Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ugly Duckling (The Ugly Duckling, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Ugly Duckling (The Ugly Duckling, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ugly Duckling

(The Ugly Duckling #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  566 ratings  ·  63 reviews
What would you do to get your happily ever after?

Libby Saunders, who spent the first seventeen years of her life as an ugly duckling, bleaches her hair and drops forty pounds in order to get her fairytale ending. Once she evolves into a beautiful swan, the handsome princes are tripping each other’s royal steeds in order to get a date with her. But while the princes in
Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published July 8th 2016 by Rose Bud Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ugly Duckling, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ugly Duckling

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  566 ratings  ·  63 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ugly Duckling (The Ugly Duckling, #1)
Fat women are not attractive.
Women with frizzy hair are not attractive.
Men in wheelchairs are embarrassing and not attractive.

And then this:

I can't guess her weight, but if you had a spectrum where a starving Somalian kid was at one end and one of those morbidly obese guys who needs medical assistance to roll over in bed was at the other, Martha would be in the middle, or just barely on the side of the morbidly obese guy.

WOW. I mean offensive or WHAT!!! Let's all have a good long laugh at
J. Saman
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by this author, but I'm in for more. This book was not your typical romance. This story and these characters felt so real to me that I found myself thinking about them after I put my kindle down. If a book can do that for me then I know it's good.
Let me start with Libby. I had mixed feelings about this girl from the start. Smart, funny, sweet but with one of the lowest self-esteems ever. Some of her decisions were hard to read. I wanted to shake her and yell at her and
Anna Marie
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought this was a Costa book that I hadn't read before, because the version of I have of it was called 'The Best Friend'. But when Jude appeared, it all came back to me. It was the same book that I have, but different.

Wondering if she'd made it better, I read it again. She did *NOT* make it better - she ruined it by turning the heroine into a brain-dead, superficial Millennial, peppering the text with 'super' this and 'super' that, changing out taxis for ubers, and cheapening the relationship
Evelyn Grabas
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was listed as a romantic comedy - I found nothing comedic about it. Pathetic would be a closer word.
First, Libby couldn't be more self-absorbed if she tried. Her whole world is lose weight, dye your hair, spend exorbitant amounts of money (that she can little afford) on clothes, all to make herself into something she was not and attract men. This did not work well, as the men she attracted were only interested in one-night stands with the substance-empty void she had created and
Jun 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
There was a vestige of a good story here, enough to keep me reading till the halfway mark, but then I had to quit. The heroine was dumb. Like, really, unforgivably, inexplicably dumb. The bad taste in men driven by massive insecurity, I could grit my teeth and get through. The combination of low self-esteem and narcissism that had her staying with a guy who treats her like crap for no other reason than he's hot and fits her ideal image of this "fairytale story" she thinks she's entitled to - OK, ...more
Tassa DeSalada
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult
I love to read Annabelle Costa's books! They're well written, and endearing, and I know I'm going on a great trip. The delightful dialogue, and Annabelle Costa's silky smooth writing style, beautifully develop this sweet story. This book is a must-read story because it's heart-warming, insightful, and eye-opening. It's humbling, adventurous, emotional, and dramatic. Most of all, it's a delightfully human story.

AJ's book-reMarks
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dating what a ritual!

First time reading Annabelle Costa, thanks to Whitney Dineen. The storyline isn't original but the way it's told is worth the time to read it. Libby is a hot mess that most woman can identify or relate to. Think this would be great story for any young woman who doubts her self worth to read, gives a different perspective on how you see yourself vs how the rest of the world you. Just remember there is sex in the story!
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paralysis-sci, humor
This book was recommended to me by a friend and it was a very enjoyable (and funny) read. I needed a distraction from some arduous work and it worked. Thanks Ms. Costa!
I liked the characters.
The heroine is silly, a bit dumb, insecure. But she’s kind, even if in devious ways. She’s also selfish and spends too much time inside her head.
The hero is too generous. I’m asking myself now if Annabelle Costa’s heroes goodness and kindness are a way of compensating for their disabilities.
I liked the
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful hero

