Steve Clark's Reviews > Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
May 31, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: realistic-fiction

I only got through the first half of the book because this book is going to be used as a whole-class novel next year where I teach, which might have prejudiced me against it--but the truth is I found the story frankly ridiculous and all the supporting characters flimsy, cliched cardboard caricatures at best. Fortunately, the second half of the book works somewhat better, and the happy ending does turn out to be fairly uplifting, if entirely predictable. There are a few odd points that a good editor might have helped with: a "40 acre" nature preserve is described as having various trails up to five miles long, for example. Letting the details slide, however, one can enjoy the eventual triumph of "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl".

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