ATUAWTTitle: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Author: Bryn Greenwood
Genres: Contemporary
Release Day: August 9th 2016
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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.

5 stars! 

“I loved her the first time I saw her and I still do.”
“Love at first sight, huh? How old was she?”
“That’s creepy.”

And that pretty much sums this book up. Still, in all my years of reading I have not come across a book as ugly and wonderful as this one. The title is a perfect fit and this won’t be for everyone, in fact, it will be for a very limited group of people and I’m glad I happened to be one of them. I won’t try to categorize it or put labels on the characters, this book does a 360 around the story that gives you the opportunity to draw your own conclusions.

This is Wavy and Kellen’s story. That’s it. When you read this, their age doesn’t matter, they are just two people that could not have been in a more unfortunate situation and yet still they found each other, a little too late or a little too early, this book does not apologize for the romance or the big elephant in the story.

“The girl looked . . .  up at the man with sparkling eyes. He looked nervous and happy. They were not father and daughter. Romance. For better or worse.”

Reading the reviews you get a general idea of what this story deals with but in case the reader doesn’t understand, the book is not shy about spelling it out for you. Once, twice, a hell of a lot of time for my comfort to be honest.

“There’s nothing wrong with me buying her a ring. She’s my girl.”
“Yeah, except for the part where you’re a pedophile.”

Kellen is not Humbert and Wavy is not Lolita. I completely understand the comparisons – which this book also reminded me of Madeline Sheehan’s Undeniable due to the age difference but only that part.

Wavy’s dad is a meth dealer among other things and her mom is a lunatic; she is forced from a very young age to be her own person and navigate life, literally on her own while the rest of the world looks at her like she’s a freak. And then Kellen comes along. He is not the classic bad boy in a motorcycle you might be thinking about, he is often described as ugly and she as a weirdo. When they first meet she is 8.

The story is told from almost 20 POVs from the main characters all the way to teachers and judges involved in the story and that was simply amazing and it made this story unbelievably real and unapologetic and raw and disgusting at times; it is as beautiful as it is disgusting. I even had to put it down at times and consider if I wanted to keep reading because it is pretty graphic in a way that it made me uncomfortable and challenged me.

Bottom line, it is what it is. In all it’s ugly and wonderful glory, this is not just a book but a unique experience unfortunately only a few will get to dive into.


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