What happens to a young man’s self-image, and his sex life, when he wakes up one morning to see his good looks significantly altered for the worse? In this modern fable, three gay friends find out the answer when they hit on the wrong guy in a club one night.
Todd, Fallon, and Jake think they’re pretty damned hot. As a result, their standards for worthwhile hook-ups are appallingly superficial. The men aren’t total jerks; they just need an adjustment in perspective. And they get it, in spades, from a mysterious stranger who’s sick of seeing his beautiful partner pawed by dawgs.
As the trio of friends try to understand and cope with their new appearances, the pretty boys they normally pursue continue to shun them. But in the eyes of three ordinary, overlooked men on the sidelines of their lives, it’s the heart that matters far more than the hot.
Why I bought it: Author + cover + blurb = Sold!
Dislike/like (ending on a high note):
Dislike~ I’ve said a number of times I’m not the greatest fan of first person POV so when I started reading Fugly my initial response was ‘bugger’. Happily, for me at least, this POV was limited to the prologue and epilogue. Even better, despite my gut reaction I was glad for David’s (the first personee’s) insight into friends’ behaviour as well as the opportunity to revisit, albeit briefly, two of my favourite K Z Snow characters – Jackson Spey and Adin Swift – through his eyes.
Like~ Call me superficial, but if that’s not the best m/m romance cover of 2010 than I don’t know what is. I adore it. Original, evocative artwork by Christine Griffin which is a perfect match for K Z’s story. The cover gods have been very kind to K Z this year.
Dislike~ More of a warning~ For those of you who may have dismissed Fugly as ‘just’ a retelling of The Ugly Duckling fairy tale you couldn’t be more wrong. To me, this was a story about redemption with the author taking the dark theme of superficiality and exploring what could happen to a young gay man if he suddenly lost the very thing he believed defined him as a person.
Like~ With this kind of theme, the story could have easily come undone by being overly preachy. Instead, the reader is treated to K Z’s trademark deft touch and by the telling of the three completely different stories within the short format of a novella. Terrific stuff!
So, what I think: If you’re a fan of this author or looking for a recommendation for a book by her, you can’t go past Fugly. I highly recommend it. 🙂
‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to.Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.
Agree, agree, agree 🙂
Except for the first person bit as I quite like first person narratives (unusual, I know as most people don't seem to like them).
Great 'taster' Kris.
My veri word is 'smxyg', which sounds like a JR Ward character :).
Ha! Good word very Jen.
I'll also repeat what she said. I used to hate first person but now I don't mind it so much. I was wondering how three couples could ever fit in so few pages, but it worked perfectly and I never felt that I was missing out on anything. Very skillful and I know the themes in the book touched some people deeply.
Excellent choice for your tasting.
whines…I want this book (and about 50 more) but I'm broke. *sniffle*
I wasn't being a meanhead, I was laughing cause you sounded so enthusiastic about doing the tasting! really!
Word very? Fingers too fast
Jen: Thanks, hun. 🙂 I think my prob with 1st person is the I like to 'see' what different characters do and I find this POV limits me as a reader.
“My veri word is 'smxyg', which sounds like a JR Ward character :).”
If it was a JRW character there would be an 'h' in there somewhere. 😛
Tam: “I was wondering how three couples could ever fit in so few pages, but it worked perfectly and I never felt that I was missing out on anything.”
I've seen a few comments that some readers wished that it had been longer, but I was really surprised that KZ was able to satisfyingly deal with each couple without it feeling too contrived. Goodo!
This theme is one that tends to be superficially dealt with in m/m romance. It was great to see a story which actually addressed it.
Melissa: Maybe Santa will give it to you for Xmas?
But only if you stop being a meanhead. 😛
It was fabulous. One of my favorite books of 2010!
Wonderful tasting. 🙂
I tend to like first person stories, and I thought the use of the different pov's was well done here.
KZ has such a knack for the unusual approach, the slightly skewed take on things.
And yes, she has sacrificed many virgins to the cover gods this year!
Tracy: You know I'm beginning to think that you all like the book more than you do my tasting of it. *poutmope*
Wren: “KZ has such a knack for the unusual approach, the slightly skewed take on things.”
That she does. It shouldn't come as a surprise really since we all know that she's pretty weird.
I didn't know the book had characters from other books — now I'll have to read those. I liked Fugly quite a bit.
Whoa! You “tasted” Fugly! Thank you, my sweet 'n' sour candy girl!
“…since we all know that she's pretty weird.” This I (and Castanet) shall overlook, since you were nice to me today.
I'm in awe of Christine Griffin's work. You should check out her gallery — incredible stuff. I'm really happy this cover has made it into the final 15 (out of over 500 entrants, I think) at Elisa Rolle's cover art contest. Talented artists deserve awards.
Emilie: Yup. The wizard (Jackson Sprey) and his lover (Adin Swift) were characters in several books, but their main story is told here (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6469592-indescent) and here (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7124329-to-be-where-you-are).
KZ: “This I (and Castanet) shall overlook, since you were nice to me today.”
Well, where's the fun in that and I'm never nice.
I adore Christine's cover for Fugly… as I may have mentioned… once or twice. 😉
I know damned well you can be nice sometimes, but I swear not to spread it around. Don't want to ruin your reputation. 😉
I really hope Christine's aware of all the love this cover has received. I so revere work of this caliber.
I was even ok with the first person bits. 🙂
You realize that your tasters are about 10x longer than my reviewettes… 😉
Great choice for a tasting. I loved Fugly. Awesome story and cover. 🙂
This one is soooooo next on my m/m list. I wish Kindle had it so I could read it right now!
*happy dance* Kindle has it and *makes click noises* it is mine.
KZ: “Don't want to ruin your reputation. ;-)”
No, that would be totally awful. 😛
Chris: “You realize that your tasters are about 10x longer than my reviewettes… ;)”
And thank you SO much for pointing that out to me, Chris. No really.
Lily: When I was going through my reads for this particular month it was a no brainer for which book I'd 'taste'. 🙂
KC: Book slut. 😛
I've been looking at this book since it came out but the blurb made me think it was a continuation of Jackson and Adin (kinda) so I didn't buy it cuz I haven't read any of the books with them in it… But you got me curious so I think I'm going to get it, now. 😀
I was just thinking you could make them shorter, what with the time crisis…
Nikyta: It can be read as stand alone. There's enough info in there to paint a picture about Jackson and Adin, but not knowing their story is not essential to the plot. 🙂
Chris: I might take you up on that. LOL.
I used to hate first person novels…until I read the opening two sentences of Silent in the Grave (Deanna Raybourn). Now it depends on the book 🙂
I so need to read this book…I can't believe I haven't read any of KZ's books yet! *blushes* Must rectify!
Orannia: “I can't believe I haven't read any of KZ's books yet!”
And I can't believe that you admitted that in a place where she – or Ms Castanet – can publicly tar and feather you.