All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful things

Author: Bryn Greenwood
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Review:
This isn’t the type of book I normally pick up but I’m glad I did. I’ll be honest with you, this book at times is terribly sad. The plot involves child abuse that is uncomfortable and guaranteed to pull an emotional response out of you. But it is also about strength and savoring those little moments of light. And I promise, the ending is worth getting to. There are some grammatical errors, but nothing you aren’t abel to read past.

Wavy is a complex child who comes with a hefty load of baggage. After her father and mother get arrested, she is sent into the system. After much persuasion, Wavy goes to live with her aunt. Although, that didn’t last long because of Wavy’s peculiar habits. You see, she isn’t like a typical child. She would rather eat out of the garbage than eat dinner at the table with her family. She would rather steal and sneak around than follow societal rules. She is a selective mute and yet so much more. Once Wavy goes back to live with her mother, there is no doubt she was lucky she didn’t turn out worse. The abuse her and her brother go through is horrifying.

I found myself reading this book wondering how in the heck did this little girl end up like this. Unfortunately that answer gets solved and you aren’t going to like it. Yet with everything Wavy has been through, she is such a strong character. The author did an amazing job describing the hopes and dreams of a little girl who caries around so many demons.

In this book, Wavy talks about the different sides her mom has. There’s happy mom who is attentive, caring, and loving. There’s scary mom, who is cruel, neglectful, and abusive. Then there is sad mom, who doesn’t care about anything and falls into a depression. Because of all these sides, Wavy (at the age of five) ends up practically raising her brother.

Kellen is a complex character. I can’t help but pity him. He isn’t attractive, is constantly made fun of, and overweight. But he is a savior to Wavy and a trusted friend. I’m not sure how old he is, much older than Wavy. I think he might be ten years older than her. Maybe more, like I said I’m not sure. Which is what kind of bothers me. The further I get into the story, the more Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed. At first it was really innocent. But as it became more, I couldn’t help but see Wavy as a child and Kellen as an adult. To be honest, it made me uncomfortable reading about this. But his character does redeem himself in some ways and by the end of the book I am happy with how things turned out.

As I was reading this story, I kind of felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. And just when you think things are as bad as they can get, tragedy strikes and everything gets worse. You must be asking, what more could happen to this little girl that wouldn’t be classified already as a tragedy? Well, when you find out it’s like your heart stops. You’re reading the words but shaking your head not wanting to comprehend them. Your stomach turns with how unfair life can be. And you’re just not sure how much more of this you can take. That’s how gifted this author is.

Even with all the uncomfortable moments and my doubts about Kellen, somehow by the end of the book I desperately wanted Wavy to reconnect with him. I was surprised how this book stayed with me. When I wasn’t reading the chapters, I was constantly thinking about the plot or wishing I could read just one more chapter. I will admit there was one point in the book I wanted to put it down. It was around the time Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed into something more and I wasn’t sure how much more of that I could take. But I’m glad I did’t because this book is truly amazing.

My final thought I want to leave with you is I promise you won’t be disappointed in this book. Yes it is emotionally charged and pulls at your heart, but the story is one worth reading. By the end of the book, you will fall in love (and sometimes hate) the characters in this book. My warning is to read the book for how it is. Wavy is not your typical little girl, so don’t try to cast her in that image. You will only be disappointed and end up disgusted. Good luck with this book if you decide reading it. Like I said, it will be one that stays with you.

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5 thoughts on “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

  1. Mostly it is just emotional. But there was that one time I described where I just wasn’t sure how much more I could take, how much more could the characters take. It gets intense in that way but not the suspenseful kind of intense. I highly recommend the book!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have to tell me what you think after you read it!! I’m curious to see if anyone else felt the same way I did about the book. I hope you enjoy it. It’s a tough read but well worth it!

    Like

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