Fugly - K.Z. Snow I was, in the first few pages of this book, quite prepared not to like it. Oh, great, I said to myself with wrinkled nose, the boys are going to learn their lesson that beauty isn't all on the outside. How predictable.

For my rash jumping to conclusion-ness, I owe K.Z. a sincere apology. On the surface, yes, that's the lesson our three young snark-meisters have to learn, but we aren't left to wallow on the surface. Oh, no. K.Z. creates three complex, damaged characters, whose motives and emotional matrices are far more complex than their shallow actions would have one believe. The spell Jackson throws with rather casual arrogance (I'll admit, he knew what he was doing, but, yes, arrogance) forces Fallon, Jake and Todd to confront their inner demons, to face the why behind the wide moats they've dug between themselves and others. We come to care for these supposedly shallow cruisers, each with his own poignant fears and self-doubts.

I loved the unconventional structure, as well, starting with our "author" in first person, the man ultimately telling the story, and proceeding to our three afflicted heroes in third person until we return, in the end, to David. It had a personal, intimate feel to it, as if David was letting us into a secret piece of his life.

Perhaps the only thing that keeps this story from perfection for me was a bit of a rushed feeling from time to time. I would have liked to have spent a little more time with each heroes own story. It seemed, twice, that we reached a crucial moment...and then were given only summation. In part, of course, this is testament to K. Z.'s lovely writing and wonderful characterization. If I hadn't become so caught up, I certainly wouldn't have wanted more.

I did manage not to cry. Just. Thank you, K. Z., it was a wonderful journey.