Duckling Ugly
Young Adult / August 13, 2016

Author: Neal Shusterman. Summary: Cara is so ugly, mirrors would rather break than show her reflection. Not even her own parents can deny her ugliness, and nothing can make up for the cruelty of her schoolmates. Tormented and tortured by the shallow people of Flock’s Rest, Cara’s life is miserable. Then Cara receives a shimmering note from some exotic place suggesting that there’s more to her than meets the eye. Cara wonders if her destiny has something to do with her recurring dreams of a beautiful green valley where the people are so accepting, her ugliness doesn’t matter. Soon, Cara discovers that her valley of dreams is real. It’s a place where the ugliest of ducklings can become swans. A swan, however, can have a serious taste for revenge . . . deadly revenge. (Published summary.) My Thoughts: Like much of Neal Shusterman’s work, it walks the line between interesting and downright creepy. Or possibly slips over that line a little bit. A fast little allegory. Content Review: Sexual content: The Fountain of Life renders woman unable to have children. Language: One hell, one exclamation of ‘oh God’ Violence: One catfight between two girls.