- A New York Times and USA Today bestseller
- Book of the Month Club 2016 Book of the Year
- Second Place Goodreads Best Fiction of 2016
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.
31 Books Bringing the Heat this Summer —Bustle
Top Ten Hottest Reads of 2016 —New York Daily News
Best Books of 2016 —St. Louis Post Dispatch
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Bryn Greenwood’s defiant debut is an unorthodox––and often uncomfortable––love story. Wavy Quinn, the abused daughter of Kansas meth dealers, is only eight when she meets Jesse Joe Kellen, a kindly twentysomething biker in her father’s employ. As their relationship escalates from ad hoc guardianship to true romance, their 13-year age gap is scrutinized by various characters, whose reactions range from curiosity to disgust. Despite the provocative, occasionally histrionic plot, Greenwood finds genuine tenderness between two tragically neglected people as she tries to make sense of life on the margins. She challenges readers to do the same.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well written, but sometimes can be hard to follow based on who is narrating each chapter. I sometimes had to go back and look to see who was narrating. Otherwise, very good read.
I usually dont read books like this. I am more into psychological thrillers. I was expecting more of that aspect out of this book but was not disappointed in the end. I was so drawn into this book. First page to last page couldnt put down. The characters were very well developed and the book is well written. The subject matter really makes you think about things that are uncomfortable. This book had me thinking for a while after I had finished.
Powerful, horrifying and sad-
This book is so extraordinarily accurate relative to the way in which some people live, getting by the best way they can and looking for love and compassion often without even knowing the boundaries of either.
The astute reader will look past the potentially uncomfortable relationship between two characters to get a chance to walk in the shoes of others who we pass by in our daily lives, with barely a look.