All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

26114135Published: August 9th 2016

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Genres: Mature/Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness, Drug Abuse

Format: Hardcover Source: Publisher

My Rating: direKRo4T

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.

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~My Thoughts~


*I received a copy of this book, for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

This is a story that I still can’t wrap my head around. It deserves the full 4 stars (as I gave on GR), so don’t let the 3.5 here give you pause. It’s just that this book is so complicated! I could have easily given it 5 stars, but my mind can’t even get around certain things. And to say anything about the plot will spoil this for you. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is an apt title and perfectly describes this book. Greenwood is such a wonderful writer and I am eager to read her other books. This isn’t a review, really. I’ll just tell you what to look forward to and then you can read it for yourself. I had a WTF moment after finishing it, and am still thinking about what I read. You should definitely read this book. I can already see this book being challenged and/or banned. That’s just my opinion. The best books are the ones that are challenged. The author did an amazing job of holding the reader’s attention and crafting an unconventional story that will have your mind thinking “no no no, this is wrong.” but you will be powerless to stop your feelings of WANTING a HEA. 

What to look forward to….

– drug abuse and distribution, mental illness, child neglect and abuse, taboo romance

– Wavy and Kellen are 2 characters that will stay with you long after you’ve finished their story. Along with all the issues in this book, there are plenty of things to root for about Wavy and Kellen; and that is where my mind said one thing while my heart screamed something else. The way that Kellen took care of Wavy….. well, it’s no wonder the direction that the story took. I’m still just trying to reconcile my conflicting feelings for this story. Still, read this book. I swear you will never be the same again.

-It’s beautifully written, heart wrenching, hopeful (and will probably go against everything you believe in), but I can’t deny that it is one that everyone needs to read. It deserves all the praise because this story is still one that I’m trying to understand, even after weeks of finishing it. 

Overall, my 3.5-4 stars are pretty big. I highly recommend this book. My rating is strictly based on my beliefs and what I felt immediately after reading it. So, please give this story a try and form your own opinions. 



14 thoughts on “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

  1. So, I have read a few reviews of this (and I must thank you for not being spoilery, because every other review I have read WAS, and that is kind of frustrating- so THANK YOU!) and I just… I don’t know! Because I don’t know if I can deal with… well, wanting the HEA even though I DON’T, you know? But then I have also read so many GOOD things, and like you said (and everyone else seems to agree) the writing is stunning so… I don’t know, I am SO on the fence with this. I think I might like, check it out of the library or something? That way if I can’t, I won’t feel bad having bought it? Great review, you are really making me consider reading it when I had all but sworn I wasn’t!


  2. Great review! I, too, have definitely had experiences with a book where this is just so much that I don’t know how to rate or review it so I get it! This one definitely intrigues me


  3. Ah yes it’s always a bit difficult when it’s complicated and that tou take a long time to really understand. I didn’t know about this one. thanks for your review. Maybe one day


  4. I’m desperate to read my copy. I’ve been warned about the potentially disturbing scenes and events in this book which oddly enough didn’t do anything to lessen my appetite. I’m glad you’re able to appreciate the book and all its flawed glory.


  5. It seems like this book had a lot to it! It covers a lot of taboo and themes which many book would avoid. It also sounds like the two characters are just lovely and this is the kind of book which will stay with you for much longer than you could imagine. It’s just a shame about it being a tad confusing.


  6. Now I feel nervous at the idea of reading it if it challenged you like that. But also feel great anticipation b/c I appreciate it when an author pushes me to feel and think beyond my normal.

    Nice summation and I appreciate that you were trying to avoid spoiling it. 🙂


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