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Duckling Ugly (Dark Fusion, #3)
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Duckling Ugly (Dark Fusion #3)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  715 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Cara DeFido, the ugliest girl in Flock�s Rest, is an outcast because of her looks. When it becomes too much for her to bear, she runs away to a place populated by the most gorgeous people Cara has ever seen. They offer her an elixir, and she returns home stunningly beautiful. But there�s a catch�her beauty is drawn from those around her. Over time her family, friends, and ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 2nd 2006 by Dutton Juvenile
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Neil (or bleed)
"They say when you cry for the dead, you're really crying for yourself, and maybe partly I was."

It's difficult for me to review a book from my all-time favorite author that was Neal Shusterman since I'm worried it will came out biased or something. Or the worse is, I won't give enough justice to convince someone that this is a good book.

Anyway, it is my review so Imma do what I want. Hahaha.

Duckling Ugly is the last book in the Dark Fusion series of Shusterman. It's a no-brainer where this boo
Michael Taylor
Well... Duckling Ugly... Not bad, not great, just somewhere in the middle for me. Of course, and I think, if you've been reading my reviews, you know I give the opinions of my students. So, this book started out great and when I talked about it to my students it got to the point where they pushed me to keep going - they didn't just want to know what happened, they NEEDED to know.

The book is about an incredibly unattractive girl, and I mean REALLY ugly - so ugly, she aint got no alibi. The story
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it
It's official: I have become a total Neal Shusterman addict. If he wrote it, then I need to read it. No one offers more intense, surprising mystery in his or her books than Neal Shusterman; he is a brilliant plot strategist who can maintain a rising level of suspense and storyline intrigue like few other writers of modern times, and it is always a treat to watch how his mind works in the construction of a masterful and psychologically stunning new novel.

As for ranking the three Dark Fusion ins
2017 Book Challenge. Book with a character with my first name
Amy Bailey
I was incredibly disappointed in this. I thought the story had so much potential and there were definitely things I would have changed. First of all, it seemed hastily written. Everything just happened too quickly and I didn't feel there was much resolution for anything. Although I commend him on trying to put a different spin on a classic story without it being too predictable or trite, I didn't like what he did with it. I thought the cruelty was over the top. Not even the nice people were will ...more
Allyson Tuggle
Duckling Ugly is about ‘an ugly duckling’ who ends up taking revenge.

She has a family and goes to school. She’s just regular girl… Well she would be but she’s the town monster. People are disgusted by her looks and treat her horribly. One day she receives a note and her life changes. For better? For worse?

This novel was a short and decent read. Like the other books in the Dark Fusion trilogy it’s disturbing and doesn’t end exactly happy. It was a great way to finish off the series though. This
Mar 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book very much mostly because I did not like the main character, Cara. I did not feel that she was very lovely on the inside so when she became lovely on the outside, she just used it to hurt others. I wanted her to learn her lesson about beauty before she had obtained it. I just thought it was a bit of a downer book.
Aug 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I personally loved this book, as with all other of Neal Shusterman's books. It kept me gripped and wanting more! I just wish it would have been longer!
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so much better than I was expecting. So many great ideas, really original twists in old stories, and the pacing was spot on for me.
Kaitlyn Wheat
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the novel Duckling Ugly by Neal Shusterman, the author is very descriptive when introducing new scenery, characters, and situations. The author created a main character named Cara, who is unbelievably ugly. I was expecting this novel to be very dull and non explanatory, but it was just the opposite. The author gave many real characteristics to Cara, giving very descriptive words when explaining her looks as well as her personality. The plot of the story is based on Cara, who is constantly tor ...more
Book Sp(l)ot
Cara De Fido is skilled at spelling words....and at breaking mirrors with her incredibly ugly looks. Seriously. She's so ugly that simply by looking in a mirror (of any kind) she can break it. No one lets her forget what she looks like either--not even her own mother.

Cara has been drawing the same place over and over again, though...and have strange sleepwalking episodes where she ends up in the same corner of her room. And then when she runs away after a particularly cruel encounter at a school
I have such mixed feelings about this. One one hand, I like the idea of twisting the traditional "ugly duckling" story into something so dark. Something about this, though, felt off to me. I assumed when I was reading it that it was written and/or set in the 90s. Not so! Why did I feel that way? Maybe because some of the high school scenes felt like they walked straight out of a teen soap on TV, or really, out of any book that describes high school. Perfect football star, his gorgeous-yet-mean-y ...more
Lucy (Talk Less, Smile More)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cara is ugly. Mirror-shatteringly ugly. Anything reflective breaks or clouds up if she looks at it. One day, she trades in all that ugliness for a beauty just as intense. Unsatisfied with her quiet life, she returns to those who made her life so miserable, determined to have her revenge.

