Book Review of Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl
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Matt Donaghy has always been a BIG MOUTH - but it's never gotten him in trouble - until one day when two detectives escort him out of class for questioning. Matt has been accused of threatening to blow up Rocky River High School.

Ursula Riggs has always been an UGLY GIRL - A loner with fierce, staring eyes, Ursula has no time for petty high school stuff like friends and dating - or at least that's what she tells herself. Ursula is content with minding her own business. And she doesn't even really know Matt Donaghy.

But Ursula is the only person who knows what Matt really said that day . . . and she is the only one who can help him.

In her first novel for young adults, acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates has created a provocative and unflinching story of friendship and family, and of loyalty and betrayal.

Industry reviews
"Oates effectively evokes the culture of high school, where association is everything and rumor almost always preferable to truth....Honest and penetrating."
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/2002)

"This is a compelling story, balancing its exploration of the terrible price self-congratulatory vigilance can exact with a depiction of the strength people may surprise themselves by finding in one another."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - Deborah Stevenson (06/01/2002)

"In vivid, quick-witted prose bursting with colloquialisms and arrow-true dialogue, BIG MOUTH & UGLY GIRL is a divinely readable novel, one of the finest and most provocative in any genre of late. Deftly juxtaposing the pangs of adolescence, the commonness of betrayal and the dearness of loyalty, the insidious nature of bigotry and myopia, and the redemptive necessity of genuine connection, Oates has crafted a work for young adults as deserving of acclaim as any of her adult fiction."
Ruminator Review