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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things’ Back-of-book Description:

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.

My Thoughts

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood is a little controversial, but oh my gosh is it good! The story is captivating, it always leaves you wanting to know more, and her writing is incredible! You really get to know the characters and follow them for a few years, growing and evolving with them.

Based on the subject of the book, it’s hard not to go into it with some pretty strong opinions. You think you know how you’ll feel about the situation – you think you know what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. But you’ll quickly learn that there’s a lot of room for doubt and hope in the lives of these two fictional (but I think based on real) characters.

Admittedly, it is awkward at times (a lot of times!) But you’ll fall in love with them and your heart may break with theirs. It is so beautiful!

I read this at the same time as a friend – we had a mini-book club sort of thing going and it was awesome! Because of all the awkward situations and weird emotions the book evokes, it’s good to have people to discuss it with while you’re reading. Book clubs across the world should consider adding this to their roster, for real. So many great discussions to be had.

Book clubs across the world should consider reading this one. So many great discussions to be had. Click To Tweet

If you have reservations about a controversial love story between a minor and an adult, I can’t say that I blame you. But I would still totally recommend All the Ugly and Wonderful Things to … well to literally everyone!

Buy it now!

Favorite Quotes From All the Ugly and Wonderful Things:

“I liked learning things. How numbers worked together to explain the stars. How molecules made the world. All the ugly and wonderful things people had done in the last two thousand years.”


“I was lying on the tracks under a train I was in love with.”  

“You can look up keening in the dictionary, but you don’t know what it means until you hear somebody having their heart ripped out.”
In Conclusion

This book gets the rare 5 out of 5 stars. It was THAT good! And it belongs on every fiction-readers’ Must Read list!

This book belongs on every fiction readers' Must Read list! Click To Tweet


Be sure to check out the pin-able quotes below!

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