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Extended Audio Sample Big Mouth & Ugly Girl Audiobook, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.475 out of 53.475 out of 53.475 out of 53.475 out of 53.475 out of 5 3.48 (36 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Hilary Swank, Chad Lowe Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9780060786540
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Matt Donaghy has always been a Big Mouth. But it's never gotten him in trouble -- until the day Matt is accused of threatening to blow up Rocky River High School.

Ursula Riggs has always been an Ugly Girl. A loner with fierce, staring eyes, Ursula has no time for petty high school stuff like friends and dating -- or at least that's what she tells herself Ursula is content with minding her own business. And she doesn't even really know Matt Donaghy.

But Ursula is the only person who knows what Matt really said that day ... and she is the only one who can help him.

In her first novel for young adults, acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates has created a provocative and unflinching story of friendship and family, and of loyalty and betrayal.

Performed by Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gripping.”

    Washington Post

  • “A seasoned pro from the world of adult literature turns her keen observer’s eye to young-adult realism, with notable success. Honest and penetrating.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Believable, full-blooded characters propel Oates's first YA novel…Readers will relate to the pressures these two experience, both at school and from their parents, and be gratified by their ability to emerge the wiser.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Readers will be propelled through these pages by an intense curiosity to learn how events will play out. Oates has written a fast-moving, timely, compelling story.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Distinguished novelist Oates’ first young adult novel is a thought-provoking, character-driven drama about the climate of hysteria created by school violence in America, and how two teenagers find the courage to fight it and to find themselves in the process.”

    Booklist

  • “Screen celebs Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe deliver alternating chapters in perfect counterpoint, superbly capturing the divergent emotional journeys in affect, tone, and pacing…in an audio recording that will be in huge demand by teens. Winner of the AudioFile Eaphones Award and 2003 Audie Award.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the 2003 Audie Award
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda Cilibraise | 2/20/2014

    " Fun, funny look into stereotypes among teens. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steven | 1/23/2014

    " I thought this had a good premise, but it didn't really deliver for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberlayy º | 1/22/2014

    " at first i didn't really like this book. i thought it was good enough, so i stuck with it. and i ended up really enjoying it!! the unexpected love at the end is so cute, i wanted to just smile!! i really was happy with this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jakob Krejsa | 1/16/2014

    " i really did not like this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alika Yarnell | 1/15/2014

    " A good YA book that focuses on one main event: a boy being accused of threatening to bomb his high school. From that, we follow Big Mouth and Ugly Girl's surprising relationship that sprouts from this disturbing scene and how it effects families and other members of the community. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ace | 1/11/2014

    " This book is unique and wonderful. Everybody should read it!!! Amazing!! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Em | 1/8/2014

    " Not the worst YA I've ever read, but probably the most tedious to teach and certainly the worst YA novel I've read to the end. Because I had to. That whole "read half of it and give up" only works when you're the student, not the teacher. And I doubt even a fourth of the 11th graders read all of it. And so many German schools teach it! Epic fail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bea T | 1/7/2014

    " One of the best YA novels I've ever read. But then, what else could you expect from Joyce Carol Oates. An amazing author, and a triumphant book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennie | 12/30/2013

    " I have loved other books by Oates but this wasn't one. I didn't relate to the characters at all and felt the story lacked any personal connection which is one of the reasons I have loved her books in the past. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rene | 10/29/2013

    " Very good story about a boy who is wrongly accused of threatening to blow up his school. He only has one person willing to stand up for him and tell the truth and they eventually become friends. Sad, funny, and painfully honest thoughts and ideas abound. I loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jocelyn | 10/25/2013

    " kinda of a ok book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debdanz | 10/10/2013

    " Perfect literary example of what the post-Columbine "zero tolerance" policy in schools can create-- when one takes the power away from people to make intelligent decisions, they make horrifically stupid ones. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 9/17/2013

    " This was suggested for high school students. After reading it, I think it would be perfect for sophomores. Good message, but very much a YA book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly G | 9/16/2013

