13 Reasons Why is the best selling book written by Jay Asher which has been adapted into a series on Netflix, gaining both controversy along with rave reviews for it’s upfront look at teen suicide and the ultimate reasons why.
Suicide. It’s never an easy topic, however, commending authors who delve into taboo topics or topics that are difficult to address, such as bullying, rape and the list goes on, is deserving. That being stated, there is another book that takes another look into this very topic from a different vantage point.
Life has and will never be easy for Julius, a character from the novel titled UGLY by author Rod Cornelius. Julius is considered ugly, and there’s nothing he can do to change that which is why his head hangs low and he constantly must defend himself from those who consistently want to tear him down.
In the Amazon synopsis:
“There are many ugly things in this world, but Julius Graves is considered one of the ugliest of those things. His Big Lips, Big Nose and Jet Black Skin have always been the perfect recipe for nasty stares, cold shuns, and violent beat downs his entire life.
Once Julius moves to a new neighborhood, the torment he thought he escaped gets far worse when he becomes targeted by a menacing crew that’s led by an egomaniac that’s determined to make Julius’ life a living hell! Julius finds refuge in an unlikely ally that sends his life spiraling even more out of control at the cost of losing someone he loves the most.”
Bullying is one of the main focal points of this fictitious, urban drama, however, it’s not too often that readers explore the depths of this when it comes to African American young men who may be attempting with all their might to do well in this lifetime, but due to their physical attributes, be held back at every turn, making each day a fight on how to survive as well as how to view himself as a person who deserves to succeed despite what he may look like or his aching family past. UGLY gives readers a glimpse that is rarely seen into the life of one particular boy named Julius Graves and how pressures on this young, African American boy can reach their limit.
Despite books like Thirteen Reasons Why and UGLY being fictitious accounts, they are both very much real in the day to day lives of hundreds of children in search and need of help and a better way. Both books are five star reads, proven by the reviews, and should be applauded.