Review of UGLY TO START WITH by John Michael Cummings, In A NUT SHELL!


UGLY TO START WITH tells the story of a teenage boy, Jason Stevens whose life is anything but comfortable. His family is not well-off, not unlike many of the people around them in Harbors Ferry. Jason is sometimes treated unfairly by those around him. His mother is kind and guiding, but his father is eccentric and callous towards Jason.  
The author has made Jason a vivid character. You see his curiosity lead him into new and even foreign experiences where he stays for the excitement. He learns the hard truths from the imperfections of others about life itself. He is smart enough to realize he is not much better than his abusers when he does to them or others what was done to him. I enjoyed this book immensely, yet cringed at Jason’s sometimes harsh reality.  At other times it was like being there with him through my own upbringing. By the end I felt sure that Jason would find his way in life.  
I love short stories and writing them myself.  I enjoy the challenge of compacting all that is needed to tell one. Through this collection of short stories, John Michael Cummings has a well written and memorable novel.
This book is not for everyone because of some risky subjects. A good read for adults.

John Michael Cummings is an American short story writer and novelist. Read more at:
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