All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
I first read this book in January of 2017 and it is easily in my top ten books of all time. I’m constantly telling everyone I know that they need to read it. When my friends behind #awesomeAFbuddyreads decided to make it their July read, I knew it was the perfect time for me to do a reread.
Goodreads Synopsis: 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. Kellen may not be innocent, but he is the fixed point in Wavy and Donal’s chaotic universe. Instead of playing it safe, Wavy has to learn to fight for Kellen, for her brother, and for herself.
Review: This is one of the most controversial books I’ve ever read. The story of a modern day Romeo and Juliet, two star crossed lovers – in more ways than one. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things reminds us that not everything is black and white, and as onlookers to any given situation, we can’t ever know the exact circumstances.
Told in alternating POVs, between not only the two main characters, but from countless others that are spectators to this explosive narrative. Their perspectives are key. They remind us of the details that are easy to forget as you get lost in Wavy’s isolated world.
If you haven’t already read this book, I urge you to do so. I don’t want to say much more for fear of giving anything else away. Prepare to be shocked, heart broken, outraged, disgusted, horrified, and prepare to fall in love. Prepare to question everything you ever believed about right and wrong. This masterpiece will give you all the feels. Every single one.
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Page Count: 346
Overall Rating: 5/5