Review: Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer

By: Margaret McHeyzer
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Oct. 26, 2015
Genre: Dark YA/NA

If I were dead, I wouldn’t be able to see.
If I were dead, I wouldn’t be able to feel.
If I were dead, he’d never raise his hand to me again.
If I were dead, his words wouldn’t cut as deep as they do.
If I were dead, I’d be beautiful and I wouldn’t be so…ugly.
I’m not dead…but I wish I was.

*This is a dark YA/NA stand-alone, full-length novel. Contains violence.



1thoughtsLily is someone who’s always been told that they are worthless. She’s been abused both mentally and physically since she was a little girl. When she is in her teens she meets a boy who seems charming and rides in on a white horse to save the day when her father beats her really bad. However, all she ends up doing is trading one demon for another. Ugly is a story about one woman’s journey through the dark hell she calls home and her struggle to survive.

I knew this would be a tough story to read. The synopsis alone tells you all you need to know. However, I had no idea how dark the author was going to go with this. I wasn’t even 20% into the book before I found myself tweeting, “I just know this book is going to rip me open and gut me by the time I finish it. When the synopsis cautions that it’s a dark YA/NA they weren’t kidding. I may need a drink after reading this.” Man, did I call it. Lily’s story is tough to read. There were times where my heart rate picked up from what was going on in the story. I wanted to read it all in one sitting but it’s almost 450 pages long and there’s no way I could attempt to read it before bed and actually believe I’d fall asleep afterwards. Every time I put the book down I found myself reeling from it all.

“I deserve what I got. He’s my husband. He wouldn’t cheat on me. He twisted my arm around behind my back and broke it. It was an accident, I know it was, because when he dropped me off at the hospital he said it was an accident and he didn’t mean to hurt me – he just lost his temper because I said something to upset him.”

Trust me, there were times where I was internally yelling and Lily. I mean, how can she not see what was going on? How could she be so blind to his manipulation and abuse? How could she go from one abusive life to another? She could have left Trent at any time. Heck, she tried to at one point and when he came apologizing, she married him! What?! :pulls out hair: I just couldn’t take it. I struggled with Lily’s decisions and berated her for not being stronger, but then I would take a step back and remind myself… this is all she’s ever known. Ever since she was a little girl her father AND mother told her that they hated her and that they wish she was dead. They called her ugly, stupid, and told her that the only way she’d make a life for herself is if she started selling her body. So, with that being said, it’s no wonder that when someone finally shows her kindness, she latches onto it for all it’s worth. Even if that kindness turns into something far more sinister over time. She been mentally wired to believe this is the best she will ever get, and it’s just sad to see her actually believe it.

“I’ve led a life where I was shown and told consistently how worthless and useless I am. It wasn’t gradually introduced to me once I was married to a beast masquerading as a man. No, my worthlessness was ingrained into me before I reached the age of ten. While my mind was still forming and growing, I was shown and told many times how stupid I am, how ugly I am, how useless I am, how no one will ever love me.”

I don’t want to give too much away by going into detail because I feel like you need to go into this not knowing what’s in store for Lily. The not knowing is really what had me biting my nails throughout the whole thing. So, I won’t talk about the climatic parts, the secondary characters, or how Lily fares by the end of the book. What I will say is this, Woooo! You are in for one heck of a ride. My heart is still racing from reading it. Even though the author is new to me, I willwithout hesitationbe picking up another of her books to read.


1favequoteI think I highlighted about half of this book in my Kindle. It’s so hard to choose just one but here it is…

“I’m a clown, standing in this circus called life, just trying to step forward from the back of the line and be more than just everyone’s joke”

5 Thoughts on “Review: Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer

  1. Braine on 3 February, 2016 at 3:45 am said:

    OH my, this is my kind of torturous read! How are you still writing this after finishing this book?! Thanks for the rec, hunting this down

  2. Whoa! This sounds like a really intense read, Kristin. I can’t imagine living a life like Lily’s. And I know when people see/read about/know of others living in situations like Lily’s, there is no understanding of why they stay. But like you said, and like the quote you shared said, Lily was raised to believe that that’s what life is like for her. Sad. I think I actually one-clicked this one in the last few weeks. I’ll keep in mind how emotional it’s going to be.

  3. This one does sound like a hard read. Maybe a little too hard for me. What a sad story. And the fact that it’s so long…I just don’t think I could do it.

  4. Holy hell! This really is a heartbreaking read! And she thinks she deserves it! I just want to rush in and save her!

  5. This sounds like an intense read, which I love every once and awhile. Great review, I think I’ll add this to my TBR 🙂

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