Oh, this book. Wavy and Kellen, an unlikely pair of friends with a wide age gap, had my heart from the very beginning. Their story is not an easy one — not for them to live or for us to read — but it's so worth the heartache. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is not for everyone, but it is stunning. Once the story started wrapping up, I knew there was a fork in the road that would either make it just a book I loved reading or a book I would love forever and ever. And it's the latter for sure. Recommended By Emily F., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Greenwood’s strong debut set throughout the United States is about a young girl’s triumph over the sordid life she might have led as the daughter of drug addicts one of whom is a meth dealer. The author skillfully creates widely varied and original voices as the story unfolds from a variety of characters’ viewpoints whether it’s Wavy the main character whom we see growing from a six year old to a young adult; Wavy’s grandmother who takes care of her for a time before succumbing to cancer; or the loving Kellen whose street smarts makes up for his lack of education. The relationship at the heart of the novel is between Wavy and Kellen a drug runner for her father who changes her life. In Wavy Greenwood has fashioned a resilient girl who doesn’t speak much hiding a fierce intelligence and strong will that enables her to take care of herself and her infant brother despite her parents’ drug habits. This is a memorable coming of age tale about loyalty defiance and the power of love under the most improbable circumstances. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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.