Thomas's Reviews > All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
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really liked it
bookshelves: own-physical, adult-fiction, romance

The adult version of Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden , All the Ugly and Wonderful Things details the love story of eight-year-old Wavy Quinn and one of her father's thugs, Kellen. Their bond develops out of a shared suffering and compassion: Wavy's father operates a meth lab, an enterprise that has robbed Wavy of a typical childhood, similar to how Kellen grew up in a broken family and had to fend for himself. As Wavy matures, so does her relationship with Kellen. And even though they both know their love serves as the most true and pure part of their lives, so many of the people around them will do anything to tear them apart.

I loved Wavy's character in All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Greenwood crafts her not as a nymph, not as a child prodigy, but as an individual person who has survived great hardship with much resilience. Her relationship with Kellen defies categorization as well. Greenwood does a great job in guiding us to see the merits of their relationship without manipulating us through overt melodrama or heavy-handedness. Throughout the book, I rooted for Wavy and Kellen's bond, not because of its taboo nature, but because they brought each other compassion and caring in a world so full of bleakness and tragedy.

I give this book four stars instead of five because I did not find its middle or end as compelling as its beginning. At the start of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Greenwood introduces us to the complexity of Wavy's life and her family with lyrical, precise prose. By the middle of the book, the focus of the story shifted so much to Wavy and Kellen's relationship that all the other aspects of Wavy's life faded to the background. For the first 150 or so pages, the development of their connection felt organic, rising from an inherent attraction and factors that propelled them toward one another. After that, Greenwood honed in on just their relationship, and while I can see how that might appeal to other readers, I wanted to read more about the nuances of Wavy's family than the persistent lust between Wavy and Kellen.

Overall, a riveting novel I would recommend to those who enjoy well-written romance that pushes boundaries. I most liked reading about Wavy's character and her insights ((view spoiler)), though I can see how her relationship with Kellen will draw readers in. This book has gotten quite the hype parade from some of Goodreads' most popular reviewers, so I am curious to read about what others will think of it as well as what Greenwood will write in the future.
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Reading Progress

May 22, 2016 – Shelved
August 11, 2016 – Started Reading
August 13, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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⊱ Poppy ⊰ OH MY :O If it is anything slightly like Forbidden then i am gonna read it ASAP. ^.^ & Fantastic review Dude,


Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his) I'm glad you liked it! It was such a good book.


message 3: by Silvie (new) - added it

Silvie Well well, it seems like I *need* to read it now!


message 4: by Lucy Qhuay (new)

Lucy Qhuay You got me at 'adult version of Forbbiden'. Thank you!


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* yay!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I love how you read everything with such an open mind. Which is why you are one of my very fav. reviewers. Great review Thomas.


Thomas Shelby *trains flying monkeys* wrote: "yay!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I love how you read everything with such an open mind. Which is why you are one of my very fav. reviewers. Great review Thomas."

Thank you so much, Shelby, I always love the fierceness and detail of your reviews so your kind words mean a lot. Glad we both enjoyed this one.

Lucy Ibn al-Rashid wrote: "You got me at 'adult version of Forbbiden'. Thank you!"

Ya, I had to draw that comparison right away in this review. You're welcome and hope you enjoy All the Ugly and Wonderful Things!

Silvie wrote: "Well well, it seems like I *need* to read it now!"

Yas! Hope you love it, Silvie.

Caidyn wrote: "I'm glad you liked it! It was such a good book."

Thank you, Caidyn! Your review was definitely one of the ones that influenced me to give it a shot. Hope you're well.

⊱ Poppy ⊰ wrote: "OH MY :O If it is anything slightly like Forbidden then i am gonna read it ASAP. ^.^ & Fantastic review Dude,"

Thank you, Poppy! And yes, there are striking similarities to Forbidden, though the books diverge in many ways. Hope you enjoy it if/when you get to it. :)


⊱ Poppy ⊰ Thomas wrote: "Shelby *trains flying monkeys* wrote: "yay!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I love how you read everything with such an open mind. Which is why you are one of my very fav. reviewers. Great revi..."

Yeah I hope so too. Because "Forbidden" is one of my fav book so far <3 If this book is anything like it , i am sure i will love it :D


Laura I love your description, "romance that pushes boundaries". That is exactly what I'm feeling which is probably why so many people are torn about the book and subject matter.

I'm almost done with the book and at times I'm against Kellen's involvement with Wavy and at times I'm a believer of Kellen's motives (to take care of her parents are not caring for her or her brother). AND THEN...I jump at Kellen!!! I won't say anything else right now.
Thanks for the review.


Keli Redd Been sitting on my shelf for a while now....I need to read it. Thanks for your review Thomas!


message 10: by Susan's Reviews (new)

Susan's Reviews Thanks for this excellent, detailed review. This is what I love about Goodreads: finding ancient hidden treasures to read!


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