All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book was very compelling, with unusual & interesting characters, yet I didn't root for them. Personally, I had very high expectations going into this book; it was a Book of the Month club pick and a lot of my trusted friends were giving it glowing 5-star reviews. And here I am giving it a 2.5 stars, and feel in the minority.
I think that the problem is, I never rooted or "shipped" for the main relationship to be happening, I only felt disgust and also that it was used as a plot-device to just propel the "love story" forward. We have Wavy, a damaged child who lives in a dysfunctional family with drug-addict parents. She was conditioned to become very independent at a very young age, and was silent and untouchable for a lot of her childhood. Then onto the scene comes Kellen, a rough tattooed motorcycle guy with also a rough past that he was rather forget. He takes care of her throughout her childhood, and becomes a part of her mini family When this turned into a love story because a 13 year old and 26 year old, or the "climax" scene, I just couldn't handle it and shook my head is disgust. I couldn't understand the acceptance or beauty in it.
I can't deny that this book is well-written, told from different perspectives that affect Wavy's life (her cousin Amy, her roommate Renee, her teachers, etc.) and alternates between first and third perspective which is a lot of writing devices to juggle in a book. What I can appreciate is that the author remains kind of unbiased in what you are supposed to be feeling while reading it, it's actually all up to the reader's interpretation. There was a major thing of how she portrayed the only "sane, sensible" adult in the situation, Aunt Brenda because I thought it was so unfortunate that she was seen as the "villain" and acted "villainous" when she honestly only had her best intentions at heart.
Then about the last part of the story, because I took a break from the book, I felt very disconnected and bored. It wasn't that the ending was bad or anything, I just genuinely felt disinterested in what would happen with Wavy and Kellen. I won't spoil anything, but suffice it to say that the ending was just average, and the "big reveal" was something that was hinted at and I just didn't care at that point of the past outcomes.
**I got an e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**
View all my reviews