Lisa's Reviews > Ugly to Start With

Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 20, 2011

liked it

3 and a half stars

This book included 13 short stories, all following different moments in the main character's life. The main character is Jason, a boy who lives in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The stories all tackle pivotal moments in Jason's life, dealing with the highs and lows of his young life. There were a few stories that really stood out for me, "The Scratchboard Project", "Ugly To Start With" and "Carter".

There was a darkness to these stories but somehow there was a sort of painful humour. It really showcases the pains of Jason growing up. I thought the stories were interesting and thought provoking. They were the kind of stories I could see being discussed in a classroom or book club. Sometimes there was a subtlety about a story that left me wondering.

I mean, the first few stories left me thinking about what the author was trying to show us, as readers. Like the story, "Ugly To Start With", about a cat that comes and goes at Jason's house. Jason's attitude towards the cat was bewildering to me. It left me wondering what the message of the story was.

Then there was a story called "Carter", about Jason's encounters with a perverted old man. It was a complex story and I found it incredibly interesting.

Personally, I couldn't relate to Jason and that's why I gave the book three and a half stars. Maybe if I were male, I would've understood and connected with the male perspective but I just felt disconnected from the thoughts and feelings Jason had.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and think it would be a good book for a book club or some kind of discussion forum, as it deals with complex issues in a deeply layered way.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Ugly to Start With.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

November 20, 2011 – Started Reading
November 20, 2011 – Shelved
November 20, 2011 –
page 69
November 20, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Ilovereading Hi. I don't know how to add my own review, so I'm kind of just going to put a link to my review in the comments, if you don't mind. I'm really sorry to intrude on your psot like this!

This is the link to the review on my book website. Great review, by the way!

back to top