over on 21st Century Once Upon A Times**

'My physical scars aren't the reason I'm here. He can't fix those. But he can help me by letting me out.

(...) He will let me out today. He must. If I can get home in time, I can fix...everything.
'

What if you gazed into the mirror...and someone else was staring back at you.

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson looks in the mirror, she sees her twenty-three-year-old self.

Older Ashley lives on the other side of the mirror. She's Ashley's lone confidant...the only person who knows the truth behind the lies that make up Ashley's life.

Always enduring. Always alone.

With bullies for classmates and a callous mother, Ashley escapes through her art. Pictures come to life on the page - haunting images that speak volumes about the ugliness Ashley endures day to day.

However, her art doesn't only reflect the bad. It reflects the longing, too. In particular, her longing for her best friend Matt to finally fall in love with her. To see her, as she truly is.

But as the bullying reaches new levels, will Matt stand by Ashley's side? Will she find the courage to confide in him - not only about the bullies her hurt her, but about her biggest secret...Older Ashley?

'She knew. She knew this was coming and she didn't tell me.'

Older Ashley has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, too, and survived the heartbreak. Yet, little by little, Ashley begins to question Older Ashley's advice and her true motives.

What isn't Older Ashley telling her?

As events tumble out of control, Ashley may be forced to confront her biggest fear: that neither Ashley has the answers. And that she's going to have to face whatever is coming alone.

You can't go back. You can't wish it away.

A rollercoaster filled with unforeseeable twists and turns, Every Ugly Word is a raw, emotional tale that will have you hanging on to every perfectly written word.

Exploring what it means to be broken, and what it means to be truly brave, Aimee L. Salter provides readers with a story and characters that will live in your heart long after the final page.


My thoughts on the book :

I cried bucket-loads.

For those who know me well, this will not come as a surprise! I'm the kind of person who only needs to be given the slightest incentive in order to start bawling - whether I'm re-watching Tuck Everlasting, or I'm flicking through family photo albums.

And Every Ugly Word gives you hundreds of reasons to tear up. From the beautifully conveyed emotions, to the heartbreaking character of Ashley. Poor Ashley - I just wanted to hug her so bad! She goes through situations no person should have to go through.

And yet, she shows such strength.

True, it's not your typical 'strength'. But it's a quieter type of bravery. One that is perfectly described in the book itself:

"What makes a decision brave, Doc?"

(...) "I suppose I would define someone - or a decision they made - as brave when they choose a path that could have either serious gains or extreme consequences. When they're choosing that path not out of recklessness, but out of hope. For something better
."


The true stand out feature of this book are the concepts.

Everything about this book's concepts intrigued me. Especially the use of 'Older Me' (Older Ashley) and the mirror.

It added an edge to the story - moments where you questioned the main protagonist, where you questioned the reality that was being told to you.

Apart from the 'edge' it added, the mirror and Older Ashley caused me to tear up the most. Because it spoke to me on so many levels to read about this lost, hurting girl who found solace in her reflection. In an older, wiser version of her whom she believes will give her the answers she needs, and the love no one else can give her.

It reminded of the lyrics to Justin Timberlake's Mirror (to listen to Madilyn Bailey's cover version of this song that I listened to whilst typing up this review, see here!)

'Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm lookin' right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you, baby, it was easy
Comin' back here to you once I figured it out
You were right here all along...
'


This book deserves more than five stars.

Words don't really give it justice. I could type and type about its merits but there's no way I could convey to you all how amazing this book is. It's unique - a book that you walk away from changed, with a different perspective on life. A book that touches you.

I highly recommend picking up a copy today. I want to give a big thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book - and to Aimee L. Salter for writing it! :)
Profile Image for Kalla [A Bookish Nerd].
244 reviews26 followers
October 4, 2014
If you've been bullied to the point where you thought life didn't matter anymore, this book is going to break your heart.

I was bullied up until I transferred to a different high school. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was in a very dark place. I wanted to just give up for good. Every cruel word that someone said to me made me hate myself even more, and I wanted to die. Truly. Every Ugly Word brought back those memories. The feelings were so raw, so real, that I sobbed through most of this book. It was like reliving it all over again.

I don't know how to go about reviewing this book. Frankly, this is a book that will linger in my mind for the rest of my life. It made an impact on me. Still, I know that I need to write out my thoughts on this. Every Ugly Word deserves this review.

The book follows Ashley, a junior in high school, as she gets tormented by relentless bullies. Her only confidant? Her best friend, Matt, whom she happens to be madly in love with. And although Matt thinks he knows everything about Ashley, he doesn't. Because she has a secret. When Ashley looks in the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self. And the Older Ashley has been through it all. She knows what event in Younger Ashley's life that will change everything forever. And Older Ashley doesn't know if Younger Ashley is strong enough to survive it.

I know this sounds a little odd. An Ashley from the future? That can only be seen when the younger Ashley looks in the mirror?! How stupid. It might sound really weird, but I'll be honest... it works amazingly well in this book. In fact, it's one of the parts that I loved the best. I can't say much about this because it will give away a spoiler, but I can say that if you read this book, pay attention to the beginning.

The majority of this book is about bullying. The romance and friendship takes second place. Ashley spends this book being ridiculed, undermined, assaulted, bashed, accused, and hated. It's not easy to read. This book will make you want to scream, cry, and puke. The bullies put out all the stops when it comes to Ashley. Their purpose is to make Ashley's life a living hell, and they'll do anything and everything they can to do it.

