Book Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Genre: Fiction

Page Count: 346

Publication Date: August 9th 2016

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books


First Line: “My mother always started the story by saying, “Well, she was born in the backseat of a stranger’s car,” as though that explained why Wavy wasn’t normal.”

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

My Thoughts

This book. This. Book. I cannot believe how much I loved it. I could not put it down! I was skeptical, considering the subject matter (a love story between an 8-year-old and a grown man??) but, man, it was captivating.

Wavy meets Kellen when his motorcycle crashes near the field where she was looking at the stars. He works for her drug dealer father, but there’s something different about him. From the moment they meet, Wavy and Kellen have this incredible connection. All Kellen wants to do is save Wavy from her rough upbringing. Wavy, who doesn’t trust anyone, won’t talk to anyone, won’t let anyone touch her, opens up to Kellen in a way that shocks those who know her.

As Wavy grows up, her bond with Kellen only grows stronger. I was surprised to find myself rooting for them the whole time, despite how weird I felt about their relationship. This is such a hard book to recommend or praise because it’s such a weird, unsettling topic! I think unsettling is the right word. I had moments where I was thinking “Ew that’s probably not okay for an adult and a young child” but at the same time I thought “Everyone needs to stop judging them and keeping them apart!”

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is an unsettling yet beautiful love story between two unlikely people.Click To Tweet

I could not put this book down. Bryn Greenwood is a genius! The way that she could make the reader go along with Wavy and Kellen’s relationship like it was no big deal – she’s brilliant! I highly recommend this book, but fair warning there’s a lot of violence and abuse, plus it’s hard to wrap your head around what you’re reading sometimes! If you’re interested, you can find the book here! Here’s a recap of my review:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *