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Review: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things

Bryn Greenwood - All The Ugly and Wonderful Things
Published: August 9, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genres: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

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. 
This was so emotionally exhausting, I feel like I can't read anything else for a couple of days, or if anything, it has to be YA Contemporary. Fill me with recs if you will.

Wavonna "Wavy" Quinn is the daughter of a drug dealer when she's been sent to stay with her maternal side of the family, Aunt Brenda, her younger cousins, Amy and Leslie (#Snitches), and Grandma. After causing friction within Aunt Brenda's family, Grandma decides to takes her in, but soon her mother returns with a new baby in tow, Donal, and they relish in temporary happiness. But when her mother's beau, Liam returns, insisting they move to a faraway farmhouse and promising them life's grander things, Wavy's mother packs the whole family to follow him.

After crashing his motorcycle in a nearby field, Kellen is starstruck by a small blonde girl in the distance. She approaches him, helps to staunch his wounds. So when he returns to visit her, entranced by her, he realizes her age: eight. Realizes his own. And, well, doesn't care.

This is multiple-POV. As in, there were so many POVs it'd be impossible to accurately name them all, and most of them held little-to-no significance. Just sayin'. I was tempted to name them, but there are too many. Kellen and Wavy's relationship is viewed from the standpoint of teachers and cousins and friends of friends. Even Kellen and Wavy themselves, who insist they're in love.

"Don't be such a tightass," Sandy said. "They're in love. It's sweet."
"No, it's fucking creepy. What is she, like ten?"
"Wavy's thirteen," I said.
Okay, so I thought Kellen was disgusting. Sorry, but there's no way you can change my opinion about him. I was hoping he'd be arrested. He doesn't give her his real name, lies to her, has a temper, and gets with multiple women throughout the story. Plus, they have a thirteen-year age difference. Do the math, or don't. Because I just did for you.

"Love at first sight, huh?" Beth snorted. "How old was she?"
"That's creepy."
Not fond of Wavy either, but I can't even blame her. Because she's so young. SO young. Kellen had her believing they were in a serious relationship. She was telling intimate family members' they were boning. Also, she talks like a five-year old, which is annoying as fuck. "How'd you get here?" / "Walked." / "What do you do in your spare time." / "Swim." - Complete SENTENCES, woman.

The only sane people in this story are Aunt Brenda and Wavy's college friend, Renee. SORT-OF. Because to an extent, they even shipped Wavy/Kellen. I understand if they'd grown together (attended the same school, the soccer team, etc), but it wasn't even that. Remember when those annoying memes started filling the internet? "She's too young for you, bro"? I wish Wavy had someone to tell her an opposite-version of that.

The ending disgusted me because it was trying to tell us the family was finally okay with Wavy and Kellen's mess. Absolutely NOT. I refuse to acknowledge their "romance" as forbidden love because Wavy never had the chance to experience joyful things, like being taken to the school dance by a boy her age and having her nails painted by a friend.

The only reason I gave this book three-stars is because I adore the way it was written. The littlest parts just got me. You should only read this if you have a high tolerance level for absolute bullshit, but nonetheless, the writing is gorgeous.
The rule was nothing belongs to you, but I think she was breaking the rule. If somebody tried to take the ring, she'd sock them. It was her ring. Kellen brought it for her so he could marry her. If it wasn't Wavy, I didn't know he could like a girl that much. They're kinda gross.

She let the sun sparkle off the ring, so it made little rainbows on the walls and on me. I liked that almost as much as I liked her talking.


  1. Aw man, too many POVs can really bring a book down. Some of the characters seem pretty frustrating as well, which is a shame. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one :)

  2. I.... no. NO. SO she was 8 and (thanks for the math hahah) he was 21?! NO. I just threw up in my mouth. Seriously, that is so messed up I don't even have words. My whole problem with this is, if it had some kind of lesson like "hey, don't rape kids", then I could probably handle it? But when the moral of the story is "go ahead and statutorily rape everyone, it's FinE as long as your friends and family ship it!" then.... so much no. NO NO NO. This is actual, literal FORBIDDEN love because fucking NO, you cannot do this. I can't with this. I like, ALMOST wanted to read it out of curiosity, but I think I am too full of rage. Fabulous review though! Now I know I need to not read it ;)


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