Ursula Riggs has always been an Ugly Girl. A loner with fierce, staring eyes, Ursula has no time for petty high school stuff like friends and dating, or at least that's what she tells herself. Ursula is content with minding her own business. And she doesn't even really know Matt Donaghy.
But Ursula is the only person who knows what Matt really said that day...and she is the only one who can help him.
In her first novel for young adults, acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates has created a provocative and unflinching story of friendship and family, and of loyalty and betrayal.
©2002 Joyce Carol Oates; (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Oates has written a fast-moving, timely, compelling story." (School Library Journal)
"Screen celebs Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe deliver alternating chapters in perfect counterpoint, superbly capturing the divergent emotional journeys in affect, tone, and pacing." (AudioFile)
"Distinguished novelist Oates' first young adult novel is a thought-provoking, character-driven drama." (Booklist)
I've secondary school for 10 years and spent time taling with hundreds of adolescents. The author really captures the voice of real teenagers, never as simple as adults think. The protaganists are complex, authentic, and well-written. The intro to the two young people really grabbed me. The narrative was very compelling.
Great voices, especially Ursula.
It made me think.
Very interesting book for my students, too. Especially Ursula as a tough and at same time insecure girl might help my female students in their process of growing up.
Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe did a great job of adding depth to the characters - particularly Hilary's portrayal of a gawky, teenaged girl irritated with her parents and disenfranchised at school until she turns things around by taking the moral highground and sticking up for a classmate.
I think it's a great story particularly for those who can identify with being an outsider, which many of us are at some point in our lives but very often as a teen.
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