All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was very hesitant to pick this up as it has been a very controversial read within the book community. People either tend to love it or hate it. I ended up finding it for $2, so I decided to give it a try. This does have triggers for child abuse, substance abuse, and pedophilia.
I am pretty critical when a story deals with child abuse, as I work within the field. However; the beginning of this story was heartbreaking due to how accurate it was to other stories I have seen/worked. The conditions described how Wavy was living and watching out for her younger brother was very accurate with how children live today in some drug exposed homes.
There are several different perspectives. I am glad I listed to this on audiobook, as it was easier to look at the chapter name to understand who’s point of view we were on. I normally am not a huge fan of this, but the story continued on with each perspective and did not take on a different story. It was easy to follow and it worked better than I thought it would.
I understand where others feel the relationship with Wavy and Kellan was inappropriate. I think the first half of the story was just an older man who was taking care of an abused child. He was there for her when no one else was. As the story continued and Wavy got older, there were things that happened which were inappropriate. Wavy was a vulnerable child and Kellan was a grown man. He should still have known better. Other adults do acknowledge their relationship is inappropriate as well. As their romance grew, your anger will grow. I was hoping the ending would be Wavy moving on in life. I would have liked a different ending.
I do disagree with others that saying you liked this story means that you were ok with what happened with Wavy and Kellan. I really enjoyed this story, but it does not mean AT ALL that I agree with what happened. It was a great story. It was heartbreaking. It makes you angry. It makes you think about what is happening. That is what makes this a great story; not what happened.
Overall, this was really good and I think it is an important story to tell. I saw some other reviews saying this would never happen in real life; unfortunately it does.
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