    " A good book for suburbia teenagers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendall | 1/21/2013

    " This book is very original. The story of an outcast and an insider become outcast who become friends, not caring what anyone else thinks. It is interesting to realize how false accusations and rumors can really hurt people's reputations and lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer (Teen Librarian) | 1/15/2013

    " After Matt, a.k.a. "Big Mouth", is wrongly accused of a crime at school, his friends believe the rumors. Ursula, a.k.a. "Ugly Girl", is the only one who believes him and the two become unlikely friends. *The audiobook is great, too.* "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MrsB | 12/12/2012

    " The material is dark, but it's interesting to see how a "joke" taken out of context can have such extreme consequences. This is another book I read with a sense of trepidation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 8/8/2012

    " Another wonderful example of how versatile and amazing an author Joyce Carol Oates is! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Libby | 6/10/2012

    " I guess the idea was good, it just wasn't that great. Kind of rubbish YA. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhiannon | 12/21/2011

    " Amazing book. They both go from lost in themselves, to people everyone knows. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian | 12/20/2011

    " Totally realistic, courageous, likable characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irene | 9/24/2011

    " This starts off with an interesting plot, which kept me reading it for days on end. Oates is insightful about the lifestyle of teens, and surprisingly dark. A compelling novel that is best for teens, girls and boys. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 9/6/2011

    " This book is deeper than the usual YA fare, this about hearsay and hysteria and the spinelessness of public school administrators. Painful to read but important for anyone going to school. I read it in one sitting, about two hours, definitely a page turner!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela Jarrouj | 6/13/2011

    " Awkward at times. But an enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deepti | 5/12/2011

    " Hehe...nice, heart warming chick-lit. just the sort of thing to read when you need a break from stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 5/11/2011

    " Loved the characters and the topic. I felt it was very realistic and timely. Took me back to my own days in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/8/2011

    " Really enjoyed this book, must read some of her others now... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Matthew | 4/21/2011

    " You might like if you like books about teens somewhat. But I will never like this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennie | 4/5/2011

    " I have loved other books by Oates but this wasn't one. I didn't relate to the characters at all and felt the story lacked any personal connection which is one of the reasons I have loved her books in the past. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 4/4/2011

    " It was ok, but I really didn't like her writing style and thought it was a bit boring and simplistic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karina | 1/29/2011

    " This is a great young adult read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 12/8/2010

    " This novel was pretty good. I liked how the perspectives were switched between Ursula Riggs and Matt Donaghy. The plot itself was also really good.
    It was a fun read. But not that outstanding as I first thought it would be.
    But all in all - a nice read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sigrid | 12/3/2010

    " Good book. Ursula Riggs is awesome!:) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ankita | 11/5/2010

    " iTs a gOod bOok fOr tEEnagers bAsically "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 10/14/2010

    " Big Mouth and Ugly girl was pretty interesting in a way, of love and battle. How two people who could be brought together who somehow fit and yet dont in some way. This was a good book. Kind of a slow read for me. "

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About the Author
Author Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger, and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

About the Narrators

Hilary Swank is an Academy Award-winning American actress best known for her roles in Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry, and Insomnia. Besides winning two Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role, she has also garnered forty-two other film awards and twenty-one nominations. She had guest roles on numerous television series between 1990 and 1998. For the audiobook Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates, her co-narration with Chad Lowe in 2003 earned her not only an AudioFile Earphones Award but also the prestigious Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance.

Chad Lowe is an award-winning American actor, director, producer, and audiobook narrator. He is best known for his role in the film Unfaithful. He has also had recurring roles on Pretty Little Liars, Young Justice, ER, Melrose Place, and more. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1989 and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1993 as well as other awards for his television acting and his film directing. He has narrated several audiobooks. For Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates, his co-narration with Hilary Swank in 2003 earned him not only an AudioFile Earphones Award but also the prestigious Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance.