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Ugly

Nic’s best and only friend, Sam, announces she’s moving, meaning that the two of them need to step up Operation Social Interaction for Nic, which is supposed to improve Nic’s social life. OSIN looks poised for failure with Nic still constantly fending off barbs about her unfeminine appearance. This treatment and Sam’s pending move begin to take a toll and Nic starts questioning herself. Is she a lesbian? Is she trans? When her school freaks out over a self-portrait she does in art class, thinking it’s a threat of violence, she has to start dealing with a bad therapist who doesn’t ask any of the important questions. It’s clearly not just the kids in her life who judge her. Nic has to figure out who she is and then stop caring about the fact that probably no one in her world will accept her, whatever she decides.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This story has many subplots that weave together seamlessly, with the most poignant being Nic’s struggle to identify her gender and sexuality. Things come to a swift, yet satisfying, conclusion.

Prose/Style: Vincent’s prose is straightforward and clear. Her talent shines as she develops Nic’s voice throughout the novel; Nic is unafraid and unforgettable

Originality: Nic is not your average teenage narrator. Her cynicism and honesty make even the most basic observations feel refreshing.

Character Development: Vincent’s characters are well-developed and in tune with their emotions. The story’s protagonist, Nicole “Nic” Summers, is surrounded by a cast of complex family members, friends, and frenemies.

Blurb: Readers will rally behind fifteen-year-old Nic Summers as she navigates the pitfalls of adolescence in this moving and timely YA novel.

Date Submitted: May 18, 2019

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