What would you do to save yourself?

Every Ugly Word - Aimee L. Salter

 

People do what they want. They love who they love. No one else can change that.

The only thing you can control is you.

- Chapter 5

 

That was the last straw. I breathed too hard, then I broke. All the pieces inside snapped apart and fell away, tinkling to the floor of my life and leaving a yawning hole where my heart should have been.

- Chapter 28

 

It might not get better tomorrow, but it will get better.

- Author's note

 

This book is heartbreaking, and yet hopeful. Teenage main character Ashley is in love with her best friend Matt, but he thinks of her as just a friend. He is popular at school and Ashley is constantly teased and bullied. In the first chapter, we find Ashley speaking to her psychiatrist and hoping to be released from the institution she resides in. He is asking her to recount the events leading up to "the incident" which resulted in her stay at the institution. We find out that Ashley sees an older version of herself in the mirror. Older Ashley gives her advice and tries to help her change her life. Older Ashley wants Ashley to have a better life than she does. But, she leaves out details in the hopes of protecting her younger self.

 

That might seem a bit confusing, but the book is not. We see Ashely's attempts to be strong and we worry about what will happen to her. Ashley's mother is almost as bad, if not worse than the kids at school. Her mom treats her as if she is the one doing something wrong. If she could just be more normal, then she wouldn't get bullied or if she could just fly under the radar and not do things to aggravate the other kids. Seriously?? Bullying is never the fault of the victim. Ashley's mother should have been her protector, not someone who makes her feel worse.

 

I liked this book. I felt bad for Ashley, and yet hopeful that she would find the strength to survive, despite everything and everyone who hurt her. At the end of the book, the author talks about how bullying is a form of torture and that she was a victim herself for many years. She talks about how she wants readers to know that they deserve help and gives them phone numbers and websites to use for help.

 

I read this for the Electric Company space, author's first and last name contain all the letters in "Tesla"

It has 282 pages and is worth $6.00