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  • 7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    Powerful, visceral, engrossing

    It has been well over a month since I read this book and I still think about with startling frequency. Technically it is a taboo romance. Very taboo. Very unsettling for a good number of people. It didn’t feel that way as I was reading, though. It was strangely beautiful and completely engrossing. Consent has always and will always be a tricky subject to tackle; whether it’s in real life or in a novel. People will always argue that a person has to be a certain age to know the implications of their decisions. This book serves as an example that age isn’t always the only thing to consider in matters of consent. Maturity can vary greatly between two people. Some people are far older than their years and some are far younger than their age might suggest. Bryn Greenwood did an excellent job at illustrating this with the characters of Wavy and Kellen. Wavy was so much older than she should have been, she was an adult when she was only five years-old; by the time she was 13 she’d lived through more people three times her age. Wavy dealt with traumas no person should have ever endured, raised her baby brother, and overcame a life that should have destroyed her; all before high school. Age was definitely not the way to determine Wavy’s ability to make decisions. Kellen was the perfect dichotomy to Wavy’s world-weary soul. Though he was older and very much an adult, had performed horrific acts against other people, he still had an innocence, a naiveté that Wavy didn’t possess. His soul-deep innocence made him the only person able to help Wavy with the struggles she faced every moment of her life. The characters in this book existed in a world so different than the one most of us live in, there is no way to apply our own experiences them. Every moment of their lives were filled with upheaval and strife, not one second of their experiences were what most people would consider ‘normal’, and in that stark difference of experience we can not possibly judge the things they did, the ways they dealt with their relationship. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things had several different points of view. Some were only a chapter long and others we returned to time and again. This gave a unique perspective on each of the main characters in the book. Getting to see Kellen and Wavy through so many different people’s perspectives gave a kind of understanding to their characters not often afforded to book characters. This made the experience completely unique and marvelous. Bryn Greenwood blew me away with All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Her writing was engrossing; from the first chapter of the book I could feel the grittiness of Wavy’s world, her shame seemed to jump through the words and fill me in a way I am not used to experiencing. She made me hate and love, fear and hope, in ways, I am not able to experience often while reading. I can only hope that any further works Ms. Greenwood publishes are as powerful and visceral as this book was for me.
  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    Nothing less than 5 stars! From page one I was pulled in I couldn't stop reading even when I got to some difficult parts I was engrossed and couldn't turn away. My heart and mind were in a battle as neither wanted to be right. I cried. This story will definitely stay with me forever. A story told with so much passion. I believe in love, innocence, respect, loyalty and selflessness (wonderful things). I also believe in trauma, hate, jelousy, selfishness and abandonment (ugly things). I loved experiencing this amazing story!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

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    Heart-shattering read

    I can't think of a better way to describe this story than the title. This book explores the ugliest and most wonderful things about love's complicated nature. It was wholly uncomfortable and strikingly beautiful, upsetting and uplifting by turns.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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    All the Ugly and Wonderful Thigs

    Pulls at the heartstrings, and makes you uncomfortable about who you're routing for. Takes you on an emotional roller-coaster through the disturbing realities of the characters. Could not put it down!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    I am so disappointed! I was so excited to read this book and I didn't love it nearly as much I thought I would. I have seen so many rave reviews for this book and I just knew that I would absolutely love it too. I actually pulled it out on New Year's Eve because this was the book that I wanted to start the new year reading because I was sure it would be a 5 star book. There were some things that I did like about the book but it ended up being just an okay read for me. This is a happy little inappropriate meth lab romance. The meth lab isn't the controversial part of the story. I said it is inappropriate because of the fact that the romance is between a child and an adult. I knew that going in but I just couldn't get over this issue while I was reading. This book made me uncomfortable as I am sure it made many other readers. I just couldn't get past this issue. This book made me sad more than anything. I felt bad for Wavy. The things that she must have went through before this book starts just breaks my heart. She has so many issues at the beginning of the book and she will still be dealing with these issues for years to come. She doesn't want to be touched, she doesn't talk, and she will not eat in front of anyone. I really wish her grandmother would have been able to care for her for a longer time. The people who should be taking care of Wavy simply don't do their jobs for the most part. Her mother lays in bed most days and her father is off dealing with his drug business. She takes care of her brother and herself. When Kellen crashes his motorcycle in front of Wavy's house, an unlikely friendship is formed. Kellen really did do a lot to take care of Wavy and her brother. I liked him a lot of first but when it crossed the line into a romantic relationship it just didn't work for me. I was really excited to read this book because I knew it was different. I like different. I am open to reading about things that are not the social norm. I think my main hang up with this story is that Wavy was a child during most of it. This was a book that I found rather easy to set aside. Some sections seemed to hold my attention more than others but in the end it is a pretty forgettable story for me.

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