Wednesday, May 11, 2016

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

5 Stars
“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.”

Hey remember Joe from a couple years ago and how you knew you really shouldn’t like him because he was like a psycho stalker with stabby tendencies, but then you fell in love with him anyway??? Well, allow me to introduce you to Kellen. He’s a pedophile and my favorite leading male so far this year (and this is book #100 for 2016 so that’s saying something) . . .

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Let me backtrack a second. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (perfect title is perfect) is the story of Wavy, the daughter of not a real Mother-of-the-Year nominee. See Wavy’s momma Val is a meth head. Her paranoia of choice? Brainwashing her daughter from the time she was three that nothing is safe, physical touch can infect you and EVERY other human is dirty. Wavy’s daddy Liam tries to help out whenever he can by sending groceries and stuff up to the main house, but he mainly stays at a distance in order to run the family business – a meth lab. He also spends his free time snorting his product as well as smacking bitches around and dabbling in an unlimited amount of strange vajay, but that’s beside the point.

It should go without saying that Wavy’s life was in no way, shape or form “normal.” She had a brief reprieve when she was taken away from her mother, but then stuff and things happened which brought her back home – and this time (at the ripe ol’ age of 8) she got the joy of raising her mother’s new baby. Enter Kellen. He’s spent time in the pokey and looks like a grizzly bear, but most importantly he recognizes when a kid has been dealt the shit end of the stick at life. Since no one else is around to look after Wavy, Kellen takes it upon himself to do so. He makes sure the groceries get bought, takes her to and from school and gives her a safe place to hang out (the garage he works at) when things suck for her more than usual. Wavy and Kellen fill a void in each other’s lives. She loves him and he loves her back . . . and as the years go by so does this love . . .

“The girl looked . . . up at the man with sparkling eyes. He looked nervous and happy. They were not father and daughter. Romance. For better or worse.”

Obviously this is not a book for everyone. You really have to be able to separate what your real-life reaction would be and fully embrace Wavy and Kellen’s world – in the 80s, living in the sticks in a drug den, surrounded by criminals, drug addicts, rapists, you name it, with no one to trust but each other and a slow roller of a relationship that evolves over time with a leading male who knows his feelings are wrong, but is willing to do anything to make it right . . .

“There’s nothing wrong with me buying her a ring. She’s my girl.”

“Yeah, except for the part where you’re a pedophile.”

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (again, perfect title is perfect) doesn’t pussyfoot around the giant pink elephant in the room. In fact, it does the opposite by presenting statements like the above over and over lest the reader forget that this love story is taboo. Kudos to you, Ms. Greenwood, you get all the stars. If you’re adventurous enough to give this a shot, you might find yourself blown away by this powerful little story too. If you’re not???

Ha! Kidding. I don’t blame anyone for recognizing this isn’t their cuppa. Just don’t troll me, please : )

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and physical ARC to follow provided by the publisher. Endless thanks to both for giving me the opportunity to read something different from ANYTHING I have ever read before.

This was a buddy read for Alissa’s birthday. In honor of this national holiday, Steve, EDIT: Ron 2.0 because he FINALLY added the damn thing (who is such a fail he doesn't even have it marked as TBR yet), Shelby and myself commenced a buddy read.

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Or your meth pipes. Tomato tomahto.

I can't wait to see what everyone else thought! Except Ron. Please note I think you will hate this and if you try to poop on my parade I will send these little bitches to your house and they will cut you . . . .

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