All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

 

4,5 stars

An ARC has been kindly provided by St Martin’s Press, via NetGalley.com, in exchange for an honest review.

 I was dying to read this book! I can now say this is a one of a kind book.

 

I fell in love with this author’s writing and the choice she made to tell Wavy’s story. The multiple POV she used made me feel like watching a documentary told by different witnesses, the main protagonists included. Some narrators speak with fondness and indulgence of Wavy, her quirks, her relationship with Kellen. Others berate the child, want her to fit in a mold, repulsed and outraged by her choices.  I should have felt overwhelmed by all the horrors and the bad experiences that kid lived from her very first days but this “matter of fact” no nonsense writing helped me go through the book without ending a blubbering mess. I still had many thoughts and feelings but the author’s choice made everything bearable.

 

This is the story of Wavy, an elf-like child whose life was far from a bed of roses. Daughter of a meth dealer and a crazy mother, she took care of her little brother early on. Going from a rundown house to her mother’s wealthiest family just to be thrown back with her unstable mom again she forged her own way in life. She knew nothing belonged to her and was used to have everything taken away. 

 

Wavy stood out with her angel look and old soul eyes ”Velazquez’s Infanta Margarita in motorcycle boots.”. She could not bear being touched, did not speak and refused to eat.  Hard to understand others did not trust her and she did not care. She was like a wild cat, living by her own rules.

 

Only Kellen, The Giant, understood Wavy and accepted her for who she was.  Kellen  was  considered a nobody by many, too slow, too big, good for nothing.

  ”A big man in greased-stained jeans and engineer’s boots, ham-sized forearms covered in tattoos.”

 

But Wavy did not care how he looked or smelled. ”When she looked past me, what I wanted more than anything was for her to look at me again. Most people look at you like nothing, but the way she looked at me… it was like we were in the meadow again. Like I was important. People don’t usually look at me like that.”

 

 He was Kellen, her protector, the one to take her to school, pay her tuition buy groceries to make sure she ate in her own peculiar way. She took care of him as much as he did her.

 

I don’t want to spoil your fun. Just know there are many delicate topics broached in this book. Some would normally have me screaming murder but they did not seem ugly, astonishingly they seemed rather beautiful. That’s what this story is about: the ugly and the beautiful in the ugly.

 

It was my first Bryn Greenwood’s book but it won’t be my last as I’ve discovered a very talented author. I can now honestly say I understand all the fuss that’s been made about this book for days now. If you like “real life” stories with flawed characters written by author that does not beat around the bush but goes straight for the jugular, go no further this is your book.

 

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