Posted on December 30, 2018 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in 4 stars, bryn greenwood, Contemporary Fiction, COYER Winter, ebook, purchased / 2 Comments

Title: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Author: Bryn Greenwood
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books 
Published: August 9, 2016 
Format: ebook
Pages: 352 
Source: Purchase
Reading Challenges:  COYER Winter

BUY: Amazon

Laurie from Barks Books Nonsense recommended All the Ugly and Wonderful Things and based on her recommendations I went ahead and purchased a copy. I went into this book with my eyes wide open and based on the reviews I knew this would be a controversial story, which is not for everyone. If you are not afraid to have your moral compass tested, you will enjoy this story for what it was meant to be, a story of finding love (although complicated) under unexpected circumstances and with the most unlikely person. A story that will have you questioning your moral values while entertaining you and keep you turning the pages, as you need to know how it will end.
The story features well-developed characters, some whom was easy to like and then there were those you wish would die a slow, painful death.  It may sound cold but if you are willing to waste your life away on drugs and neglect your children, then what is the sense.
 The story follows the life of Wayvona aka Wavy. She has been through so much for her tender age. Her mother is a drug-addicted germaphobe and her father a meth dealer. With parents like those one could understand the reason for her strange behaviour. After the one person who understood and cared for died, it forced her to go back to her parents and take care of her baby brother. She was only eight years old. Then Kellen came into her life and things were never the same. 
People thought her to be simple and retarded, but she was smart as a whip. Forced to grow up quickly her actions were not that of a child.  Her exposure to things of an adult nature helped to shape her actions. Personally I would not allow a child of mine to be friends with an adult male, but in Wavy’s she had no parental or responsible adult guidance. Her friendship with Kellen grew to where it became something frowned upon by society. Given the circumstances, I understood why it went the way it did.  
I understood why it was so easy for these two develop a close bond. They had a lot in common. Both were damaged and yearned to know what it meant to be loved.  Kellen is the first person to demonstrate love to Wavy by taking care of her needs when the persons who were legally responsible for her care were busy pumping themselves with drugs and whoring their lives away. Therefore, the gravitational pull towards each other was natural. What got me through this story is the knowledge that incidents like these occur in real life.  Do I agree with it? No, but it demonstrates how one’s circumstances can cause one to travel the wrong path without the proper guidance.  I admit there were a few cringe worthy moments, but I pushed on because  I had to know how it would unfold. 
Despite all she had been through Wavy, did not let her circumstances break her.  She demonstrated a strength of character beyond her years. She knew what she wanted and was not afraid to pursue it. Her tenacity and strength was admirable.
As strange as it may sound this story demonstrated the power of love. A love so strong that nothing and no one could destroy it.  If you are not afraid of controversial stories and decide to read Wavy and Kellen’s story then prepare to have your emotions put through the wringer. 
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, a story about resilience, determination, love and healing left me with lots of mixed feelings, which is not a bad thing.  I love it when a story takes me beyond the surface as I try to delve into the mind of the author trying to understand This is a story I know will not forget anytime soon.

That was what I wanted for as long as she was looking at me, but when she looked past me, what I wanted more than anything was for her to look at me again. Most people look at you like nothing, but the way she looked at me … it was like we were in the meadow again. Like I was important. People don’t usually look at me like that.”

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.

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading
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  1. I am glad you liked this one, Nadene! I was excited about this one when I read it a couple of years ago but I didn’t have as much luck with it. I think that the book made me angry more than anything. Most readers did like it a lot more than I did.