Thursday, July 07, 2005

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl **** 1/2

Oates, Joyce Carol. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl.

This book alternates between the perspective of Matt, a popular student that is involved in the school newspaper, student council, and the drama club and Ursula, an unpopular and socially awkward basketball player.

Ursula thinks she is ugly, and calls herself Ugly Girl. She thinks no one really likes her and that everyone is calling her names. Her father is never home and her mother pays attention to her younger sister, and seemingly ignores Ursula.

At lunch, Matt and his friends were discussing whether or not his play would be selected to the Spring Drama club presentation. He jokes that if he doesn't get selected, "what am I going to do-- blow up the school?" At that time Ursula and one of her friends is walking by and hears them, and knows they are joking. Two other girls, however, contact the Principal and the cops come to take Matt out of his study hall class. He is interrogated to the point where he almost confesses just to stop the questioning. He is suspended from school pending further investigation.

Ursula comes to his aid by telling the Principal what really happened, backed up by her friend Eveann. Matt is then released and allowed to come back to school. No one wants to be friends with Matt anymore, and he is pretty much ignored, even by Ursula who saved him.

Eventually, Ursula and Matt strike up an unlikely friendship, which shocks everyone in the school. Everyone is even more shocked when they find out who were the two anonymous accusers on that fateful day.

I highly recommend this book to any high school student as it shows what can happen to a student with a big mouth that doesn't always think before speaking. It is also an interesting book, well written, and it is fast paced, to keep the readers attention.

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