WOW! Fugly by K.Z. Snow is AMAZING and took me by complete surprise! It’s hard to believe the book falls just under sixty pages, because it really packs an emotional punch. I thought the plot was creative and very thought provoking. It’s a story that stayed with me hours after I finished it.
The story is a combination first and third person. At the beginning of the story it’s told by David’s point of view, and then it changes to third person so we can follow the lives and strange happenings of David’s friends. You would think that this would be confusing, or would take away from the story, but believe me, it does not.
David and his three friends Fallon, Todd and Jake call themselves The Hunt Club. Now even though David is part of this group, he’s not as shallow as the other men, nor is he as judgmental or promiscuous as his three friends. He’s definitely appalled by some of his friends’ shallow behavior, but he hangs out with the three mainly because of an unrequited love he has for one of them.
All of the men in The Hunt Club are very successful, sexy, handsome gay men. One of the favorite things the men like to do is to talk about other peoples imperfections. They are sarcastic and say hurtful things about other gay men who they don’t feel measure up to their scale of attractiveness or standards of living. One night David and the three men are at their favorite night club, and as many times before, the three men are falling into the same pattern of snide comments and put downs of other patrons there.
When the men spot the most gorgeous man they’ve ever seen walk into the club, the three shallow men make their way over to him at the bar, and all three men make failed passes at the sexy man. David is embarrassed by their behavior and is more interested in watching another equally quiet and sexy man watch these friends make total fools of themselves over the gorgeous man.
David strikes up a conversation with the sexy man and he finds out his name is Jackson. He tells David that he had heard all of the hurtful and terrible things his three friends had said about others before the gorgeous man walked in. He then tells David that the gorgeous man his friends are making a pass at is his husband, and he thinks the men need to learn a lesson from their inappropriate behaviors. David has a sinking feeling that the man, Jackson, has just done something or will do something to his friends, he just doesn't know what.
Then the fun really begins.
That’s when the story switches off of the first person narrative. It’s a month later and we then follow the story of the three men Fallon, Todd and Jake. They now have an unusual skin condition on their faces. It looks to be in between a burn and a rash. The strange thing about their skin condition is not only do they see it, but the handsome men they usually go for it can see it as well, so they are now treated as badly as they treated others. But, to most other people, they either don’t see it at all or it’s very faint.
All three men must learn to look and within themselves and find their self worth. Since they are no longer considered beautiful, their perception of outer beauty changes and they start noticing the beauty that’s within other people. Until they change the ugliness they have on the inside, they will continue to be ugly on the outside.
In other words...what comes around, goes around.
I loved this book! I think we’ve all known shallow and superficial people who often say and do hurtful things to others. It was very interesting to read what would happen if everything they took for granted changed, and they saw things with a fresh set of eyes. It reminded me of what my mother used to tell me. As a child, she’d tell me a story and always at the end she’d say, “Now what is the moral to the story?” and it would make me think about what lesson I’d learned from the story she’d told. Just like my old bedtime stories, Fugly definitely has a ‘moral’ or lesson learned from the story, that I think everyone will appreciate.
I can’t recommend this book high enough. For those who has never read a gay romance before, but has been thinking of trying it out, this would be an awesome book to introduce yourself to the genre. Even though there is drama and some angst, there are some light and funny moments in the book as well.
I can’t believe that this is the first book I’ve read that’s been written by K.Z. Snow! Believe me when I say, I’m about to change that as soon as I finish writing my review. I really enjoyed Ms. Snow’s style of writing. Its easy style and witty undertone made it flow smoothly throughout the book. I’m definitely looking forward to reading other works written by her!
I wasn’t able to find a website for Ms. Snow, but I did find her blog which looked to be very interesting. Here is the link if you want to check it out: http://kzsnow.blogspot.com/
What happens to a young man's self-image, and his sex life, when he wakes up one morning to see his good looks significantly altered for the worse? Three twenty-something gay friends—an embalmer, a movement coach, and a literary agent—find out the answer when they hit on the wrong patron of a club one night.
Todd, Fallon, and Jake, aka the Hunt Club, think they're pretty damned hot. As a result, their standards for worthwhile hook-ups are appallingly superficial. The men aren't total jerks; they just need an adjustment in perspective. And they get it, in spades, from a mysterious stranger who's sick of seeing his beautiful partner pawed by dawgs.
There’s no medical explanation for the hideous rashes that erupt on the trio overnight. Doctors can’t even detect it, much less cure it. Still, the Hunt Club’s mirrors reflect ravaged faces, and the toned, handsome guys they normally pursue now shun them.
As the vulnerability that’s always lurked beneath their vanity begins to surface, Todd, Fallon, and Jake begin to see themselves and potential partners in a new light. Little did they know that in the eyes of three ordinary, overlooked men on the sidelines of their lives, it's always been the heart that’s mattered far more than the hot.
Contains: m/m, gay, contemporary, paranormal, explicit gay sex.