All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

imageAs 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. 

Let me start off by saying that this book is brutal, heart wrenching, disturbing and a testament to love.

When I started reading it and go to the part where Wavy met Kellen I had a line from a Pink Flyod song in my head ” we’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year”  Wavy and Kellen are two lost and lonely people who find solace and peace with each other. The only problem is that Wavy is 8 and Kellen is about 20-22 or so when they meet.  Her parents are brutal, her father wants nothing to do with her. He is a drug dealer who has 3 women on the side and her mother is a meth addict who bounces between “good mama” and “scary mama.”   Kellen takes care of her, takes her to school, is there for her at all times and he loves her.  It’s a pure innocent love, one that is built on friendship and mutual need. Life is devastatingly hard for Wavy and her brother but in all that goes on they keep their humanity intact with the help of Kellen

As Wavy gets older things change. Wavy changes into a young teenager who was brought up around women who talked about sex and showed her what to do in order to attract Kellen in a way that is not innocent anymore.  As they explore each other, Kellen doesn’t let things get out of hand, knowing that she is young and knows that it’s wrong, even if he wants more from her. A huge life changing event happens and things explode around them and their lives are torn to shreds.  You will have part of you screaming for Wavy to get a life away from Kellen but part of you wants them to be happy.  Is it creepy, yes, but it’s just so hard to sit back and judge what is happening.

This book is hard to read. Take your morals and put them aside when reading this, things are different,uncomfortable, hard, and  brutal at times.  My heart broke quite a few times reading it. The writing is incredible, no punches are pulled from the violence and darkness that is shown, not only in this book, but also what happens in real life.  It’s graphic in parts and disturbing. I had to put it down at times to absorb what I just read and to take a deep breath before being able to start reading it again. At the end my heart was bruised, but intact.  You will feel every range of emotions reading this.  I won’t forget this book for a long, long time to come.

In all the hardship and difficult times Wavy and Kellen’s love get them through it all.  At the end of it all this book is about love.


ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5/5 stars



Buy:Amazon UK



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