The only people that Ashley thinks she can count on is Matt and Older Ashley. Even though Ashley is supposedly Matt's best friend, he hangs around/is friends with Ashley's tormentors. I really, truly hated him. Not only is he the worst friend in the world, but he is spineless. Matt doesn't stick up for Ashley. Instead, he goes out of his way, although "unintentionally", to make Ashley's life worse by making her "get along" with her bullies. Why would he do that? Because he's good friends with all of them and doesn't understand why Ashley can't get along with them. Because he's a jerk. But, as the story goes along, Matt isn't the perfect guy that he seems to be at the beginning of the book. In my opinion, I think he's a bully as well. He might not have been physically or verbally abusive like the others, but he was very mentally abusive. Ashley was a toy for him to play with.

Although Matt is a total douche, Older Ashley from their future truly cares for present-day Ashley. They had a very dynamic relationship. There were fights. There were tears. Things were left unsaid that shouldn't have been, but they were. The relationship had it's rocky parts, but through everything Older Ashley cared deeply. I saw them more as sisters than as the same person from different time periods. I really liked the relationship between the two. Although they're the same person, they have different personalities. The younger Ashley is depressed, confused, lost. The older Ashley is more wiser, more attentive, more fearful. It's a great contrast.

As for Ashley herself, she reminds me of myself at that age. Ashley's trying her hardest to stay strong despite everything that is happening to her. She's trying to keep her chin up. But every time she does, the bullies just tear her down even more. Ashley's a very sad character. Her entire life has revolved around being the "unpopular" girl. The "slut". I don't care what anyone says, but when you're bullied, eventually it's going to get to you. It might not get to you at first. It might take months. But it will get under your skin. And after that? It's going to stay. It's going to build up. It's going to add thick layers of self-loathing and depression. You're going to be broken down. Salter symbolized what bullying can do to a person through Ashley. I congratulate her on getting down to the real, dark places that people can go when they don't want to live anymore. Through Ashley, she told my story. Some of the events are different in this book than in my life, but Ashley's feelings were mine.

This book is stunning. It will break your heart. It made my stomach hurt as I recalled my past experiences, and made me cry at how cruel people can be to others. But this book needs to be read. Bullying needs to be brought into the light. It needs to be stopped. I really hope everyone will read this book. Truly.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for J. Kahele.
Author 13 books439 followers
March 13, 2016
Wow!

I have read many stories about bullying but never have I read one with such intensity as this one was. It was almost like a self portrait of a person and the emotions she endured during her high school years. So real, gripping and raw that I found myself screaming, crying and wanting so badly to help this poor girl.

The writing was unbelievable. Ashley's character was written so that you could feel and see everything she went through. If ever a book I would recommend it would be this one. A gripping tale of the horrors someone different can experience, in the times when she should have been loving life.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews584 followers
November 23, 2014
This was an okay read, but i did feel bored at points.

I felt really sorry for Ashley. I was bullied all through school as well, so i know how bad she felt. Having a mother with an attitude like hers did would make the situation ten times worse though.

There were times where i felt bored, and thought the book would never end, but it kept my interest just enough for me to want to carry on reading, so i could find out how it all ended.

Overall, Okay read.
Profile Image for ♥☆SℓιM☆♥.
1,361 reviews94 followers
September 26, 2016
Getting bully sucks, and people don't realize what they put someone through. individuals who bully someone have no life and be asking for attention. just to make people laugh. I will never be a fan of bullying. Your family friends people from school bullies you no matter where they're coming from it's a shame how some people can be.
Profile Image for  Nayeli ✨.
111 reviews110 followers
February 24, 2019
"...no es lo que te pasa en tu vida lo que te destruye. Es lo que haces al respecto."

No sé cómo describir todo lo que sentí leyendo esta historia.
Podría describirla como una historia hermosa, cruel y desgarradora de esas que te dejan los sentimientos a flor de piel. Me gustó cómo la autora trató el tema principal del libro, simplemente...genial.
Definitivamente leeré algo más de ella.
Profile Image for Brooklyn.
33 reviews
June 29, 2015
"When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop."


I liked this book. I really did. It was the details that earned this book such a low rating from me. I won't apologize, but I will explain why I gave it two stars. Bear with me here. When I picked out this book, I was really excited. It seemed like it would be a page-turner (and it was) and it seemed like it would be yet another amazing novel about the hardships of bullying and what the victim has to endure (and again, it was). Ashley made a mistake when she was younger that caused events that affected her throughout the rest of her life. It's a mistake anyone could have made, really. Who hasn't told a little lie in order to jump up the social hierarchy? My problem isn't any of this. That part was fantastic. I think that what I had a hard time with was a) the whole mirror thing (don't worry, I will get into that) and b) the fact that some of the situations seemed just so over dramatic and could have been a little less worse had Ashley reacted like a normal human being.

Okay, so problem A. The mirror. A first I thought it was really cool. Who doesn't want to be able to talk their future self and get warned of all the crap that's going to come your way (the whole 'you'll look crazy talking to a mirror' thing aside)? But as I kept reading, a few things started to bother me. First off was the fact that Older Ashley said that when she'd been younger, she'd had an Older Ashley too. What? Did Ashley just live in some sort of time loop where every time her life went terribly wrong, her Older Self would appear in the mirror to help her out? Oh, my god. I'm getting a headache just thinking about this. Or are there multiple Ashleys living out their life again and again in a constant loop (hello, time loop, my old friend) so that there CAN be an Older Ashley?



