Book: All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Published August 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books|353 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from a co-worker
Genre: Adult Contemporary, Adult Romance
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. Kellen may not be innocent, but he is the fixed point in Wavy and Donal’s chaotic universe. Instead of playing it safe, Wavy has to learn to fight for Kellen, for her brother, and for herself.
I heard about this book from a co-worker, and I’m actually glad I read it! I was unsure of the romance, because there is a HUGE age difference between Kellen and Wavy. But I ended up rooting for them, and I thought it was really well done.
If anything, this book broke my heart. The relationship that Kellen and Wavy have in the book is very unusual, and you can tell that he really cares for her. It really seems like he’s the only one looking out for Wavy, and making sure she’s okay. Even when other people have good intentions (like her aunt), you can tell that he has her best interests at heart, and it was no surprise that it turned into something.
I would also like to point out that they don’t have sex until she’s 18, and this book definitely isn’t for everyone. I can see why people would have a lot of issues with their friendship, and later on, relationship. There is domestic violence and drugs in the book, so keep that in mind if you’re considering reading this book. It does take place over the span of 15 or so years, so that is another thing to keep in mind.
I really like that we’re never told how to feel, and you really go through a range of emotions throughout the book. We can draw our own conclusions about the book, and I finished the book not knowing how I felt while also loving the book.
Wavy is very much influenced by everything going on with her parents, and it is through everyone else’s eyes that we see things unfold between Wavy and Kellen. It’s uncomfortable and graphic, and I think everyone will have a strong reaction to it, whether you think Wavy and Kellen are both victims or Kellen took advantage of Wavy and should have known better.
5 stars. I loved this book, and even though it was uncomfortable to read at times, it was worth it. I definitely finished the book questioning so many things!