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 stargazing 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.
©2016 Bryn Greenwood (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
"Jorjeana Marie was meant to narrate this gripping story, which takes place in meth country in the Midwest. Neglected, abused 8-year-old Wavy Quinn is stargazing when she unintentionally causes Jesse Joe Kellen, an ex-con employee of her drug-dealing dad, to crash his motorcycle. Marie grippingly portrays this troubled pair who befriend each other after Wavy saves his life. Things come to a head when their relationship is misunderstood. In addition to deftly presenting the lead characters, Marie perfectly renders Wavy's adorable little brother and beloved grandmother. Some chapters are written from other characters' viewpoints over a period of 15 years, and Marie presents those flawlessly as well. Listeners will be eager to hear what happens next, always rooting for Wavy and Kellen." (AudioFile Magazine)
Whoa! I don't think I've ever been as affected by a book or ever thought about a book constantly like I did with this. Contrary to many views I did not struggle with the content at all (I can understand why maybe some people would), I was constantly on tender-hooks waiting for something bad to happen, expecting things to get out of hand at any turn. So many emotions, so much happening. Told in multiple POVs, the story is gritty, tense and beautifully written. The story follows the obsessive relationship between Wavy (age 8) and Kellen who is about 12 years her senior. Wavy's family life leaves a lot to be desired, her parents are abusive and neglectful. Wavy doesn't speak and doesn't like being touched by anyone, until Kellen. He is her protector, her friend, her confidant and as the years go by, their feelings become more....... One of my favourite reads of the year. I loved it.
I loved this story because of the discomfort I felt while reading not despite of..
This author gave us a story that is original not only in it's content but in the way it's written as well.
"No other like it"
If you had told me I would have loved a book this much just based on the blurb, I would have thought you crazy but I am telling you... Perfection. This book was every emotion and more. 5 star all the way.
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"So many 'hard to listen to' moments"
This is difficult to review. I wasn't initially captivated by the provided synopsis, but I got the book because so may reviewers had written to just get it. I read several reviews, and I can go back and check again, but I don't remember any that warned of the extremely graphic and vulgar language used to describe sexual acts. Put that little cherry on top that many are spoken by a girl no older than 14 years, who is experiencing them with a 24 year old man. I'm not sure I can express myself in a way that conveys my sincere distaste for those moments and there were plenty.
So, now you know. If you think you can look beyond it, there is a decent story here. But I can definitely say, it wasn't for me. Knowing what I know now, I would have passed on this one.
"Just like the title - ugly and wonderful"
Eight hours into this 11 hour book and I was thinking I had wasted a credit; I couldn't stop listening, but I wasn't happy. Then it ended and all of a sudden this wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. That never happens. What a weird book! The first part is beautiful, then it gets uncomfortable, then it makes you question everything you thought you knew about relationships and family, then it gets like a bargain bin book, then it just sneaks up on you and crumples you. It never panders to your emotions. It doesn't care what you think. Definitely worth the credit. And definitely worth the time!
"5 AMAZING STARS! Best book of 2016!"
The synopsis of the book does NOT do it justice. This story is a very well written story told from various view points. I will admit I was a skeptic when I read the amazon reviews and each one just said "read this book". Now I understand. I want to tell the world to LISTEN/READ THIS BOOK!! The main character's name is Waivy-- it follows her life beginning at birth. There are sub-characters galore and each has an impact on the story. This book is so well written, the performance is so well done that I cannot imagine a bad review of any kind. USE your credit for this book. You will not be disappointed.
"Read this book."
No, really. Just read it. Don't read up on it more, don't look for spoilers, just one-click, and read/ press play, whatever. You're welcome all the way.
"Difficult to see the wonderful among the ugly"
It was a tragic love story, but since I have a 14-year old daughter, I could not help but to identify with the aunt's perspective.
It was disturbing to me; glad others enjoyed it but I did not.
I have listened to many, many audible books and this is my first review. I do not see much wonderful in this sad, disturbing story. I almost wish I hadn't read it! But i know I'm in the minority. Maybe not for women with teenage daughters!
"Good, but, messed up."
This was a good story, but, it was definitely uncomfortable to listen to. You are happy for these tragic characters to find each other, but, conflicted because of the obvious pedophilia... which is HARD to listen to.
"Oh how I wish I had listened to the reviews!"
I don't think so
Currently listening to The Girl Before, very good!
Nothing wrong with the performance
I could not finish this book, I was warned that it could make you feel uncomfortable and I went in with a super open mind. The relationship was completely unacceptable and there was simply no coming back from it. Cringe worthy. Made it to the bedroom scene when the man climbs in thru the 8 year old girls window....
"Pathetic attempt to romanticize Child Sexual Abuse"
The core of the story is disturbing on many levels. The subject matter itself would keep me from reading it.
The fact that there is blatant sexual abuse of a child that the author tries to make seem acceptable and like a love story. Uh, sorry...it's NEVER acceptable.
Hey, I'm no prude, by any means, actually very open and liberal minded. But this book stepped FAR over the line to try to romanticize the sexual abuse of a child. Not okay. Ever.
"A brave departure from the norm"
The story line is a refreshing change from assembly line romance tales. The main protagonists are damaged and unglamorous. Some readers might even find the gradual development of their relationship disturbing due to the age gap and the squalor of their surroundings, yet the author persuades us that something of beauty can still grow in the ugliest of circumstances. There is neither a handsome Prince nor sexually skilled billionaire to fuel a reader's girlish daydreams here. Instead a random act of kindness to a child generates a feeling of responsibility which, over a period of years, develops into an attraction destined to raise concerns. This was not an easy subject to tackle and I applaud the author for taking us in a new direction. I look forward to more books from this source.
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