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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  104,845 ratings  ·  14,216 reviews
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex- ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin (first published August 9th 2016)
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Lori Hit a nerve, much? Abuse comes in many forms... and love and salvation can be found in unlikely places. Not everything is black and white.
Zuky the BookBum I think this book is very far from horrifying. It's sad, touching and eye opening more than anything. For me, this is the realest love I've read about…moreI think this book is very far from horrifying. It's sad, touching and eye opening more than anything. For me, this is the realest love I've read about in a book for a long, long time.(less)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  104,845 ratings  ·  14,216 reviews

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Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
4.5 Stars

"She is just as real as I am."

^^^That was my favorite line and moment in a book that was filled with more than a few touching lines and moments.


Before I say anything, let's address the large-trunked mammal who hath set his fat ass in the middle of this ugly and wonderful room.


Unless you live in a faraway goodreads cave (which I am totally not knocking, faraway caves are legit comfy hangouts) you have probably heard that the H/h in this book first...get involved...when they are 13 and
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grit-lit

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oh, good, i get to be the first reviewer of this book on here. that's not something i usually worry about, but when it's a potentially controvershul book, i get a little leery of being the only target for potential outrage. i had one of the first reviews of Tampa on here, too, and i know i'm gonna get a reputation for being totes pro-pedophilia if i keep being such an early cheerleader for these kinds of books, but i
✨    jamieson   ✨
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Emily May
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: karen
Shelves: modern-lit, 2016, botm, arc
Right up until that moment it was sweet and funny. Odd couple that they were, they had a real connection. Then he tugged her boot off and kissed the bottom of her bare foot. I could see him doing that kind of thing to his own kid, but she wasn’t. She was somebody else’s little girl.

This book destroyed me. I have never read anything like it. If you know the basic premise - that this is a so-called "love story" between an adult man and a female child - you might be thinking Lolita! But nah, Al
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2017
tw: pedophilia, sexual abuse

Let's pretend you have a little sister. Say she is 12 or 13. There's this big older guy she's been hanging out with lately, and you know he's at least 26 years old.
You walk into her room and there she is, on a table, completely naked, legs spread wide, he is sitting there, shirt off, pants open, touching her.
What do you do? What do you think? What do you feel?
That's exactly what I'm feeling reading this. It's not even discomfort any longer. It's shock and pure disgust
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars


I love out of the box, controversial reads. I love stories that are a bit forbidden and/or on the taboo side. When reviews started coming in for this book I’d never heard of, I knew I had to read it asap. So I picked up the book around 10 pm thinking- I’ll just start it, see how it is. Yeah. I bet you all can guess what happened after that… I stayed up all night reading it. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. My eyes were literally burning when I reached 65%, but I carried on. When I f
Jennifer Masterson
Jan 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This is emotionally draining and disturbing. I'm sorry. DNF. I think the audio made it feel all that more real. The writing is good. I almost feel like this book is going to put me into a slump. It truly freaked me out. The relationship between Wavy and Kellen is wrong. I don't care how good of a guy he is. I don't care how screwed up her mother is.

I'm sorry for initially saying that the novel is being marketed as YA. I think I'm wrong on that one.

Don't troll me for hating it, please.
Wow! This was a spectacular book. I devoured this story. Beginning to end, I was completely lost in this disturbing, yet beautiful, love story.

While I loved the story, I know that this is a story that many people will not enjoy. There are several difficult and highly controversial topics in this book. I'm pretty open-minded, but even I had a hard time with the relationship turning physical between Wavy (13-14 years old) and Kellen (25 or so years old). As a fictitious story, I was able to come t
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This book won’t be for everyone..and I get that:
Palm Springs commercial photography

My thing is: I read a ton of books. After a while I’m begging for something, anything that is fresh and new. This book is that with big brass balls.

Wavy’s story is not a pretty one. We first meet her when she ends up at her Aunt Brenda’s door. Her mom is in prison, no one can take her, she doesn’t really talk, and she hates to be touched. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. Brenda can’t deal with Wavy. She sneaks out at night and wanders and Br
WOW! I don't even know where to start!! As others have said this book is NOT for everyone. But I was hooked from the moment I started reading.

