tl;dr ugly and wonderful, indeed

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood


I don’t really know where to begin this review except to say the title of this book is incredibly fitting. The only reason it loses a star is for the ugly. Wavy is a child living with
All the Ugly and Wonderful Thingsawful parents taking care of herself and her little brother. When no one looks after her Jesse Joe Kellen comes into her life as he wrecks his motorcycle one night at the sight of her.

I have to say, I had a hard time putting this book down. It reminded me slightly of the TV show Shameless, in a way that no matter how ugly it get’s away it is impossible to look away and not find out what happens next. Although Wavy’s life and relationship with Kellen is very unconventional, you can’t help but feel what she feels and want her happiness. It’s just too bad she’s the only one that doesn’t have a say in it. 

Her mother has convinced her that the world is ugly and dirty and talking lets dirty things out while it brings dirty things in. Through Kellen’s appearance (big, greasy, biker) Wavy only sees love, someone who finally takes care of her so she’s not so alone. Although she is only in 3rd grade and he is about 24 when they meet, their love is instantaneous and eternal.

In the ugly world of abuse, abandonment, drug, alcohol, domestic abuse, and attempted parenting by her aunt Wavy finds the wonderful of her life in Kellen. Thanks to her mom, Wavy doesn’t talk much, doesn’t like people touching her, and really has a hard time socially. She barely eats, mostly at night when no one can tell, and doesn’t let anyone but her brother close to her. She opens up to Kellen not by choice, but by fate it seems. After years of found happiness everything turns on its head, leaving Wavy and Kellen to never see each other again. But she never stops fighting.


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