Friday, July 30, 2010

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl - Joyce Carol Oates

I first heard of this book, someone (EDIT: Clover of Fluttering Butterflies)...posted a favorable review of it on their blog. I can't remember who it was; if it was you or you know who it was, please comment so I can put a link in this post. Anyway, my mom is also a big Joyce Carol Oates fan, and since my local library had the book, I thought I'd pick it up.

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl is about Matt, a popular class clown, and Ursula, a tall, awkward girl who is the antisocial star of the school's basketball team. They are barely acquaintances, but when Matt is suddenly accused of threatening to blow up the high school, Ursula steps up as the only witness willing to defend Matt and insist that he made no such threat. As the book goes on, Ursula and Matt band together, forming an unlikely pair.

I had never read anything by Joyce Carol Oates prior to this book, but I will definitely be heading back to the library to pick up some more of her books. Big Mouth and Ugly Girl is a character-driven book, which I generally enjoy, but it also has an entertaining plot that never gets stagnant or boring. Ursula and Matt are out-of-the-ordinary characters, but not strange in a way that makes them seem implausible, and I related in some way to them both. I would certainly recommend Big Mouth and Ugly Girl for fans of Joyce Carol Oates and/or young adult literature.