How about the book saying that Older Ashley was a couple years (going by the fact that she was in a college dorm and all that) older than Younger Ashley but then making it sound like she'd been out into therapy right after her incident, which would make her only a couple months older? And if she wasn't put in therapy right away, why was she put in YEARS after the whole thing? Because she's talking to herself? But the doctor was interested in her incident. Not as much the talking to self thing.

Oh my god, I cannot take this. I'm sorry, I can't even get through this in order to talk about the other things I disliked and liked about the book. There are just too many holes in this. The bullying part was good, it was realistic and showed emotional trauma. But I can't focus on that at all. This book would have been much better off being written in a different way. I really don't want to even think about it because the whole time-space loop hole unexplained supposed time travel thing is getting to me. I'm changing my two stars to a one star. I really hate books involving time travel.
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,286 reviews1,246 followers
September 17, 2015
Sometimes a YA novel comes along that has a depth to it, a meaning, a message. This is one of those novels. Every Ugly Word tackles the issue of high school bullying, and pulls no punches in holding back on how it's done. A heart breaking read that's written well. A story that you so want to have a happy ending too.

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can't go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can't make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

This unusual book has moments where when 17 year old Ashley looks in any mirror she sees an older, more mature version of herself, and they can talk to each other. The book opens with Ashley in a mental hospital with a Therapist who encourages her to tell her story of what happened to her, from here the book rolls out, it flits between conversations with the therapist, the telling of her high school journey and relationships and the conversations with her "older Ashley" who is trying to help her make better choices for her life.

The bullying that Ashley is subjected to is RELENTLESS, from both male and female teenagers that both verbally and emotionally throw rocks at this young woman at every single chance they get. They want her to just roll over and die and not afraid to say it. It's hard hitting and makes no apologies, it's brutal and honest. And it happens. The author notes that the emotions written into the novel stem from her own time being bullied back in high school, kudos for that. Imparting that pain and those memories into Ashley's character worked really well. I was too, badly bullied for every year of high school so found it very powerful and emotive to read.

Ashley adores her best friend Matt, but when Matt starts dating one of the popular girls that bullies her, the relationship dynamics change. Ashley is invited (because of Matt) into parties and the world of these awful teens, but knows being there is going to be nothing but pain for her, she loves Matt so much she puts herself into hellish situations.

Ashely is a talented artist, and her emotions and feelings are often expressed in her art, encouragement from her art teacher has Ashley dream of a scholarship to art college after school and the book interweaves her art with her heart (yes that rhymes) throughout this book. Her expression outlet.

There is YA relationship angst and of course the ever popular love triangle, but this book is not fluffy romance and stolen moments, it's heart breaking, gritty and realistic. There are some really ugly moments in this book when I just wanted to reach out to Ashley and comfort her. She goes through hell.

Whilst all this plays out, older Ashley is speaking to her through the mirror and the therapist is trying to draw out her deepest feelings and have her challenge her beliefs. It's not clear until the end of the book the entire purpose for this part of the story, you just have to roll with it until the book exposes it's purpose with it.

Not an easy book to read, but well written, capturing the truth and hardness of high school bulling and where it leads to, the damage it can do. With a cast of characters that you will love to hate, Aimee L. Slater has portrayed the bullies in this book exceptionally well.

I enjoyed this book despite it's difficult message and content, a YA book that adults can read, an intelligent book talking about important matters using fiction as the messenger. What happens to Ashley? Does she heed her older self with warnings and advice? Do the bullies get the best of her in the end? I encourage you to read it yourself and see.

I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive).
2,360 reviews50 followers
January 19, 2015
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

There were two things I was looking forward to in this book. No, make that three as I'd read some very positive reviews as well. One, the complete story is set as a conversation between Ashley and her psychiatrist (a setting I find incredibly interesting as it is exactly the kind of thing I've been planning to use for my own story - the one that has been in my head for a couple of years now and doesn't really feel like coming out). Besides, it has a Möbius-strip time paradox, which I always find fascinating. For both things however, it's important it's done right, for it can make or brake the story.

For that was my reason to read the book, it's not the main subject. Ashley is being bullied in the most terrible way, and even though it's clearly visible (even for teachers or the like) nothing gets done about it. Her mother is, to say the least, unsupportive, blaming Ashley for the awkward feeling she has when hanging out with the parents of the kids that bully Ashley. O, how I wanted to slap her in the face. Things get even worse when Matt, her best friend and secret crush, befriends her torturers making her feel even more abandoned. And all the while, Ashley's talking to her older self in the mirror, who's say she's trying to save her from the same fate but isn't willing to give her enough information to do so.

It was a real pageturner. I was really curious to find out what the terrible thing that happened (and that they refer to right at the beginning, she's not seeing a shrink for nothing of course) was, especially since I also believed that it was the thing that Older Ashley was trying to save Ashley from. When I was reading I was always thinking: this is the last chapter, than I'll go to sleep. But I kept thinking it for the next 6 chapters or so. The setting working very well and made it very hard for me to put the book away.