This book made my head hurt at times as it made me question so many different things. Parts of this book made me very uncomfortable. I honestly felt many different emotions while reading it. Emotional actually doesn't even begin to describe how this book make me feel but it's the first word that comes to mind.

The story and the characters got in my head and
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, interview
To see this review and a Q&A with the author, please visit

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood is a book that was very challenging for me to read due to the content. The title is nothing short of absolute perfection in describing the book. I went into the book completely blind and didn't read much about it besides liking a few reviews. I had no idea what was in store.

There were a few times in the book I wanted to stop reading. What supported me finishin
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I love you all the way.”

Never in my life have I read a book that made me feel as uncomfortable as this one managed to. Gritty, raw and wrong on so many levels, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things brought up feelings I wasn’t prepared for.

There were so many times, I wanted to hate this book, to throw it across the room and somehow forget about everything I’d read. Riddled with emotion and a level of constant moral questioning, this story toes the line of pedophilia and begs for acceptance. I
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

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Have you ever looked at the reviews for a book and wondered if you accidentally read a completely different book? Like, maybe some devious book gremlin sneaked into wherever books are sold and swapped the book jackets of a bad book and a good book? That's kind of how I feel right now: like I've been book-pranked.

ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS is a romance between a twenty-four-year-old man and a thirteen-year-old girl. Wavy is the da
Ninoska Goris
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos, leido-2017
English - Español

This story is not pretty. The truth is that it is not for everyone. It is the story of Wavy and Kellan, two people with difficult homes and child abuse. Yes, it is a love story, but not in the beginning.

Wavy is the daughter of a violent man, womanizer and drug dealer, and a drug addicted mother with deep emotional, existential and psychological problems, who transmits to her daughter her fears regarding food and germs.

Kellan is big and overweight, biker and tattooed, ex-convict
5 Stars? 1 Star?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

God, this must be one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written.

This book is one of the most gripping, absorbing and addicting books I’ve read this year. I read it in one sitting holding my breath every time I turned a page. Out of more than a thousand books on my shelves this one sticks out the most. I’ll never forget it.

The writing is good and so real that I forgot for a while that I was reading a book. The plot is movie-worthy. The cha
Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda
One word.....AWESOME!!

If we could give this more than five stars we most definitely would. But, since we can't this gets another five ***** sparkly stars from me! My sister, Brenda and I decided to do another sister read and this time around we chose ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by BRYN GREENWOOD. What an extremely good choice we made in reading this one together. This is by far the best book we have read in quite some time and we have read some pretty go
Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
*4 Stars*

This story takes a bold and honest look at forbidden love in its most controversial form: a grown man in his twenties falling for a child.

Kellen and Wavy’s love from a distance would seem perfect—one we’d all strive to obtain. It’s a deep love; a respectful love; a faithfully sound love; a genuine love that’s complete and equally reciprocated. Problem is that pesky illegal and highly immoral age gap.

This book challenges us ... It asks us not to condone this love, but to take a long, u
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I have a feeling this is gonna be one of those books.

Holy crap on a saltine cracker!

I was right, it was one of those books. It had me in sad tears, in anger, in Omg moments and in happy tears.

Where do I even start people?

I am so in love with Wavy, Donal and Kellen. Yeah, there were some things that made me cringe with Kellen but it wasn't the way that it seemed. Living the kind of life Wavy and her brother Donal had to live, there is not anything normal and they only had one savior, Kellen.

Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was crazy, therefore I must express my feelings with GIFs. If you don't like GIFy reviews - too bad!

So this book started and it was pretty good. The main characters live a difficult life and everything is quite sketchy:

Then some of the relationships get a little bit questionable:

Then, the you know what hits the you know what:

From there on out, I just wasn't sure what to think anymore:

I enjoyed the writing and was enthralled with the story, but man oh man - the subject matter was tough!
May 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-for-me
DNF..............For me this was a case of Know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em

I am certainly not singing with the choir on this one but I have to say how the book affected me regardless.

