All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
- 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.
This book was recommended to me and I didn’t quite know what I was getting into. It was heartbreaking and there were many tragic characters, however I couldn’t put it down. There were times it was uncomfortable, but knowing that this life could be someone’s reality had me rooting for them in the end.
Way to romanticize pedophilia.
The author captures you with this troubled little 8 year old GIRL. Your heart goes out to her & you’re dying to see if she’s going to thrive despite everything she’s been through. & then you are introduced to the 24 year old MAN who allows himself to catch feelings for a CHILD. I don’t care how innocent it starts out or how the relationship progresses. This book is trying to make pedophilia relatable & it’s absolutely disgusting.
This book is not for everyone, I think we can all agree on that. The story is controversial, disturbing, and uncomfortable. But all the good stories should make us a little uncomfortable. If we aren’t feeling anything why engage at all?
Wavy is one of the most well written characters I have ever encountered. She’s heartbreaking, endearing, and confused.
This might be one of my all time favorite books. And again, I understand if it isn’t you’re shot of whiskey. But no one can deny the amazing characters, the descriptive and perfectly written story, and a book that makes you feel.