Explore the Dark Side of Teenagers in Lindsay Hunter’s “Ugly Girls”
Lindsay Hunter’s young adult novel Ugly Girls sheds light on the dark side of teenagers. Unlike many YA pieces, the two main characters are not inherently likable, nor would you want to root for them, but their stories are so twisted and engaging that you won’t want to look away.
The plot revolves around two friends named Baby Girl and Perry, who come from broken homes and are both incredibly unhappy. One attempts to make herself ugly, while the other one hides her rotten personality behind a mask of beauty. Their lives are dedicated to trouble (stealing cars, sneaking out of their homes, etc.), but their lives are turned upside down when a supposed “high school student” named Jeremy messages them on Facebook and begins to stalk their every move. Perry and Baby Girl agree to meet him face-to-face, but when they realize he lied to them, they’ll do what it takes to protect themselves.
Thanks to Hunter’s gritty way with words, the unhappy world of the two girls comes to life in all of its dark glory. Leaving no stone unturned, the author explores every ounce of ugliness, whether it’s inside someone’s soul or the feeling of physical imperfection.
There’s also a sense of dread present in the novel that builds up and keeps you glued until the climactic and very abrupt ending, which is fitting for a story about two damaged teenagers. While most YA novels are busy exploring the world of post apocalyptic wastelands, Ugly Girls sees that true horrors are in the present.