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.
It is wonderful! This is a brilliant story about love and hard lives. I would urge anyone to take the plunge and discover the depths inside.
Book lover, dog lover, life lover! :)
narration was great, kept me at the edge of my seat
Wavy's selfless love to Kellen
this is great book, it wasn't something i have expected to be honest. its very controversial, and possibly depending on your opinion it can make or break this book for you.
it also opens up your eyes to the other side of what might seam to be very Wrong.
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.
"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.
"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!
"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....
"Great book for Pedophiles"
I read many reviews on Audible and all gave five stars and not one person mentioned the inappropriate relationship in this book!!! I listened as the book hinted at the relationship but I figured that was all in a crush the little girl had on this man. I didn't think it would actually be carried out by a grown man. I had to stop reading. I was so disgusted and I felt like I needed a shower after listening to it. It had all the common pedophile rationalizations included - like 'she was so much more mature for her age', she lived a hard life and knew more things than other girls her age', it was a sweet kind of true love, and, of course, 'she was the initiator - she wanted him. Ick!!! I don't know how the book turns out in the end but as soon as their was sexual interaction between the two I had to stop. As a woman and a mother I am appalled.
It should have been called all the Ugly and Ugly things. No amount of "love" can make this story acceptable. I'm sorry that I listened to it. The only positive thing I can say about this book is that the performers were excellent.
This book was incredibly boring and hard to slog through, and I almost gave up a few times, but when their relationship started getting sexual, it was definitely over for me. I know the writing is beautiful and the characters are realistic and well-written, but The plot builds like molasses and is incredibly depressing. Not worth my time.
"Very strange -odd"
I was very uncomfortable with this book. 13 year old girl in love with a biker and describing her sexual feelings - the biker also in love with her?? Basically paedophilia.
"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!
"I'm In The Minority!"
Contains some spoilers:
This was a hard story for me to rate and review. On one hand, the story was well written and I loved hearing all the different POV's, on the other hand, you have a 13 year young girl who's had hard life, and ends up developing feelings for an older man who has been there for her since she was eight. I've listened to several audios about young girls developing feelings for older men and I have to admit those stories were tastefully done and the things progress closer to a legal age. I do understand all the five star reviews, but I had mixed feelings about THIS story.Yes, Wavy had a hard life, grew up faster than most, but the whole story to me was on the depressing side. I felt the HEA, really wasn't that happy.
The plot was well written, descriptive, kept me right on the edge wondering what was going to happen next, and the character development was great, but overall I can only give this story two stars due sexual content of a 13 year with an older man. I know this is a fictional, and preteens/teens are sexual. I also personally know someone close to me who was pregnant at 13, married by 14 and has been happily married to the same person for the past 21 years, but this happened with someone close to their age and not an adult.
Jorjeana Marie did an amazing job narrating this story! There are some many characters, and emotions, this story had to be a challenge narrate.
This is narrative driven, and simple.
The writing, and the story, are pedestrian and one dimensional. I found it boring and distasteful.
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