Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Duckling Ugly ~ Neal Shusterman review

Duckling Ugly
April 5, 2007
211 Pages

Cara De Fido is skilled at spelling words....and at breaking mirrors with her incredibly ugly looks. Seriously. She's so ugly that simply by looking in a mirror (of any kind) she can break it. No one lets her forget what she looks like either--not even her own mother.

Cara has been drawing the same place over and over again, though...and have strange sleepwalking episodes where she ends up in the same corner of her room. And then when she runs away after a particularly cruel encounter at a school function, she thinks she's found the place she's been drawing, been trying to walk to in her sleep.

What is this magical place where no one shuns her because of her looks? And is it too good to be true?

This is the third in Neal Shusterman's Dark Fusion series of updated fairy tales (I couldn't tell that they connected at all or needed to be read in order). I wouldn't say that this was nearly as good as Everlost or Unwind but it was an interesting read--and probably better for younger, maybe middle school or even late elementary school readers.

While Unwind and Everlost gave you something to think about from the beginning (or close to it), Duckling Ugly didn't do that until the very, very end. (It might have done it sooner for younger readers, I'm not sure.)

I would still like to see about the other two books in the Dark Fusion series but maybe just when I'm between books, not the way that I really, really want to get to Everwild so I can see where that story goes.

I think this might really have been a case of the story working better for younger readers only.

It was really only the ending the made this a worthwhile read for me.

6/10 (a more positive 6 than some of my 6's though) but I really think it should be a middle grade book more than the 7-10th grade it says it's aimed at.


  1. I love Duckling Ugly. It is full of excitement, mystery and a suprise on every page. If you enjoy the thrill of beauty, the fontain of youth, and true love then read this book.

  2. I love this bookie only 11 but I understand how this story is


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