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
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2017, 432 pages

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There are currently 31 reader reviews for All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
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Amy W. (Annapolis, MD)

Just Beautiful
Have you ever read a book that was so beautifully perfectly written that you just had to put it down every once in a while to savor the words? That is this book. I don't want to say too much about the plot because part of the beauty of this book is learning how the story unfolds...

One of the unique aspects of this book that was perfectly done was the narration. It is very difficult to change narration's without breaking the flow in the story but somehow Bryn Greenwood is able to do it in a way that adds to the story.

I highly recommend this book.
Diane H. (Leawood, KS)

Amazing Read
Wow! Greenwood has presented the reader with a truly mesmerizing cast of characters. Her style of writing allows you to feel as if you are inside of the skin of Wavy and Kellen and sharing their experiences.
The book is raw, sensual and touching. I could not put it down.
Julie M. (Maple Grove, MN)

Five Stars!!
This is one of the best books I've read so far this year! The characters are fully drawn and even though the dialog is sparse they all have a lot to say and Greenwood made every word count. This is about family and who that is for us may not be determined by blood, but who makes us feel safe, loved and accepted. Both Wavy and Kellan are living proof that if a person has one other person to love and care about them it can literally save their life no matter what else happens to them. I will not forget this story or these characters for a long time. I had not read this author in the past and can't wait to read her other two novels. I will be recommending All The Ugly and Wonderful Things to everyone!
Power Reviewer Becky H. (Chicago, IL)

Ugly hope
The Ugly – Strung out, abusive, uncaring parents who also deal drugs and engage in "open" marriage among other things: relatives who are too eager to condemn and not eager to listen: law enforcement that wants to believe the worst: and more.

The Wonderful – sincere friendship: true, faithful love: caring teachers: and more.
Beautifully written with well developed, complex characters and believable, if truly awful situations, Bryn Greenwoods debut book is mesmerizing. Filled with raw language and rawer sex, it still manages to be filled with love and hope. This book is not for everyone, but for those willing to read with an open mind, the love story of Wavy and Kellen follows them from Wavy's eighth year through her college graduation. This is an unusual book that will find its way to book groups eager to be challenged and willing to discuss drugs, law enforcement, child endangerment, felons, desperation, murder, family relationships, perseverance and hope.

5 of 5 stars with reservations for sex, violence and strong language
Jill F. (Blackwood, NJ)

Couldn't put it down
This is one of those books that grabs you on the first page and doesn't let go. What makes a family? Who are we to judge when someone finds love and happiness? This is the story of people born in to the worst of circumstances, judged by society who find one another and build the family they've always longed for. Surrounded by chaos and abuse, severely damaged by past experiences Wavy and Kellen take care of one another. I'll admit to feeling uncomfortable with the turn their relationship takes and the consequences that result but in the end love conquers all, fences are mended and they find the family they longed for. Definitely a book to read if you're looking for a happy ending
Cheryl B. (La Porte, TX)

an interesting take on an unconventional relationship
I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were easy to understand and relate to. Even the unconventional romance between Wavy and Kellen somehow becomes OK in the reader's mind, despite the difference in ages. I set out thinking I wouldn't enjoy this book because of the romance between a young girl and older man, but in the end, the characters and book won me over.
Carolyn L. (Summerville, SC)

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
I enjoyed this story of a young girl who experienced a horrendous childhood, and the misfit who loved her. The book is beautifully written and kept my attention throughout. I cared about the characters. There is crude language and explicit sexual references, but if you can handle that you may find the story as gripping as I did.
Carole R. (Burlington, WI)

Star Bright
Those who like stories of children surviving terrible childhoods in unthinkable conditions (think The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls) will enjoy this story. The unlikely relationship between Wavy and Kellen seems implausible at first but by book's end I found myself rooting for them. As the title suggests life can have an ugly side that seems alien to many. It wasn't always easy reading this story because of the ugly seam running through it. It seemed long at times but I kept wanting parts fleshed out a little more. Wavy will take you out of your comfort zone and make you wish you knew more about the stars.

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