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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel Hardcover – August 9, 2016
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"If you're looking for a dangerous, shocking, and unexpectedly touching story, this is it...This is a book that will shake you to the core." ―Bustle "31 Books Bringing the Heat this Summer"
"Captivating and smartly written from the first page, Greenwood's work is instantly absorbing. Pithy characters saunter, charge or stumble into each scene via raw, gripping narrative. Greenwood slow-drips descriptions, never giving away everything at once." ―Christina Ledbetter, The Associated Press
"This book destroyed me. I have never read anything like it. I came to the end of the novel with my mind-reeling, my emotions scattered, and completely unsure exactly what I did feel about it...but one thing is certain: I felt. Oh hell, I felt. I don't think I'll ever get these characters off my mind." ―Emily May, #1 Worldwide most popular reviewer, Goodreads
"The title says it all. You will hold your little heart in your hands and keep blowing on it to make sure it's alive." ―The Top Ten Hottest Reads of 2016, New York Daily News
"This is one of those books whose story, if you heard about it on the news or glimpsed some sensationalist headline, would be horrifying, but in THIS book, with THESE characters, where you are privy to interior monologues and backstories and a hundred examples of what defines them as people, it makes sense. It's two damaged people finding something in the other that answers a need, and it's unexpectedly touching. It's so, so impressive." ―Karen, #1 US most popular reviewer, Goodreads
"The stirring Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, so freakishly good and dangerous that it should come with a warning label... the writing is direct and muscular, a snake with all the slithery danger of a coiled rattler on a hot rock. VERDICT Greenwood (from Kansas, daughter of a “mostly reformed drug dealer”) astounds in creating a world where assorted murderers, felons, and thieves are sympathetic." ―Library Journal
"Bryn Greenwood has handed readers a strange - but strangely grabbing - tale." ―Harry Levins, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Best of 2016
"Greenwood's haunting novel...is a story that will stay with readers long after the book is finished." ―Lisa McLendon, The Wichita Eagle
"[A] powerful, provocative debut...intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." ―Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)
"An emotionally resonant novel with an unlikely cast of characters you won’t soon forget. Bryn Greenwood’s unique voice and her understanding of human nature offer an amazing tale of family, loss, and love that’s as unpredictable and inspiring as love itself." ―Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader
"Written in lyrical and searingly honest prose, Bryn Greenwood tells a powerful story of love and resilience against the bleakest of backdrops. Like the best fiction, this is a novel that means to disturb and challenge as it forces us to look with compassion on every last one of its flawed, memorable characters. I was captivated from the first page to the last." ―Patry Francis, three time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and author of The Orphans of Race Point
"Gritty and dark and tough and uncomfortable, but it's brilliantly constructed...Greenwood develops an incredible and resilient character in Wavy. It's an outstanding debut novel and I am itching for Greenwood's next book." ―Kelly Jensen, Book Riot
"Greenwood is a gifted writer, and Wavy's story will stick to your bones long after you put this book down. These characters will fast become friends, and you will find yourself reluctant to leave their ugly and wonderful little world." ―Madeline Lemieux, Creative Loafing Charlotte
"Incredible book alert...Another true page turner as Greenwood takes her reader on an emotional bungee jump that requires you to decide for yourself what you can and can not accept given the grimmest of circumstances." (5 out of 5 stars) ―Erin Woodward, The Girly Book Club
"All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is just that: ugly and wonderful all at the same time. An epic love story...This book will be the birth of a vibrant debate about the law and societal norms as your book club members will truly be divided by the actions of our male lead. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for this one!" ―InStyle UK
“Achingly raw and beautifully written, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is both a hypnotic coming-of-age story and a heartbreaking tragedy. Greenwood’s emotional prose and her well-drawn characters immediately drew me in and kept me captivated. I’m still thinking about Wavy, and her ugly and wonderful world, long after I’ve turned the last page.” ―Jillian Cantor, author of Margot and The Hours Count
"Bryn Greenwood is so good it hurts. Her writing is lean, precise, elegant and dripping with the telling detail-the understated bit of dialogue that reveals everything." ―Robert Ferrigno, New York Times bestselling author of Monkey Boyz, Horse Latitudes, the Prayer for the Assassin trilogy and other novels
"The author skillfully creates widely varied and original voices... a memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love under the most improbable circumstances." ―Publishers Weekly
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Is it well written? Yes. For someone who condones pedophilia. I only read to the end because I couldn’t believe that a book so popular wouldn’t end with the victim living a life far from her abuser. I was wrong. Not sorry for spoiling the ending. I can’t believe Amazon is even willing to sell this. It seems like it should be sold by some secret NAMBLA website to justify a man’s sexual relationship with a 13 year old (though the inappropriate activity starts even younger). I am not a prude. Consider myself a liberal feminist (so not some conservative who believes in censorship) but this is awful.
I myself wish I had read more of the reviews before I purchased this book and didn’t go by the overall star rating. I’m disappointed with my fellow readers for rating it so highly. I’m about to read “A Handmaids Tale” and feel like I’ll be less disturbed.
I'm not a huge trigger warning guy unless I think something really warrants a trigger warning but here is one for ya: victims of assault, especially for adults that endured it as a child, read with caution.
This book was so different than what I was expecting. Granted the whole falling in love while she was a minor was rough for me. Several times I kept saying she's a child stop but I also felt their connection. What kind of person does this make me?! Several times I would say aww how sweet but then I remembered Wavy was just a child!!!
This book isn't for everyone and lord knows I didn't think I would like it but I did. Even though there are some uneasy scenes in this book, the whole book wasn't based on their taboo relationship. Wavy and her brother, Donal suffered tragedy after tragedy. No kids should have gone through what they did. Every time things got a little better the rug would get pulled from under them.
This book truly does show all the ugly and wonderful things in life. The story was one of a kind and I couldn't stop reading. The writing was excellent. I would have given it 5 stars but the messing around while she was a minor wasn't cool. This story will definitely stay with me for a long time. I'm happy I forced myself way outside my comfort zone and read this story. I look forward to reading more works from this author.
Top international reviews
I wasn't sure if i was going to like it after reading some of the reviews but I'm so glad i gave it a chance as its by far the best book I've read in 2016 and I've read over 200 this year so far.
I don't want to say too much about what happens in the book as i would spoil it so JUST READ IT if you only pick one book to read all year make it this one.