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This was a very interesting read. SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT.... The author takes the time to build the love connection between the characters with hopes that you see their love is real. However, I can't decide if I get see that or if I see grooming. Either way, I did enjoy the read, even though it made me very uncomfortable at times.
I do not normally write reviews but I was very uncomfortable reading this book. Felt disgusting reading some of the content in this book about the relationship between Wavy and Kellen. Would not recommend to anyone.
I loved this book! Some hard topics but it is a beautiful story with deep characters.
This story pushed me out of my comfort zone. It's one of those that you either love or hate. Definitely had some cringe-worthy content, but the story was so well told I couldn't put it down.
This book should have a content warning. Reading this was very uncomfortable. The romance between the two characters simply started too young. It was cringey and uncomfortable at times especially since the book never really states how much of an age difference it is, but you know it's a lot. It honestly felt like romanticizing pedophilia.
There’s no middle ground for this book. Either you liked it or you didn’t. I found myself in the like camp. I think the story could of been less controversial had the writer lightened up on some of the cringe inducing explicit details. She didn’t need to spell them out for us. Having said that, probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. Be prepared for a disturbing and emotionally draining read.
Full disclosure, this book is NOT for everyone, but me personally I absolutely adored it. I could not read it fast enough. This book breaks barriers, and I was rooting for Wavy, Kellan, and their unconventional love the whole way. Their story is passionate and magical. It is raw and graphic and original. Keep an eye on this author!!
What the publisher's summary/synopsis doesn't tell the reader is that this book romanticizes pedophilia. This is a story of a sexual relationship between a 13 year old girl with a twenty something year old man. I think Kellen is 24-26 years old in the book. They even get caught in the act. The writer tries to make it seem that her pedophilia lover is her knight in shining armor. He is no such thing. Any young adult or teenager would get the impression that this situation is acceptable. It most certainly is not acceptable out of a grown man.
I'm even more appalled that this book won awards and high ratings for promoting pedophilia and turning that type of situation into a romance story.
People want to sit and moan that the world is going to crap and it is because of the promotion of this type of behavior that is trying to make this acceptable. Stop the sexualizing of children. Sex with anyone under the age of 18 is against the law and also immoral.
How would people feel if this was their sister, niece, cousin, daughter, granddaughter if this happened to them? There are moral lines in society that a person doesn't cross and this is one of them. Disgusting.
I won't be rating this book, because of the divisive and controversial content that has me questioning so many things and leaving me a bit conflicted. I will say, I absolutely loved the writing style and how this author used multi-pov's to tell Kellen and Wavy's story from primary characters in their lives to the fleeting. It was fascinating, thought-provoking, and often maddening. Although Kellen was a major player in this story, he also maintained a vagueness that helped propel the story and draw empathy. Was he as half-witted as many characters described or just misunderstood? Did his loneliness and connection with Wavy excuse their relationship? Bottom line, it's fiction and any answers would be conjecture and subjective. For me, the story was compelling, uncomfortable, and sad. Although I enjoyed the ending, I still can't personally reconcile all of my feelings from earlier in the book to the last page. Regardless of what the reader feels at the end of the story, the author aroused contemplation, discourse, and strong emotions. On those merits, I would say that she excelled with this novel.
Let me just say, the topic of this book is messed up, but I think that is part of what makes it so compelling. I literally had to bargain with myself to put it down. I finished it in two days.
Not beautiful. Not a love story. Icky icky icky. The people who think this is a beautiful love story are probably the same people who think that Lolita is a beautiful love story. A thirteen year old girl is a child. Do. Not. Sexualize. Children.
This is a story of deep and everlasting love, of making judgments on a person, forgiveness and overcoming hardship as a child and finally marriage to the person of your deepest desire. It was a great read and the only time I wrote and email the author.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I feel as though I grew with the characters and was deeply invested in their journey. I love the characters of Wavy and Kellen. It definitely made me uncomfortable to read as their relationship developed, but as other reviews have mentioned, I still found myself rooting for them til the end. I will be renting her other novels!
What I appreciated most about this novel is its nuanced treatment of complicated issues- child welfare, family, addiction, illicit drug manufacture and trade, consent, and safety. The novel leaves space for the reader to form their own conclusions, as opposed to directing the reader on what to think. Beautifully written, and like the characters that narrate each chapter, I found myself watching and holding onto the small moments of tenderness that break through the chaos and confusion.
This novel is one hell of an emotional roller coaster and is for sure going to be one of those "oh you liked that book? Interesting". No spoilers here, but from most of the descriptions of the book you can figure out why: a romantic relationship between a minor child and a young man. I weirdly found myself rooting for them- like did this actually phase me? Am I all of a sudden in support of pedophilia because that's kind of what it felt like? I think most people will call this a pedophilia book, but it is far from it.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is the story of a young girl, Wavy, who forms an unconventional friendship with Kellen- who is about 15ish years older than her from what I gathered. Over the course of the story, which spans the next decade, Wavy and Kellen become more than just friends in a very ugly and wonderful way. It is ugly because of duh he's an older guy and she's an eight year old girl when we first meet her- but it is also wonderful because he does such wonders for her in her dark childhood. Did we mention her parents are meth dealers?
I may catch crap for loving this story- but I think it really was a nice break from traditional "romances" if you can even really categorize this as such, but I don't know how else to compartmentalize this one. All I can say is this one needs to be read with a pound of salt, empathy, and unconditional love.
Liked this book until it just became too weird. The gradual introduction of a sexual relationship between an adult man and a very troubled child became very repugnant to me and I could not finish the book. Child sexual exploitation is bad no matter how well written about it is.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is Bryn Greenwood's third novel. Bryn's two previous titles are Last Will (2012) and Lie Lay Lain (2014).
When I am not with this book, I miss Wavy, Kellen, and their world. It is the kind of book that I can lose myself in. The writing is perfectly fluid. the characters are strong and unique; the author deftly maintaining the distinct integrity of each character, however brutal, as the adults deteriorate and the children grow. A fantastic, one of a kind, beautiful piece of fiction that tugs relentlessly at rigid morality, begging for any safe space for grace, love, and humanity among the desperation and violence.
Loved this book. A young protagonist and survivor stories are 2 of my favorites. This story of Wavy's ugly world is wonderfully written. Although it's about a disturbing relationship, because it's fiction, I still wanted them to be together. Poor Wavy who was emotionally scarred, brainwashed, and neglected by her wackadoodle mother needed and deserved Kellen's kindness and love. Sucked me in from the first page and didn't let go. Read it in a day. (Sensitive readers should know there are graphic scenes and foul language in this book.)