This retelling of the Ugly Duckling is the best of the three Dark Fusions, although I liked Dread Locks' plot better. The original legend is never directly stated, but woven in subtly in a variety of different wa
Karen Ball
Love this Dark Fusion series of modernized fairy tales! Cara DeFido is ugly. Not just mildly ugly, but ugly enough that when she looks into a mirror, the glass shatters. Her talents are spelling and Chinese ink paintings, and those aren't enough to make her worthwhile in the eyes of the world. Cara is tortured daily by all of the people in her life, with stares, comments and vile abuse, until she meets Miss Leticia, and ancient almost blind woman who lives in the middle of the cemetery. Courage ...more
Aaron Vincent
It was a pretty cool read. Not as brilliant and stunning as Unwind but still worth the props. It was quite impressive how dynamic the main character(Cara),you will laugh with her and feel for her at the beginning but towards the end, you will start to hate her. I just find the ending of this book a little unsatisfying. I am now thinking that Neal Shusterman has a thing for open-ended stories. I don't know if its just me though, cause I kinda rushed reading the last parts because I am really exci ...more
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans
Shelves: young-adult
“How do you judge beauty?” We dance around this question in Duckling Ugly, as Neal Shusterman takes us on a psychological tour of the consummate teenage ugly duckling. We climb into Cara DeFido’s head as she competes in a spelling bee, navigates the school lunchroom, and endures sibling torture. Like many Shusterman books, there are elements of fantasy that lend Duckling Ugly a fairy tale flair. But instead of giving us beautiful fairy godmothers and princely ponies, he grounds that fairy tale i ...more
Cara is so ugly that mirrors would rather break then display her reflection. Cara hates being the ugly one and not even her own parents can deny how hideous she is. One day Cara receives a mysterious note that whispers of a dream – a chance to fulfill her destiny. When Cara is betrayed by Gerardo, the only boy who’d ever befriended her she sets off, not knowing where she’ll end up. She ends up in a lush green valley where even the ugliest of ducklings can become a swans, but sometimes being beau ...more
Cara has spent her life as the Flock’s Rest Monster. It’s not just her features that are unattractive; she has bad skin, bad hair, and no figure. The kids in high school torment her. Her only friend is a blind old lady who lives in a cemetery. One day she gets a card with no postmark and no return address with the message “Find your destiny.” When all the miserable things in her life come to a head at the homecoming dance, she drives off into the night and finds a perfect place where everyone is ...more
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
Actual Rating: 2.5

I am a Neal Shusterman Die-Hard Fan, yet I couldn't bring myself to truly like this book. Even though I didn't really like it, I can't rate it lower than three stars. This book has a message, which is nice and open, no deep thinking required.

There are worse things than being ugly. Much worse.

Why didn't I like it? Well, sure it's well written and well thought out, but I hate the main character. I had no symphathy for her. Cara was a bad character. I think the point was to show h
Susie Carson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Lynn
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This book is weird. I know that is not what I should say first considering the fact I am giving this book a high rating, but trying to come up with a word to describe this book is hard and all that keeps popping to mind is weird. I loved it though. It reminded me of a modern day fairytale set in the old-style way where it was not "Disney-fied" with pretty pictures and happy endings. This one had a moral and an actual objective hidden within a wonderful, descriptive, well-written story. I would r ...more
Dayna Smith
The third installment in the Dark Fusion series. Cara is ugly, no I mean can't-can't-look-in-a-mirror-without-it-cracking ugly. She has been tortured by everyone at her school and others in the town of Flock's Rest. Then she receives a note telling her to seek her destiny elsewhere. After a particularly brutal prom date, Cara sets out to find her destiny. Shusterman takes several legends and fairy tales and combines them to create a truly creepy story. Another great installment in this series.
Sandra Strange
This novel skillfully combines the legend of the fountain of youth with the fairy tale of the ugly duckling to tell a fantasy tale that most teenagers can relate to. Cara is so ugly that her face breaks mirrors, but she is lured into a fantastic green valley where people accept her for herself, where the ugliest of ducklings can transform into swans—but at what price? Positive, with a dark ending.

Mary Ann
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, tween, 2013
Mr. Shusterman has done it once more and tackled a hot topic issue, in view of so many using a myriad of ways to achieve eternal youth and beauty. It was difficult to see Cara make some of the choices she made, but one would have to actually 'walk a mile' in her shoes to be able to criticize and accuse with any authority. While I appreciated the way this was handled I'm not comfortable enough yet to seek out the other books in this series. Wonder what a shrink would say about that??
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good twist on a typical kids' story as well as an insightful look on inner and outer beauty. I loved how the characters were developed although I did think that the thing with the plant, though applicable and symbolic, was a little random. I'm starting to get used to these "trailing off..." endings.
Krista Horstmann
It is a twisted fairy tale. So, if you enjoy books that are a little twisted and unsettling, this one is for you. I just wasn't very happy at the end of the book, so that is why I only gave it two stars. It was well written and very descriptive. It was definitely not one of those books that you read and know everything before it happens. I was surprised a few times. Kinda depressing.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not nearly as good as Unwind which I read recently as well. I know this book is for the Young Adult market, but it reminded me of the Science Fiction I used to write in High School. Very "over the top" in terms of consequences for your actions. I guess if it has any positive impact on the pervasive bullying that goes on these days though, it would serve a purpose.
I used this book as a read aloud in class because they loved Full Tilt. This one was not so great. The plot got dragged out a bit and the ending was anything but fulfilling. It was just weird enough for the kids to be fascinated by the plot, but crossed the line with realism a few times. I don't think we will be reading this one again...

The world can forgive you for being stupid. It can forgive you for being blind, for being deaf; it can even forgive you for being bad. This world doesn’t forgive ugliness, though.

Que libro interesante la verdad.
Lo mas irónico fue que su nombre completo era Cara Linda DeFido y era tan tan fea que--literalmente--los espejos se rompian.
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more
More about Neal Shusterman...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Fusion (3 books)
  • Dread Locks (Dark Fusion, #1)
  • Red Rider's Hood (Dark Fusion, #2)

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