Reader reviews and comments on All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, plus links to write your own review.

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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

A Novel

by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood X
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 352 pages
    Oct 2017, 432 pages

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There are currently 32 reader reviews for All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
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Sandy F. (Davis, CA)

Give this time to stir your soul
A book that has layers and where the "wonderful things" seem like they will never happen. It begins slowly and becomes Riveting, heart rending, educational in a way I hope I never need -- well written. Bryn Greenwood had to have lived this. It is too real. A story of lives, child and adult, torn apart by addiction, lack of love, abuse, anger, and full of everything downright ugly. Where salvation for one child comes from someone negatively labeled for heritage and looks,that is the only one that acts with love and honor. Where love lasts through the "impossible" for years and is finally right and "a wonderful thing." Much more to tell and I don't have the skill to convince you this book is hard to put down and even harder to forget. Brilliant!
Janet S. (Terrace Park, OH)

Powerful Read
This is a tough read and not for everyone. Wavy, the daughter of a drug dealer, has to grow up all to quickly and trusts no one...even her parents. At eight years old she pretty much raises her mother's new baby, when she is still a child herself.

Fortunately, along comes a friend, Kellen, who helps her and understands exactly what she has/is going through. They become friends and help each other get through all that is happening in their world.

This is a real life story in the world of drugs, criminals, etc. It's a powerful read.
Elizabeth K. (Dallas, TX)

An unconventional love story
I couldn't put this one down. The characters are unusual, but they feel like real people, and the story is compelling. Wavy and Kellen are truly star-crossed lovers. You can't help but root for Wavy and Kellen and Donal to be together as a family. I plan to read any future books by Bryn Greenwood.
Power Reviewer
Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)

Each chapter is written by one of the characters which gives the reader how each make a choice in the years involved in the story. Very good read.
Roe P. (Massapequa Park, NY)

Indeed, Wavy, the main character in this book does experience every ugly and wonderful thing...At the start of the book she is a young girl of 8, but her life is full of "adult" experiences. She is a troubled child and as she grows up some terrifying experiences are part of her life. This book is sometimes difficult to read because of the horrific things that happen around Wavy...but she is a survivor and beats the odds. A love story, a drama, even a little mystery surrounding her younger brother can be found in Ms. Greenwoods novel. I recommend it and found myself wanting to spend more time reading so I could discover Wavy's future....
Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)

Wow - Just Wow
This is a finely crafted, beautifully written book about a very ugly world. The love story of Wavy and Kellen is definitely not the stuff of dreams. It is the stuff of life and the story of how two people can love each other enough to rise above all the pain and brutality of their surroundings and save each other in the process. At many times I was made uncomfortable by the burgeoning sexuality of Wavy, and the wildly inappropriate actions of Kellen and Wavy. Perhaps because their world was so devoid of a moral compass it was easier to deal with what in any other situation would be simply unacceptable. It was critical to have multiple voices narrating events to provide balance - sort of a "Greek Chorus" for the reader. I devoured this book - every ugly wonderful bit of it.
Doris R. (Snellville, GA)

Ugly and wonderful, beautiful and heartbreaking
When I first started this book, I wasn't sure I would finish it. The ugliness this little child was enduring was hard to stomach, but I quickly was taken in by the beauty of her spirit. She is a survivor, and I was buying into her story. I had to know the ending.
Ms. Greenwood has created a story that questions everything you ever thought about relationships. What is appropriate? What is inappropriate? Mother/daughter, husband/wife, teacher/student? Underage girl/older guy? Sister/sister, brother/brother? Evil and good can show up anywhere.
She allows the story to be told through every character's first person experience. That's a style I really enjoy.
Barbara G. (Lisle, IL)

What Is Love?
The characters and this well-written and haunting story will stay with you long after you reach the final paragraph. At the beginning, you may not want to continue reading because the situations are so off-putting. Wavy, the focal character, is nearly mute, speaking monosyllabically, so traumatized by her bi-polar, self-centered and indifferent mother and her physically abusive meth-dealing father with his own harem. The only bright point in her life is Kellen, a giant, tattooed motorcycle mechanic twelve years her senior from his own alcoholic, abusive family. Seeing how she's treated, he steps in to buy her clothes and shoes, pay her school fees and makes sure she gets there, and becomes her friend. There are definite questions of whether their relationship is pedophilia, but the reader will have to decide what constitutes love after getting to know them and the situations in which they find themselves.

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