I was wondering about the mirror paradox though. Ashley's conversations with her older self I'm willing to buy without as much as a second time. Nothing weird about that. But at first it's suggested that she's some several years older that Ashley's now. While near the end, it feels like



This however did not spoil the story for me. I wanted to say I enjoyed reading it a lot, but that feels wrong with a subject this serious like bullying. The story was very interesting though and the setting and (although not perfect) the paradox didn't let me down. I would definitely read another book by this author.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,261 reviews214 followers
June 1, 2017
Ashley meets with her psychiatrist, hoping to be released from the hospital after six months. To prove she's ready, she must recount the incident which lead to her breakdown. When looking in mirrors or glass sees her 23 year old self, whom she calls Older Me. Older Me gives cryptic advice. Delusion or something more?

Bullying is at the heart of Ashley's troubles. Her overcritical mother, who the psychiatrist calls Ashley's first bully, seemed to groom Ashley for the bullying. She lost all her friends in eight grade, after telling a hurtful, harmful lie. She never really owns up to the lie and becomes the target of bullying. Bullying is never right, although Ashley has a way of kicking the proverbial hornets nest, the complaining fir being stung. The bullies always respond more viscously than her mere irksome behavior. I liked how people pointed out Ashley's part contributing but not causing in the bullying. Bullies choose their targets for a reason, they like reactions and poking with sarcasm or showing up when she's not wanted just added fuel to the fire,

I think Aimee Salter wants readers to believe Older Me is real, rather than a hallucination, but the time line feels confusing. I could see why Ashley would have auditory and visual hallucinations, Older Me as a manifestation of what she knows in her head, but not her heart.

I hated the love interests, who used Ashley at their convenience, and never bought into Matt as a good guy.

Unless Ashley's family dripped money, there's no way she would have been hospitalized for 6 months, unless committed to a state hospital. Discharge wouldn't be decided on the day of leaving based on a day long interview with a psychiatrist who appears to have no other patients (and who's never heard of HIPAA and violates it repeatedly).

EVERY UGLY WORD is an okay book on bullying but doesn't scratch the surface for mental illness.
Profile Image for Teri Beth.
453 reviews116 followers
November 4, 2014
ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Every Ugly Word is a really good book. It didn’t leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy like I usually prefer, but it’s a compelling and intriguing story that kept me glued to the pages. As someone who has never dealt with bullying, Every Ugly Word showed me just how cruel people can be. Ashley is a very real character, she has faults and flaws, she doesn’t always make the best decisions, but she’s just trying to survive. My heart broke for Ashley and all she had to endure from her classmates and her mother. Every Ugly Word alternates between Ashley talking to a psychiatrist about the events from high school and the actual events she was describing taking place. The mystery behind a certain event kept me turning the pages late into the night. This book has a paranormal twist; Ashley sees an older version of herself in the mirror. I liked the idea behind this, I just feel like I was missing information about it. I’ve learned sometimes you just have to go with a concept whether it makes sense or not and this is one of those cases. And I went with it for pretty much the whole book, it was one of the end scenes that really threw me and made me question so much about this mirror thing but I was left kind of clueless. Outside of that, Every Ugly Word is a well-written story with realistically flawed characters and a captivating plot.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,534 reviews156 followers
February 12, 2016
"That says everything about them and nothing about you."

Man, that is one of the hardest lessons, isn't it? That what people say about you - when they gossip or talk crap - shows SO much more about them than you. But that's hard to know in highschool - it's hard to know as an adult.

This is a tough book to read - touch because it's ugly and cruel. The bullying and bad parenting is painful to read through. But the message is good and the story was interesting enough that I kept reading.

and I always give an extra star to every author that leaves help line (info) at the end of a tough novel. It's important to gives young adults a way to reach out for help.
Profile Image for Claire (Book Blog Bird).
1,050 reviews38 followers
December 27, 2016
4.5 stars
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

So this was a really unusual book. In my experience, books tend to either be about issues (e.g. bullying) or about supernatural stuff (e.g. communicating with your future self), but rarely about the two.

In Every Ugly Word, the author has managed to pull together two stories - one about her protagonist Ashley undergoing some pretty horrific bullying by literally everyone at her school (and for the most bizarre, non-reason, which I’ll come to later) and at the same time being able to converse with future (five years in the future) self and actually it works really well. I read this book in about a day and a half and found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it.

One of the things I liked most was the mystery aspect. Ashley’s older self knows what Ashley is going through and knows what is coming up next, but she’s frustratingly opaque and sparing with actual, solid advice. It was intensely annoying at times, but managed to hold my interest.

Ashley herself was a really likeable character. Despite being bullied every single day, she still manages to stick up for herself and have hopes and aspirations for the future. The evil bullies never completely manage to crush her spirit. Her friend Matt, on the other hand, could do one. I got that he was going through stuff of his own, but he was really blinkered and naive about the torment Ashley was going through.

This book shows bullying in a very positive light. Not positive as in bullying=good, obviously, but as in you can be bullied and not let them break you. You can be bullied but still have hopes and dreams for the future and even though it seems impossible, this too shall pass. It doesn’t, however, trivialise the effects of bullying.

The actual reason for the bullying (in eighth grade Ashley herself started a false rumour that she had slept with a friend of hers and this triggered off a spiral of slut-shaming) was a bit unbelievable, especially as she’d been popular prior to this incident, but I guess bullying can spring from anywhere, so who am I to judge?

All in all this was a really interesting, unique book. Totally recommended.
Profile Image for ReadAlongWithSue .
2,634 reviews170 followers
February 11, 2015


What a well thought out good riveting book.

I loved the layout where Ashley Watson is talking to her Consultant/Psych doctor yet she is telling her story, then it breaks back to the consultation. As questions are asked of her, she then relates more of her terrible experiences.

Ashley is teased, bullied, got at and so undeserving of it all.

There has been odd times in a book that I have read where I feel like shouting out loud. I HATE bullies, its one of my pet hates and I would take any bully on. Hate what they do. I have never been bullied at schooled, I have had grown people try to bully me but I am a strong character, bullies bring out the sarcastic retorts in me and I can give as good as I get, well, I did when younger than I am now, but that was in my hay day. Bullying people is just NOT on the agenda for me, I would name and shame, so......
you can imagine my feelings and frustration when reading this about Ashley.

When your Mother seemed to bully her to unwittingly about her "attractiveness" I just wanted to shut her up! I really felt for Ashley, she seemed to get bad comments everywhere she went including in her own home.


Matt is her best friend, problem.....
she is in love with him.

She was brave enough to put pen to paper and want to divulge this information to him, however, she has a 'second grown self' that tells her this may or may not be a good idea.

It could spoil the friendship.

Matt gets involved with a girl who Ashley doesn't like one little bit, she's part of the gang that bullies her and picks on her, but for the sake of Matt she bites her tongue.

There is lots surrounding this relationship between that girl and Matt and Ashley knows something that he doesn't know.

We go back to the doctor who weaves more questions to Ashley to draw her out and get to the bottom of all sorts of things.

I wasn't sure when Ashley moved how she came to be hurt and her stitches were painful when she moved in the chair sometimes. I had to wait for that to be developed and revealed by the author.

Its really strange that Ashley, when she looks into the mirror she sees herself at 23 years old, she can actually have conversations with her.
I found that side enthralling as it came across very believably real.

I loved how Ashley was a very talented artist, she was able to portray a lot of her emotions and feelings this way. Her art teacher picked up on this right away.

Ashley goes through a living nightmare and I just wanted to reach out and protect her from all the nastiness.

The books ending will have you gasping. It will leave you with a lot of feelings too one way or another.

My hat goes off to this author for writing a wonderful YA book that a 55 year old woman enjoyed.


I would like to thank Alloy Entertainment via Net Galley allowing me to access this freely for review
Profile Image for Juletta Gilge.
887 reviews24 followers
July 23, 2017
**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**



This book was that powerful. If any of you go and view the books I have read and rated, you will realize how difficult it is to get a full five stars. This book gets six stars. For those of you who have been bullied, the main character is someone you will be able to identify with. For those of you who are introverts or shy or have anxiety, you can identify with this book. Aimee Salter has created a masterpiece that (for me at least) rivals the works of many novels of the same category.

So the plot line is that 17 y.o. Ashley Watson is a victim of bullying, where everyday is a struggle to keep herself going, to keep the hate away. But she sees in the mirror her 23 y.o. self. Older Ashley tries to help younger Ashley get through each day, so that when she grows up, things will be better. Ashley's best friend, Matt is always there for her, until he isn't. Matt is a loveable character, but I still wanted to strangle him. Matt thinks that things in Ashley's life are better than they actually are, because she can't bear to tell him the truth. When an old flame from Ashley's past comes back into her life, Matt realizes just how much she means to him.

This book was an emotional rollercoaster, but was well worth the read. I was left sobbing over my kindle when I finally finished it. I recommend this book for everyone, especially those who are looking for a book they feel they can identify with. If you have never been on the receiving end of bullying, this was a pretty accurate portrayal of what people go through. I was very happy with the ending, and have told everyone about this book, but wow, way to kick my heart in and leave me to pick up the pieces.



Go to Bookaholic Raves for the full review.
Profile Image for Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨.
138 reviews259 followers
April 18, 2015
Bullying- the worst form of crime- it inflicts lesser physical pain, or the victims care less about the outward injuries..or are forced to overlook the physical pain by their broken inner selves..broken into smithereens.. damaged beyond redemption. It kills every ounce of self-respect and self-esteem that the victims have in them and slowly they descend into a living hell.

A gut-wrenching story of a certain Ashley which seemed too real to be brushed off as fiction- expect for the future-self part, which convinced me otherwise. Her courage, her ingenious way of seeking calm and wisdom by looking at her older self in the mirror, battling her inner demons to finally emerge victorious in her steadfast resolution to sidestep her bullies and using their gibes to fuel her passion for living a life amidst those people who taunt her...it held me totally riveted.

For once, I wish I went back to my school days, came across a real life bully like Caryn and Finn and punched him/her smack in the middle of his/her face, if that would bring hopes into the lives of countless hapless victims of bullying around the world, although I was lucky enough to never having to confront a bully in all the years I was at school and college.

There were, of course, a few plot holes, like what happened to the older Matt, what if Ashley's feelings for Matt went unrequited(that's most likely to happen in reality) and if the rehab facility/doc is only a figment of Ashley's imagination if her older self could squeeze into the mirror to save her.. Whether the author wanted to keep the story clearly under the tag 'fiction' or if she meant to infuse a figurative sense into the whole story is beyond me.

