All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! This was a spectacular book. I devoured this story. Beginning to end, I was completely lost in this disturbing, yet beautiful, love story.
While I loved the story, I know that this is a story that many people will not enjoy. There are several difficult and highly controversial topics in this book. I’m pretty open-minded, but even I had a hard time with the relationship turning physical between Wavy (13-14 years old) and Kellen (25 or so years old). As a fictitious story, I was able to come to terms with it eventually. However, in no way would I ever condone that relationship in real life.
That being said, the emotions that this book elicited are the reason that I loved it. I was heartbroken, appalled and shocked by Wavy’s daily life. As much as I found aspects of their relationship to be unsettling, I could not deny that the love between the two was sincere.
Kellen was the only person in Wavy’s life that treated her with the slightest bit of compassion and concern. She was the same for him in many ways. These were two lost souls that clung to each other with everything they had.
The fact that Kellen was a father-figure, in many ways, to Wavy for so long made accepting their romantic relationship all that much harder for me. It just was unfathomable to me that Kellen would go there. Who does that?
Nonetheless, this book blew me away. I love a book that can make me feel the way this one did. I’m still feeling conflicted and uneasy with the content. That being said, I’m still thinking about it, and trying to figure out exactly how I feel, days later. That says a lot.
This book will definitely make an impression, be it good or bad. I loved it, but I also hated it at times. If you’re looking for an emotional read that will tie you in knots, this is a great choice. It is a tragically beautiful story and completely captivating. This is a phenomenal piece of work and I will definitely be reading future books by this author.