Thursday, August 11, 2016


Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Published: August 9, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5

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.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a book that I knew I had to have right away. It's one that I knew would be different in a way that would be somewhat controversial. And it was. A grown man falling in love with a little girl. How twisted is that? I applaud the author for the simple fact that she was able to bring such an issue as this and make it her own. There were some disturbing things in the book and if you're one who won't be able to read the book with an open mind, I would suggest skipping this. Just for the sheer fact that it thinks outside the box and gives us a story that all of us would be in rage if we're to ever happen in "real life".

Wavy is the one that story is mainly about. She's gotten the short end of the stick her whole life; a drug dealer father, a mother who can barely function without drugs, and living a life that most of us could never imagine. She takes care of herself and her smaller brother, Donal. She does what any adult would do but the thing is she isn't an adult. She's a child who is wise beyond her years. Then she meets Kellen. Kellen is one of her fathers men; one that does all the dirty work. Aside from that, he's a good guy. He sees the kind of life Wavy lives and all he wants to do is be there for her. 

As the years pass by, the two become closer and closer - falling in love. Wavy is still very much a child, while Kellen is more than half her age. The thing is and I feel I must repeat, he's a good guy. He's not a man whose driven by sexual desires. Instead, he finds in Wavy, an equal. Someone who understands him and shows him love he's never known before. 

The story is sad, disturbing, and hopeful all rolled up into one. I think those are perfect themes for the book because life is often ugly but without the ugly, how would we ever appreciate the wonderfulness it has to offer? This is a book that won't leave me anytime soon. Whatever your view may be, one thing I can't give enough praise to is the writing. Absolutely gorgeous and it will make you think. By the end of the page I felt like I lived a whole lifetime. This to me is what reading's all about. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy the Book!

About the Author:
BRYN GREENWOOD is a fourth-generation Kansan, and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. Her debut novel, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, is coming from Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's in August 2016. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas. 

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