All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

294808654.5 stars that I will round up to 5 because I absolutely devoured the majority of this ugly and wonderful book!

I went into this book expecting a depressing story full of abuse and continual neglect and drugs and rape. However, what I found was a sweet story about an unlikely friendship between young Wavy and her gentle giant, Kellen. Kellen is there for Wavy and her younger brother Donal when no one else is, taking her to school, doing the grocery shopping, and just being good company when all the other adults in their world are cooking meth and getting drunk. Then, of course, there is the relative we all love to hate: the well-meaning aunt. The aunt who is trying to protect the kids who don’t want to be protected. Kellen is eventually accused and convicted of crimes he didn’t commit and the family is torn apart. After spending years in prison, however, no sparks of love are lost between Wavy and Kellen and no matter what, she keeps fighting to find her way back to him. Their story is a beautiful one, if a little difficult to read because of the age difference. Nonetheless, because of the life circumstances, their situation is understandable to an extent.

One fairly unique thing about this book is that it is written in many different points of view. Going into one chapter, we might not even know who the character is when we begin reading. It keeps things interesting, I think. At the same time, though, things jump around a bit. Sometimes events happen in one chapter from someone’s point of view and in the next chapter, someone else is flashing back on that same event so its reading the same thing from two different times.

Overall, I really loved the book, especially the second half. The beginning was a little slow for me. Just a lot of slow burning set up for me and then everything really took off midway and I couldn’t stop! I loved Wavy’s fascination with constellations and how it eventually ties into her <> education and even her engagement ring! Stars on her ceiling, stars on Kellen’s bike….it just becomes something sweet and smart between them and its lovely.

Soundtrack: “I Would Do Anything For Love” by Meat Loaf (yeah baby!!!!!)

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