Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." -...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Created: 09/10/17

Replies: 16

Posted Sep. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

Expert

Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen? What's your opinion about their respective maturity levels?


Posted Sep. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bestmartin's Gravatar
bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 71

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Despite their age differences, I viewed them both as children when they first were together. By the end, I think they're both adults.


Posted Sep. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 19

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

When I think about the book, I think of Wavy as a child and the impossibly difficult life she was forced to live. We didn't really know her very long as an adult, but I was delighted that she turned out as well adjusted as she did. I have a different perception now of male sexual abuse. Every case is different. It is a very difficult subject.


Posted Oct. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

In the beginning I saw her as a child, but her assumption of cooking and caring for her brother and her navigation of avoidance of substance-abusing adults showed that she was mature beyond her years. Kellen may have been old enough to drive or legally buy liquor, but a part of him was still a child. I agree with the first reviewer who said both characters seem like adults at the end.


Posted Oct. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jenniferj

Join Date: 09/30/17

Posts: 20

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I view Wavy as a child, but one who was forced by circumstance to behave as an adult. She emulates the behavior she thinks an adult should display. She cooks, she cares for her brother. Developmentally, however, she still thinks as a child in many ways. For instance, she believes her mother when she tells her she is "dirty" since she does not have an adult context to accept her mother's words are sick lies. To me, I was unwilling to define either Wavy or Kellen as children or adults, but rather saw them as two individuals who were able to provide strength, love, and security to each other. In a modern society, there are clear definitions of a child and an adult. Their world, however, existed outside of any social norms. Rules are important, however, society needs to also leave space for exceptions. No one should compare the life of Wavy or Kellen to what would be considered acceptable in a typical suburban household. Although their behavior seemed to go against social mores, for them it was probably the best path to living a productive life.


Posted Oct. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 47

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I viewed Wavy as a child until the end. But I saw Kellen as young too. He was so innocent and young for his age. Their age difference didn't bother me most of the time. When it did, it was because he was worried about it. By the end, they were both adults.


Posted Oct. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jkhunter349

Join Date: 10/03/17

Posts: 2

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Wavy always seemed much older to me than her true age. I feel like some sort of wisdom comes from not speaking or speaking very little. And I think her parents robbed her of a real childhood.

Kellen always seemed like an adult to me as well, although this is a great question... looking back I can see that much of his motivations and actions were immature.


Posted Oct. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I viewed Wavy as a child who was exposed to adult practices/experiences, vices and issues. She had to grow up too fast; therefore, she knew little of what one might call a normal childhood. Kellen is an adult who, like Wavy, had a less than favorable childhood and was therefore plunged into a less than favorable adult life.Thank goodness change was to present itself in each character's future.


Posted Oct. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janicea

Join Date: 04/20/17

Posts: 3

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Like so many children of addicted, alcoholic, and/or mentally ill parents, Wavy had to step up and be the parent. She became an adult before her time and yet still wanted what most children want - to play, laugh, and have someone love you unconditionally. Enter Kellen. She found these characteristics in him. He was old enough to take responsibility for Wavy, as a parent should, and allow Wavy to be a child. He also relieved her of some of the parental duties she had assumed. There were times that it felt as if Kellen was not a fully mature person.


Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelathereader

Join Date: 04/22/15

Posts: 9

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Even though circumstances required Wavy to act like an adult, developmentally, she was still a child. I'd like to see how she's doing in 20 years, both because of her relationship with Kellen and being forced to grow up way too soon. The book ends in a tear jerking, romantic way, but she'll still have a lot to work through.


Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 71

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I wanted Wavy to be a child - so badly! That was not meant to be. She experienced so much by age 7 or 8 that she matured exponentially, whether we wanted her to or not.

Kellen was portrayed as child-like throughout, but he knew he was the adult all along. He worked so hard to protect Wavy and her brother, even from himself for most of the story.

I was uncomfortable with the storyline for most of the book but I think that was the point. I am a Midwesterner who had a very uneventful childhood. It's extremely likely that children grow up too fast when drugs are involved or in certain parts of the country where "that is the way it is". Just because we are uncomfortable, does not mean that it doesn't happen. Now what happens?


Posted Oct. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 15

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I view both as adults. Wavy is like no child I have ever known. Kellen is pretty unique too.


Posted Oct. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 44

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I thought of her more of a child in the beginning, but he seemed like a young child in some aspects as well. By the end, I viewed them as adults. The last line said it all about what was different about Wavy, she had grown up.


Posted Oct. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Wavy is a child forced to take on an adult role no child should shoulder. In some areas she is mature for her age, in other aspects she acts her age as she should. Kellen is an adult but at times he failed to exercise constraint and take on the authority of an adult. Wavy aged but unless both mend their cracks they will face challenges like any couple with the possibility of more. I do hope they are the exception and stay together for life.


Posted Oct. 17, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 188

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Wavy had to assume the responsibilities of an adult, but was still a child. With little guidance, except for her mother's impressions of thing being dirty, she was able to carve out a life for herself. Her romantic fantasies and dreams were similar to others her age, but with Kellen there all the time, it is no wonder she reacts as she does. Kellen too had a hard childhood but was more the adult. I think he liked being relied on. One wonders how their life will end.


Pegh
Posted Oct. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

Expert

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

I think age wise Wavy was a child but one who had little childhood. Circumstances made her at least act older than her years. Age wise, Kellen was an adult, and in someways acted as one but the core of him was a child. In the end, they were both moving into adulthood.


Posted 21 hours ago Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debrals

Join Date: 11/28/11

Posts: 35

RE: Did you view Wavy as a child or an adult? How about Kellen?

Wavy is a child that has been parentified at a very young age. Her development was stunted in certain areas of her life. She never got to be a child who is innocent and taken care of. Kellen was a child too. His responsibilities were adult, but he never got to be a carefree child either. It is always very sad when children see what they saw and are treated like adults not children.


Reply

Please login to post a response.