UGLY was given to me by my sister, and I was happy to get it because I'd been considering purchasing this memoir for a while. I saw some reviewers comparing it to WONDER but I think this is a much better work than WONDER for several reasons. First of all, it's #ownvoices, because, obviously, this is a memoir. Second of all, it is a nuanced, well-rounded view of Hoge's life as a person with a disability-- his wins, his struggles, the things he can't do, and the things he can. The bullying elements were hard, but I think Hoge was right in showing that often times, the people who do bully have insecurities of their own, which doesn't make what they do right or even forgiveable, but it does make it easier (maybe) to understand why they do what they do. He also said that it's worse when adults are bullies and as someone who was bullied by adults as a kid myself (teachers, specifically), I completely agree. Adults should be role models and it's a sad fact that some are not.
This is nonfiction that I believe is written for kids. There are cute illustrations and the language is easy and simple to understand. There are some pretty detailed descriptions of surgeries which may put people off, but I found them really interesting and I'm a pretty big wuss when it comes to anything medical. Apparently, some of the ones Hoge received were quite experimental and other people benefited from the groundwork laid by his own procedures, which is pretty cool. He's also incredibly relatable. His fights with siblings, his hobbies, and, you know, his desires to make friends and have relationships is something I think that a lot of kids from all walks of life want.
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars