Published by St. Martin's Press on August 9th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Coming of Age
A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy's family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won’t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood's All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.
There was a lot of buzz and chatter about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things this summer. I’d heard about this forbidden love story and how it is somewhat of an uncomfortable read. I’m not one to shy away from a controversial book, though, and I eagerly tore through this one recently. This riveting story is moving and shocking and makes you stop and take notice.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is about a young girl named Wavy who is growing up in incredibly difficult circumstances. Wavy’s parents are meth addicts, and her father is a dealer. Consequently, Wavy has had to take on adult responsibilities at a young age. As the story begins, it’s 1975 and Wavy is five years old. She’s been shuffled around to relatives due to her mother Val’s incarceration, doesn’t talk much, and has strange eating habits. She is sharply intelligent but gets overlooked because she mostly keeps quiet.
Only one person is really there for Wavy consistently and earns her trust, and that is Kellen, a guy in his twenties who works with her father. Kellen helps look after Wavy and her baby brother Donal, and he and Wavy understand each other like other people can’t. These two damaged souls rely on each other over the years, and eventually their feelings turn romantic.
Author Bryn Greenwood’s skillful writing allows the reader to sympathize with Wavy and Kellen’s situation. Throughout the book, I rooted for Wavy’s successes and resilience and how she overcame the traumas of her rough upbringing. The story takes place over several years, and the multiple perspectives help fill in the gaps of Wavy’s story. If you give this one a shot, I think you’ll be blown away!
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is on sale now.
Intrigued? I have three copies of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things to giveaway to three lucky readers.
Three entrants will receive a copy of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Prizing provided by St. Martin’s Press and shipped by The Reading Date
Giveaway open to US residents age 18 and up
Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter: