Cover image for Fugly
Title:
Fugly
ISBN:
9781541544994
Physical Description:
343 pages ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
Uni student Beth is overweight, shy, and geeky. She's been bullied all her life-- even by her family-- and her only refuge is food. Online she's a vicious troll who targets the beautiful, vain, oversharing "It Girls of the internet." When she meets Tori, a fellow troll, she becomes her online girlfriend/partner-in-crime. When Tori picks Amy, a target who's a little too close to home for Beth, she decides to quit their online bullying partnership. The only problem is, Tori is not willing to let her go. --
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Summary

Summary

A wrenchingly honest, thought-provoking exploration of a girl judged and dismissed by society who must break the cycle of shaming that traps her in her real life and comforts her in her online one.
In real life, eighteen-year-old Beth is overweight, shy, and geeky. She's been bullied all her life, and her only refuge is food. Online, though, she's a vicious troll who targets the beautiful, vain, oversharing It Girls of the internet. When she meets Tori, a fellow troll, she becomes her online girlfriend-slash-partner-in-crime.
But then Tori picks a target who's a little too close to home for Beth. Unsettled, Beth decides to quit their online bullying partnership. The only problem is, Tori is not willing to let her go.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up--Eighteen-year-old Beth is overweight, shy, and has labeled herself "fugly." While she struggles to take care of her family and study for university, Beth tries to keep herself invisible. Online, however, Beth has numerous false profiles that she uses to troll "the Beautiful People." She is known on social media as the malicious MidnightBanshee. Every account that she destroys is a win. Then she meets two vastly different girls; Tori is an online troll who teams up with and cultivates a relationship with Beth, and Amy is a sweet pixie of a girl who sees something in Beth that no one else does. Amy sweeps Beth into university life, introducing her to friends around the British city where they live. Her two lives abruptly collide and Beth has to face the repercussions of her malevolent online behavior. While the secondary characters (especially Amy's roommate Patrick) are fleshed out and authentic, Beth comes across as mean and angry for over half of the story making it difficult to sympathize with her. The dangers of online bullying, cyberstalking, and phishing are heavy-handedly presented. Incidents of sexual harassment and suicide are woven into the plot as well, but gentler themes of seeing past someone's physical appearance and the qualities of true friendship offer a counterbalance to some of the more negative concepts. VERDICT A supplemental purchase for libraries where titles by Julie Murphy or Lauren Myracle are popular.--Claire Covington, Broadway High School, VA


Publisher's Weekly Review

Fugly is a portmanteau of fat and ugly, and 19-year-old Beth thinks she's both. Her only pleasures are food and trolling the seemingly happy, pretty girls who post endless bikini selfies. She's good at making up new internet personas, and she doesn't mind when things turn cruel: it means she's getting attention. But one day at college, she accidentally makes a friend--a bona fide happy, pretty girl, and even if Amy can be silly and puppyish, she's kind and friendly, and Beth can't help but enjoy spending time with her. Around the same time, she makes a web friend, Tori, a highly skilled internet troll who doesn't balk at hacking. Although Beth has qualms, she finds Tori hard to resist. The lessons that Beth learns (pretty girls have feelings, too; the internet may be virtual, but it can cause real pain) feel expected, lessening the story's emotional resonance. But in her YA debut, Waller, who also writes horror fiction, tells a convincingly realistic story, particularly when describing Beth's conflicting desires and the ways in which binging can combine satisfaction and fury. Ages 14--up. (Nov.)


Kirkus Review

Body image, college life, and online trolling come to a startling head.British university student Beth Soames is, in her own words, "fugly." She balances class work with an unstable home life that includes a depressed mother, a reclusive younger brother, and cupboards that are often bare. To cope, Beth, who is fat, mainlines chocolate bars and uses sockpuppet accounts to relentlessly bully thinner girls from the safety of her own room. Online, she befriends Tori, who is eager to join forces with Beth in making fun of glamorous young women and to woo Beth with sexy pictures and words of love. Meanwhile, beautiful, bubbly classmate Amy pulls Beth into her world of dorm life, pizza parties, and late-night bonding. When Beth and Tori's trolling results in serious repercussions for a victim Beth knows personally, Beth must ask herself why she consistently bullies women and reveal the secret she's been keeping. Though the author sometimes resorts to stereotypes (not all fat people binge on candy every night), Beth is otherwise nuancedintelligent and witty but struggling with her own self-perception as well as that of the outside worldand her queerness is unapologetic and refreshing. The sheer loneliness that drives Beth to almost unspeakable acts is presented in a way that evokes empathy. Major characters are assumed white.Doesn't shy away from the dark side of young adulthood and the insecurity that can drive a smart teen to extremes. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.