Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
When I was approached by Mr. Cummings to read Ugly to Start With, I was a little apprehensive. While I love short stories, I wasn't quite sure how a series of them would work as a full novel. I am glad, however that I agreed to read and review Ugly to Start With because it was a pleasant surprise...and I'll be honest...the blurb intrigued me!
The Good: First of all, I actually really loved the short story approach to this novel. Once I was finished, I realized that it went by so much quicker than I realized. I absolutely adored the main character Jason. I enjoyed watching his growth and journey throughout the novel. His father was a character that I loved to hate. I just didn't like him at all, but there were times when Cummings made him almost likable...and then the dad would go and do something stupid and I'd be right back to not liking him. I also loved the setting in this novel. Cummings did so well pulling us into Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I especially loved Jason's house descriptions. I felt like I was in his house, just as uncomfortable as he was during the novel.
The Bad: There were times during the novel where I felt the action, plot and dialogue bordering on boring. It's a relatively short novel compared to most novels I read, but some passages felt longer and more drawn out than full length novels.
Overall, I really enjoy Ugly to Start With and I REALLY want to read The Night I Freed John Brown by the author now. I'm very impressed by his characterization and his setting descriptions. I give Ugly to Start With a B-
**I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions are my own and I was not obligated to write a favorable review.