But, this I am sure of- it is going to be the holy grail for sufferers to hold on to and it didn't fail to tug at my heart strings.. That's why I think this book deserves no less than five stars!
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,670 reviews1,269 followers
August 9, 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Mark My Words Book Publicity and NetGalley.)
17-year-old Ashley is stuck in an institution talking to a psychiatrist.
What happened to lead Ashley to the institution? Is she really crazy? And where does she go from here?


This was an interesting story, but it was difficult to know what was real and what wasn’t.

Ashley was an interesting character, and I felt so sorry for her and the bullying she had to put up with. I too know what bullying is like and it is not nice, and I totally understood why Ashley found her life so unliveable at times.

The storyline in this was quite interesting, the story alternated between Ashley and a psychiatrist, and the events that Ashley was describing. I found the mystery over what had happened quite compelling, and I wanted to know what had gone on so badly!
The bullying in this was truly awful and reminded me of why I am so glad to be finished with school. The treatment that Ashley received from people who were supposed to be her friends was disgusting, and I hated what they did to her so much. The fact that she had to go through this was just shocking, and to have no-one to turn to was even worse.

There was a touch of romance in this one, but it wasn’t too much. I did have issues about how the romance would develop though, as it seemed to be quite a difficult position that Ashley was forced into.

The ending to this was a little confusing, and I’m still not 100% sure what exactly happened. I was pleased that Ashley finally got some relief though, and seemed to finally be getting something worthwhile out of her life.
Overall; interesting story about bullying,
6.5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Jules .
372 reviews103 followers
November 30, 2014
I've been bullied before so let's just say that this book is relatable to me and I may had some bad times with the Ash, but I love how the author portrayed the whole story :)

--------------------

MY OPINION

Every Ugly Word. I just consumed every moment in this book. And I remembered those times that I myself experienced bullying, but I never thought that it could get worse than that.

I had to admit that when I started reading this book it was hard to appreciate what it meant at the time. I was stuck in a point where I didn't understand why Ashley was so much of a people pleaser then and why she did something that is obviously (at least to me) so annoying and hate worthy. But in the end I understood.

This book talks about bullying and how much it hurts because it breaks the heart and trust. When you're being bullied, you take everything to consideration, you don't just accept favors and good deeds because of what's happened to you. Seeing Ashley annoyed me at first, but by the middle of the book I was bone deep with sympathy with her. I understood the position she was in. How she felt about herself and those around her. Why she could see her Older Self through the mirror. Aaaack.

I can't say the specific details why I loved this book because it would take out the reason why you would love it. haha, but what I do know is that this book reminded me that my bullied past is behind me and that no matter what other people think of you, there's really only one thing important and that is how you love and respect yourself. Kuddos to you Ms Aimee for writing such a beautiful novel. I hope to read more of these in the future. These are the kinds of books that needs to be read more.

:)
Profile Image for Dai.
652 reviews43 followers
March 11, 2017
Si en algún momento dejo de chillar como loca puede que escriba una reseña T_T

A la tercera es la vencida... ¿O fue la segunda?

No es que yo sea dramática o algo así pero, las tres veces que he leido este libro he terminado llorando por horas. Esta bien, si soy dramática. pero también está que la historia de Ashley me llega mucho (no pregunten, jamás he sido víctima de Bullying) y pues... soy débil.

Ashley es un personaje que me gustó. No, no, no me gustó. Yo LA AMÉ. Algunas veces se sintió un poco derrotista pero en general la chica es mucho más fuerte y más valiente de lo que se deja ver al principio. Lograr sobrevivir a todo lo que le pasa no es algo fácil, y ella lo hizo aun cuando tomo el mundo parecía estar en su contra.

Matt no me gustó tanto, en realidad lo odié a muerte y ni siquiera sus acciones del final fueron suficiente para hacer que cambiara mi opinión de él. Aunque puede que le diera uno que otro punto positivo porque el desgraciado me hizo llorar XD y aún así lo odio.

Me gustó la forma en la que la autora usó una mezcla entre la realidad y la fantasía para demostrar la cruda realidad que se esconde detrás del bullying y sus víctimas. Aimee es una genio por conseguir sacarme tantos sentimientos con unas pocas páginas, si es que ya estaba llorando en el primer capítulo, luego estaba enojada, feliz, frustrada, de nuevo enojada y al final llorando como loca.

Ayyy es que fue perfección pura. Bueno, puede que no tuviera el final que yo deseaba pero, ¿Cuándo en la vida los libros lo tienen? Aun así el libro es perfecto y que no se diga más.

Todavía te odio Matt. SIEMPRE TE ODIARÉ.
February 2, 2021
ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review
I feel like pieces of me have been chewed up and spat out. I knew this book was going to tackle some heavy topics but I didn’t expect to get so sucked in or have my own emotions so rattled. The heroine Ashley is ruthlessly bullied by her peers and even her own mother. At times it was hard to fathom anyone being treated in such a fashion and not snapping or losing control. Even Matt the heroines so called best friend left much to be desired. As for the romance side of things, personally I think Ashley could have done much better. If she finally valued herself I hoped she would hold herself at a higher standard and demand more from her ‘partner.’ Then again many times during the book I yelled so loud in my head I’m surprised my kindle didn’t glitch. Ashley ruthlessly tried so hard to forget, to continue to live her life and no matter what everyone in her life made it impossibly hard. I wanted to throttle her for so often giving in and putting herself in situations even her “other self” knew would cause trouble. But again I have to admire her bravery in doing so. In spite of it all she went through, I never really got the sense she wanted to end her life. End the pain, yes. End the misery, absolutely but she still had hopes and dreams for the future, imaginings of a life away from high-school and putting her past behind her. Whether I think her alternate future self was legit or not, I think it clearly worked for her as her own form of therapy. Having the book told from Ashley’s POV as she’s obviously locked in a psych ward made such a startling setting and vibe for the story. Throughout she lets loose the demons of her past all while simultaneously still dealing with years of torment. This book is certainly a harsh and real look into teenage bullying and the damage it can cause, at the same time it made for a achingly beautiful read.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Mathis.
469 reviews53 followers
January 22, 2016
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.


Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: gut-churning, goosebump-inducing story; powerful and emotional scenes; characters you love, loathe, and loathe to love (yes, I said it this was for a reason); a haunting and unexpected plot twist


Wow. WOW. I just...I can't quite wrap my head around what I finished reading about a minute ago! I will be thinking about this story, and the effect it's had on me, for a long time to come. I'm sure this will be added to both my favorite reads AND my recommendations shelf. Just... WOW.

Let me try to get my head on a little straighter here. I picked this up relatively cheap from amazon for my Kindle; the blurb intrigued me, and I've been drawn more to contemporary than to other reads lately, and I just... Going in, I was pretty sure there was more to the story than what the “back of the book” (or, in this instance, the top of the goodreads page) led me to believe.

I wasn't far from wrong about that...but I also wasn't RIGHT about it, either. Because somewhere in the middle of this book (or maybe even before I went into it?) I started doubting the character and her clarity. I found myself wondering if, maybe, she wasn't quite the reliable narrator she was being depicted as. I found myself doubting HER...and that was a big, big mistake—because that's exactly what the point of this book was about.

There is a fine line between writing from the perspective of someone who dealt with the abuse and bullying of their peers for years on end...and writing it WELL. Aimee L. Salter took this—the emotional damage, the way such cruel words haunt and taunt, the pain and destruction living in such hostile environments for so long cause—and molded it into a heartbreaking, breath-stealing story about finding your way despite the obstacles. About finding...and OWNING...yourself.

The characters are realistic, endearing, and practically leap off the page at you as you read. You'll find, early on, there are characters you absolutely cannot stand (even BEFORE you realize what the story's about), characters you love or relate to...and characters you WANT to love, but loathe, because their actions are all tangled into a mess you can't overlook or forgive them for.

The story is powerful, woven so beautifully. The climax is intricate, each small fracture (like glass, people!) crackling together into a crescendo I never saw coming. When I reached that page, I literally sat here for a few moments just drinking it all in, because... Well, I'll be honest here: I've NEVER seen anything like it done in literature before. It was a literary thing I loved immediately, for being so unique. I had goosebumps. Thinking about it now, I'm getting them all over again.

The writing is gorgeous, as well—easy to follow, with only a few slight grammatical errors/missing words (it happens, though; we're all human here). The character growth(s) are astounding and complex, clashing and embracing in ways you'll kick yourself for not seeing before. And the moral... Goodness, the moral of this story is one I think we can ALL get behind.

I highly recommend this read, and have to admit to being a little more than a little disappointed about how few people seem to talk about this book. I found it purely by accident browsing amazon one day... I want that “accident” to become an “on purpose” for more people in the future! This book is definitely worth it; you won't know what hit you!

--cross-posted to tumblr and wordpress--
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,048 reviews908 followers
April 7, 2016
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

This is one of those books where you just want to throttle some of the characters for their sinister and sadistic ways. Since I didn't read the synopsis, I didn't know this was about bullying. Even though there was a little paranormal twist what with her seeing the older her in the mirror, it's one of those stories where you can't believe this actually happens in real life.

These bullies are one of the worst I have ever read in a book and I pretty much hated them all. All the betrayal and blackmail that Ashley goes through is a little hard to read. They're sinister and almost down right sadistic. I couldn't help but feel so empathetic for Ashley and what she was going through. She didn't really have anyone to turn to except her older self. Even her best friend Matt seems like a douche sometimes. I never really trusted him at all.

Ashley goes through the most painful high school experiences. One of her experiences was prom and just because a girl says yes, doesn't mean you put out. The guy expects to get sex just because he brings her and woos her on a date. UNBELIEVABLE.

"You want me to apologize for finding you attractive?"

The biggest bully is her mom..Sadly this is what shapes Ashley's entire life. This is why she can't defend herself because her own mom pushes her and pushes her and doesn't care at all. I was pretty horrified the entire time.

One of the biggest takeaways from this book is that it can get better, and the incident that is promised from the beginning is there in full form at the end. I thought it would be this massive huge twist, but unfortunately it was part of the magic of the mirror. I didn't really understand that part, but I was hoping there'd be more.

RATING 3/5

QUOTES

"I think as soon as anyone gets close to the truth, you flee."

"Their cruelty says a lot more about them than it does about you."

"The only thing you can control is you. "

"You just have to. If you push through this, you'll show them. You'll show them you didn't deserve this."

"What a surprise that you are more about what they than what really happened."

"You didn't deserve that on any level. He used his superior strength and social status to threaten you. I have no mount that your reaction after the fact was actually shock. For a young man to do that to a young woman simply because he can? I am sickened by it."

