November 4, 2014 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Ugly Girls, at its core, is about the friendship between two girls, Perry and Baby Girl, and how that friendship descends into chaos, taking their world and the identities they hold dear with it. Their friendship is woven from the threads of never-ending dares and the struggle with power, their loyalty something they attend to like a pet but forget to feed. Ugliness is something they trade between themselves, one ugly on the outside and one on the inside.
While the girls spend their nights sneaking out, stealing cars for joyrides, and eating French fries at the twenty-four-hour Denny’s, danger lurks. Jamey is pining after Perry from behind the computer screen inside his mother’s trailer. He’s been watching the girls for a while, on Facebook and in person (though they’ve never seen him in the flesh), posing as a boy from a high school a couple of neighborhoods over. When they finally meet Jamey face-to-face, they quickly realize he’s far from a nice high-school boy, and the girls will do whatever is necessary to protect themselves.
I love books about friendships between girls. Even better is when that friendship is tested in some way. In Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter, we have a tale that really is pretty much as old as time and at the same time could be ripped right from today’s newspaper headlines.