My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Confessions of an Ugly Girl by Alice Wasser is written in a journal style. You know how much we get tempted to read someone’s personal diary. Well, this book provides a way to pacify that temptation. Instead of chapters, this book is divided in months. The self-proclaimed ugly girl, Matilda Glockenfeld (Millie), writes about her everyday activities, fears, and passions. While reading the book, I got the feeling that Millie was talking to me. She is in love with statistics, so there are many stats related to various fields throughout the book. I found some of the stats quite fascinating. Like the one about “100 people die every year from choking on a ballpoint pen” was especially interesting. Who would have known that the simple act of chewing on a ball pen could lead you to death? Not me, for sure! Anyway, Millie writes about the fact that her suspected notion of not being beautiful received an affirmation by the total ignorance of boys towards her, throughout her life. There have been several failed attempts made by her only best friend, Donna Matthews, and her mother to get her to hook up with somebody. She gave up the hope of ever finding any guy who would be interested in dating her, let alone marrying her. Things take a turn when she meets a man named Sam, who shows an interest in her. He asks her out but she declines his offer. One major reason for this denial being her low self-esteem that has made it impossible for her to believe that any man could be interested in her; however, another reason that holds her back is the fact that Sam is in a wheelchair. After giving many thoughts to his proposal, Millie finds it hard to deny the attraction she had for Sam and finally, gives in. Although thinking about how people would react to seeing an ugly woman on a date with a handsome man in a wheelchair, she struggles to give this relationship all her heart. This is fascinating to read whether, against all odds, the relationship of Sam and Millie would survive or crumble under low self-esteem of Millie.
Alice has kept the tone of the tone mostly upbeat. Even though this is a story about a girl who considers herself ugly, the book has not drowned in melancholy. The humorous take of Millie about her “flaws” and all the problems of the life, in general, has kept me entertained to read more.
I don’t like to stare too long at the mirror in a public place, though. I don’t want someone to come in and God forbid, think I’m admiring myself. I don’t want people to think that I’m deluded enough to believe I look good. Usually, when I’m in a public place, I take a quick glance in the mirror to make sure there isn’t toilet paper stuck to my face or something, then head out.
Millie’s craving to be on good terms with her sister is relatable. I have a sister and whenever we have a fight, I cannot rest before things go back to normal; therefore, I understood her desire to be able to have a healthy, instead of pretentious, relationship with her sister. Her family situation is written with perfection and that was an element that made me connect with Millie, almost instantly.
Millie’s difficulty in coming to terms with having a long-lasting relationship with a man, who is in a wheelchair, is quite realistic. Whatever I would have thought if I were in her shoes, is written in the book and that increased the believability quotient of the overall plot. The impact of mean remarks made by the boys on girls is evident in this story. If Millie’s self-critical thought process had not received rude affirmation of the boys, she might not have the low self-esteem of this extent. There are many other takeaways in the book, which I leave for the readers to discover.
I had only two problems with the book. The overall confession of an ugly girl focused only on her romantic life for last chapters. In the beginning, there was a variety of her confessions, but in the end, it became like any other romantic fiction. The second problem that I had with the book was its predictability of twists. The problems that arrived in the relationship of Millie and Sam due to his ex-GF seems adapted by any romantic movie.
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