The hero in this book, Will, is at the top of my list of book boyfriends. He is super good looking, so kind, so giving , so sensitive...just totally adores the heroine. Libby, heroine, REALLY disappointed in places, especially near the end. I give Will 5+ stars and Libby 3 stars so that averaged to 4 stars. This is a good read that shows that a person with a disability should never be treated as less than...that a real man treats a woman with respect....that on the end love
Sep 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
Probably the worst book I have read this year. If you want to a story where everyone is awful (except the guy in the wheelchair) this is your book.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
It was a good story. Libby's a bit shallow but not in a dimwitted way. I didn't care much for Jude but Will was a surprisingly good character. This is the first book I've read that was written by this author and I think I'll look into reading her other stories. When all is said and done The Ugly Duckling is a nice time filler.
Molly Mirren
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another sweet romance by one of my favorite authors. The characterization is brilliant, and the H and h really came alive off the pages. Loved the growth of the heroine's character. Yes, she was a bit dense at times, but I think that made the payoff better in the end. When she finally came to her senses, it was much more enjoyable and cheer-worthy.

Looking forward to this author's next work!
Jun 07, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (6/7/2018)! ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read and re-read this book. Easily my favorite Annabelle Costa. The heroine is 29 year-old Libby, who has some complexes after being somewhat of an ugly duckling in high school. She loses some weight, gets rid of her glasses and braces, and becomes a little obsessed with her appearance. In walks Jude. Jude is a lawyer that Libby meets in a bar. He is objectively attractive (and knows it). He is also a player/womanizer, but Libby turns a blind-eye to his behaviors because she is a little ...more
T.M. Raskin
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book will relate to all girls one way or another. A playful look at one girl's adventures from high school to adulthood from her, not so observant, viewpoint. Libby seems to take her life with a grain of salt except when it comes to relationships. With all the wit of "Bridget Jones's Diary" Libby stumbles through life acutely aware of her shortcomings and oblivious to her attributes. The author shares a similar sense of humor as I, so I enjoyed catching myself finishing Libby's thoughts ...more
Libby - Heroine
Will - Hero
Jude - Hero's roommate

This did not work for me early on. I just think the heroines that the author writes do not appeal to me. It is 100% me.

The heroine goes to a bar with her friend. Someone buys her a drink. She thinks it is this guy, Jude, but it was Will. Anyway, she finds Will attractive because he has a British accent and other stuff. She thinks Will is attractive too, but Will is in a wheelchair. Anyway, she goes home with Jude, has sex with him that night. She
In my opinion, this is the best book by Costa to date.

Having said that, Libby bugged the bejeezus out of me. She was horribly immature and while I get that high school often sucks (it sure did for me), twelve years on you'd think she'd have figured some things out.

Will was a great beta hero. Just flat out great hero. What i found a little disconcerting was that both he and the hero/antihero from Me Before You were named Will and had high-powered jobs (at least for Will in MBY prior to his
J. Giresi
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book!

This story can touch on the struggles of any single woman navigating through the dangerous waters of being single. Definitely related to the character and loved the way the characters were written.
Brittney Cain
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Heroine is Abysmal

This author has an interesting knack for waiting until you're about 80-90% done with the book and then the characters finally get together. It works in some of her books but this one was particularly painful with how insufferable the heroine in this story is.
Diane Call
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Rating: R for language, maybe sexual references
Sex: talked about, but not described
Language: 8 F words, multiple Lord's name in vain
Violence: don't remember any
HEA or Cliffhanger: HEA
Do I need to read books before this one: no
Would I read more of the series: no

Libby is a woman desperate for male attention. She's given up career dreams to enjoy a social life she didn't get in high school. She's superficial, selfish, stupid. She thinks looks are everything, and it takes her a long time to
Garfield Whyte
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that the title kind of gives it away, I guess like some movie titles, you start and could almost guess 70 percent that it’s what you expect it to be. For both men and women, being single can be a Herculaneum task and in many ways Libby struggles but not in the sense that she doesn’t consider relations just that her main issue is that she sees herself as an ugly duckling growing up and then kind of flourish later to be satisfied with herself not being ugly based on her ...more
Sue Moore
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Almost Five Stars

Ok, this book is seriously entertaining from beginning to end, and would have given five stars but for the following:
1. As a person who is a bit OVER a size 16, I find a person going bezerk over the gain of a few pounds a bit obsessive, especially considering SHE IS STILL A SIZE 10 AFTER THE GAIN.
To me that is more than a bit shallow.
2. I seriously object to the use of profanity relating to God. This is one great story and does not need such to make it more humorous or
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.K. Smith
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Ugly Duckling by Annabelle Costa is a timeless story with a twist. In this world our self-perception is powerful. It can be close to reality but we all see ourselves different than others. Sometimes, it can take a while to see the truth about yourself based on past experiences. The character in The Ugly Duckling has an incomplete perspective of herself and even others. It is interesting and believable.

I applaud the author for the voice of the main character Libby. At times, I understood her
Shhhh...I’m reading
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This wasn’t my favorite Costa book ~ but still great. Her forte is giving readers realistically flawed characters without fabricated/OTT drama.

The biggest thing keeping this in the 4 star range was that Libby seemed to take an inordinately long amount of time figuring out her issues for someone her age and it really felt like Will put up with way more than he should have in his pursuit of her.

Not really effecting the rating, but if this author is going to claim the characters are gamers and
Petal Reynard
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Annabelle Costa Does it Again!

I love Anna's books. The stories are well constructed and heart-warming, and there's always a HEA.

The humour in her books is most engaging, and the sex scenes are mildly erotic. The stories go more around relationships than couplings, and for my taste I would prefer to see quite a lot more heat to go with the sweetness. Nobody ever mentions how the couple handles the wet patch, and there's a good opportunity for humour in that, because it's something we all have to
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved It!

I tend to fall for the characters in books, relating to each in some ways and loving them for their quirks. This book definitely fits the bill...pun intended, lol. It's a sweet love story, but what I love most is that it's about falling in love with friendship and *yourself* before falling in love with your happily ever after. Realizing that our perceptions aren't the same as other's and that what makes us happy in reality often turns out much different than we imagine. The life lessons
Calamity Bliss
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Quite a sweet romance.

I found the main character very frustrating, as the signs of which person she should be with and the path she should take to happiness weren't exactly subtle. She was also very shallow.

However I very much appreciated how the author approached the character in a wheelchair, and didn't gloss over day to day life in the chair and how it might affect him and his close friends.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute love story! I enjoyed this book very much for its authenticity. I don’t know a single woman that doesn’t have some kind of insecurity and this book showed how it can mess your life up if you dwell on it. I adored Will. Jude of course was a self involved jerk. Then there’s Libby...I liked her ok but at times she was off putting. Not real sure how to explain it. However I was pleased with the ending ...more
Courtney Davis
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good story

I really liked this story, at first I wasn’t so sure because of Libby and her shallowness, but the more
I read the more I fell in love with the story. And I’ve never read a story where one of the main characters is paralyzed. I loved reading this side of a love story.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Best Friends & Other Liars
  • Just Friends (The Agency #1)
  • The Karma Book Club: A Romantic Comedy (The Club, #2)
  • Mr. Love
  • The 8 Mistakes of Amy Maxwell
  • Appearances
  • Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace
  • The Marriage Pledge (Veils and Vows, #5)
  • Million Dollar Question
  • Love Pixies
  • Then She Danced (Islander Romance Book 1)
  • Perfectly Played
  • Kissing Frogs
  • A Mistletoe Kiss
  • Fat Girl (Romance in Rehoboth #1)
  • The Juggling Act (Rom-Com on the Edge #4)
  • Talk to Me
  • Whisked Away (Paradise Bay #2)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

The Ugly Duckling (2 books)
  • (Almost) Happily Ever After (The Ugly Duckling, #2)