"Sometimes people aren't as good as they look. Just because you want to believe they care doesn't mean they actually do."

"You can't control how other people hurt you. But you can control how you hurt."

"I suppose I would define someone—or a decision they made—as brave when they choose a path that could have either serious gains or extreme consequences. When they're choosing that path not out of recklessness, but out of hope. For something better."

"You'd be so pretty if you just lost a little weight."

"Are you seriously telling me to use sex to keep a guy interested?"

"Better to make the right choice than to hate yourself the next day."

"A coward, just like the rest of them. The kind of person who makes the easy choice rather than the right one. The kind who knows that what's he's doing is hurting someone but does it anyway."

"Do you have any idea how it feels to have people look you in the face and tell you they wish you were dead, and mean it?"

"People don't like drama. And you make drama all the time."

"Our parents mold us, whether they mean to or not. Your mother convinced you that you were inadequate, that you lacked the necessary value."

"If you give up on yourself, they'll ride right over you and it will never let you go."

"It isn't what happens to you in your life that destroys you. It's what you do about it."
Profile Image for Megan  (thebookishtwins).
523 reviews171 followers
February 12, 2016
I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley

'It isn't what happens to you in your life that destroys you. It's what you do about it.'

Ashley Watson has spent most of her high school life being bullied. She spends the week walking the school halls where she is constantly shoved and taunted and bullied. Her relationship with her mum is strained. Her best friend doesn't see her the way she wants him to. She can also see her future self when she looks in the mirror. Her future self has done it all before, and she knows what Ashley is about to go through.

Every Ugly Word is a thought provoking and powerful novel about how bullying affects a person, both mentally and physically. I really did struggle to put this book down when I finally managed to read it. There were some aspects of this book which left me wondering whether it was real or not, and I think that actually increased my enjoyment of the book. I am assuming that there is a paranormal aspect to this book, as a few people have shelved it as that, which was unusual for the book, yet I think it worked really well.

Every Ugly Word really impacted me. It feels so real and it had so much depth to the story. It makes you really think how anyone would even want to make an individual feel worthless, and put all that effort into making someone's life a living hell. Every Ugly Word really is a fantastically written novel which leaves you breathless and hurt, but proud at watching Ashley overcome what she went through and realise that she is worth something. She is better than them. That was really great. Character development was spot on.

The romance takes the back seat in Every Ugly Word, which I am forever grateful for because Ashley needed to learn her own worth, not who she was with Matt. The bullying is the focus of the story, and its impact on Ashley.

Matt is... well, he is a typical guy. He dated the girl who hurt Ashley, the girl who has been her tormentor, and he doesn't really care. He tries to force them to get along, but it just doesn't work and he seems blind to the issues. Not a very good friend to me, but his character development is decent because he eventually learn that Ashley is his true friend, and not all the bullies. While he is a flawed and realistic character, I am still really conflicted about his relationship with Ashley, and I just can't make my mind up as to whether I like them together or not.

Ashley is a fantastic character. She is so raw and real and perfectly written. She is everything you want in a character. She is strong, but vulnerable. She is passionate, but she doesn't know who she is yet. She has been conditioned to think she is worthless, but she comes out the other side scarred, but knowing she is important. She is a truly inspiring character.

Overall, a fantastic, heart wrenching read that I would recommend in a heartbeat.
Profile Image for Reading is my Escape.
830 reviews45 followers
July 3, 2017
What would you do to save yourself?  

People do what they want. They love who they love. No one else can change that.
The only thing you can control is you.
- Chapter 5
 
That was the last straw. I breathed too hard, then I broke. All the pieces inside snapped apart and fell away, tinkling to the floor of my life and leaving a yawning hole where my heart should have been.
- Chapter 28
 
It might not get better tomorrow, but it will get better.
- Author's note
 

This book is heartbreaking, and yet hopeful. Teenage main character Ashley is in love with her best friend Matt, but he thinks of her as just a friend. He is popular at school and Ashley is constantly teased and bullied. In the first chapter, we find Ashley speaking to her psychiatrist and hoping to be released from the institution she resides in. He is asking her to recount the events leading up to "the incident" which resulted in her stay at the institution. We find out that Ashley sees an older version of herself in the mirror. Older Ashley gives her advice and tries to help her change her life. Older Ashley wants Ashley to have a better life than she does. But, she leaves out details in the hopes of protecting her younger self.
 
That might seem a bit confusing, but the book is not. We see Ashely's attempts to be strong and we worry about what will happen to her. Ashley's mother is almost as bad, if not worse than the kids at school. Her mom treats her as if she is the one doing something wrong. If she could just be more normal, then she wouldn't get bullied or if she could just fly under the radar and not do things to aggravate the other kids. Seriously?? Bullying is never the fault of the victim. Ashley's mother should have been her protector, not someone who makes her feel worse.
 
I liked this book. I felt bad for Ashley, and yet hopeful that she would find the strength to survive, despite everything and everyone who hurt her. At the end of the book, the author talks about how bullying is a form of torture and that she was a victim herself for many years. She talks about how she wants readers to know that they deserve help and gives them phone numbers and websites to use for help.
 
I read this for the Electric Company space, author's first and last name contain all the letters in "Tesla"
It has 282 pages and is worth $6.00
 
Displaying 1 - 30 of 423 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.