Am I Ugly by Siobhan Hill

Am I Ugly by Siobhan Hill
Publisher: B&N Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (30 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The story of a little angler fish, who asks a very big question. Am I Ugly is the first book published by indie artist Siobhan Hill. This book is rated PG-13 for language.

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I’d never heard of a picture book that was written for adults instead of children, so I was quite curious to see what sort of material it would cover. The blurb and title describe everything new readers need to know in advance. In short, there was an angler fish who wondered if they were ugly. This is something people of all ages think about at times, of course, but the answers were definitely meant for a mature audience. I enjoyed the way the author played around with the audience’s expectations of what should and shouldn’t be included in this sort of storytelling. It was as clever as it was unexpected.

It would have been nice to know why the angler fish began thinking about their physical appearance in the first place. The first scene started off with them asking if they were ugly without any hints about what brought that thought to mind or why they decided to find an answer to it. Knowing what was going on there would have bumped my rating up by a star or so.

With that being said, the ending was well done. It was exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to see, especially as the angler fish wandered further away from home in search of an answer for their question. Seeing how everything wrapped up gave me a strong sense of satisfaction. While I would have loved to continue following the angler fish on their journey of self-discovery, I also felt like we’d reached the perfect stopping point.

Am I Ugly should be read by anyone who has ever wondered what others think of them.

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