The Description on NetGalley begins with the following" 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.
Personally I didn't find the relationship between a thirteen year old child
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of good books lately, but this one I just loved!! I keep reading the things that some people mention about feeling uncomfortable at certain things in the book, I never did, I truly just saw the love and compassion right away. Some people go through so much in their lives from early on that they become wise and more mature very early and that's what happened to Wavy..that's my opinion..I loved the short chapters with the voices of all the different cast of characters
I was very i
Elyse  Walters
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
***Discussion a plus!!!!!

Raw-to-the-bone..... Compassionate-to-the-heart

Things that are wonderful:
.....The book cover
.....The title is perfect
..... Absorbing, riveting, masterfully written novel
..... Memorable characters....(the good -the bad -and the ugly)
.....Brave - insightful - wise - controversial subject matter
.....Wavy is a wonderful 'star' character...from her name...her idiosyncrasies...her purity & innocence ....her uniqueness....her aloofness..... Stubbornness....her '
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-fav, own-it
I debated with myself whether to read this book or not but my curiosity won out. The trepidation, the sense of foreboding, the confusion I felt at times??!!! My heart is heavy with emotions. A book that will stay with me for years to come.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)

Find all of my reviews at:

“I loved her the first time I saw her and I still do.”

“Love at first sight, huh? How old was she?”


“That’s creepy.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a whole lot of ugly going on in this novel. It made me feel uncomfortable and squirmy as I read it. But....

Wavy is the daughter of meth addicts. Parents who often ignore her and abuse her. She's silent most of the time, preferring not to speak and not to be touched as she has been taught by her mom it's dirty. She is; her body is; her mouth is.
The wonderful is her quandary of a relationship with a man, Kellen, whom she met when she was 8 and has allowed into her heart. He is her protec
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
my mother has always told me the secret to a long and happy marriage is by marrying your best friend. she said if you find a love that is respectful, deep, genuine, caring AND it also happens to be with the one person who you want to tell all your secrets, have the most fun with, and who knows you better than you know yourself, well then, youre in for a world of happiness.

kellen and wavys relationship reminded me of that. this is a story of two broken people who came to help each other heal, br
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So...this is the first of my way overdue reviews...I have been putting them off long enough. Sorry- First Reads...Sorry NetGalley. I am your worst nightmare, I know.

A lot of people have DNF this book on the grounds that it is icky. I am just going to say I don't get it. I don't normally do romance...I don't usually get all teary-eyed over teen angst. I weep over books that are misunderstood- and this for me is one of them. If you stopped reading this for the "Ew gross" factor...I challenge you t
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
1.5 stars
Wavy is a neglected and abused child who broke my heart. Her father is a meth dealer and her mother is an addict. She is constantly exposed to openly casual sex, and therefore, sees it as normal. The ugly.

When she meets Kellen, he is at first her protector and is genuinely concerned for her well-being. His life has not been an easy one either. He helps her in ways that no one else has and is the only person who truly seems to care about her. The wonderful. Finally someone sees what is
j e w e l s
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bejeweled
I read this over six months ago and I still think about it all the time. But, I hadn't started writing reviews for a blog or GR back then, so I didn't. But I must. ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS. The title sums up the book like no other title possible.

Everyone knows I love plot twists. I also adore any book that flat out surprises me. I went in blind to this, my bookclub's monthly selection. This book shocked the living hell out of me and evoked emotions and opinions I didn't even know I had
Eve (Between The Bookends)

WOW, so I don't think I can write a review that would do this book an ounce of justice, but I'll give it my best shot...


Originally I was going to give this one a pass. The ages of the two main characters , and the subject matter just didn't sit right with me as a mother of a 14 and 11 year old. I just didn't think I could go into this with an open mind. That said, I kept seeing all these 4 and 5 star reviews, and I'll admit, my curiosity got the better of me. And man am I glad it did.

This was on
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BRYN GREENWOOD is a fourth-generation Kansan and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. She is the NYT bestselling author of The Reckless Oath We Made, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Lie Lay Lain, and Last Will. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

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