- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 8 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: August 9, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01GSIZEY4
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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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.
Because of my own experiences, I cannot condone the apparent underlying message in this book -- that love is love, and who are we to judge? That what happened between the book's "heroine," Wavy, and Kellen -- the older biker who acts as a parental figure to her -- is justified.
The book follows the story of their gradual building of a relationship. Wavy is 8 when she first meets Kellen, who is a friend/"co-worker" of her father in his drug business. At first his actions are very innocent. Kellen will bring Wavy groceries and make sure she gets to school. But this quickly develops into more -- on both sides, and it gets graphic and uncomfortable to read. I am one to press on through controversy and discomfort, however, because it's my personal belief that we don't have to agree with a book or its content to read it and enjoy it. And I did like this book. In a strange way, I did like it, but I honestly think it was mostly because of my own questionable upbringing. It almost felt like going back in time, in a way.
*********** SPOILER ALERT *******************
I waited for the last two months for this book to come out. I was practically counting down the days. I was hoping for something more mild, because reviewers who got advance copies kept saying things like, "You'll root for their relationship...he comes across as a pedophile, but he's not!"
Sadly, that's not the case. In the beginning, yes, I did root for the relationship I knew they were going to have, because in the beginning it *was* purely platonic, and he was the only one who seemed to care about Wavy other than her aunt and cousins.
But ... and this is why I don't understand the reviewers who keep saying "who are we to judge"...NOTHING excuses a 25-year-old man from fondling a 13-year-old girl and allowing her to masturbate him MULTIPLE TIMES. Nothing excuses a man of that age from sticking his fingers inside her and breaking her hymen. Nothing excuses him from talking about her "little tit," beginning when she was around 9 or 10. I'm sorry, but there is no explanation in the world for a grown man to do any of those things. I expected that this book would focus only on their friendship but that he would hopefully TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY restrain himself from any sexual thoughts about her. I did expect him to have thoughts about her, but I did not expect them to be acted on. THAT would have possibly made me like him. Understand.
It's an odd thing to say, but I almost feel like the cheerleaders for their relationship were groomed themselves ... just like Wavy was. Kellen may not have realized that's what he was doing in the beginning, but he certainly did begin to see it at some point. And he just kept on going. His internal dialogue wrestling with his feelings and trying to justify them was an attempt by the author to make Wavy into some ethereal character who wasn't limited by her age. It didn't work for me. All I saw is something I witnessed a lot of as a kid -- children growing up too fast because they're thrust into adult situations with no one giving a crap about them. Kellen took advantage of Wavy's neglect. Of course she's going to latch onto the person who seems to care. And I do believe he did care. I just think he also has unnatural sexual urges to mess around with children, as well. Which is nothing to turn an eye about.
The author attempts to manipulate the reader into rooting for their relationship. She attempts to win the reader's approval of their happy ending. It almost worked on me. I found myself weirdly being satisfied with the ending despite my disgust for their sexual relationship. No excuse for some of the things they did. None! Anyway, I believe I was almost manipulated simply because I wanted Wavy to get HER happy ending, and unfortunately her happy ending was with Kellen, because she was groomed from such a delicate age that she probably would have killed herself if they didn't end up together. But ultimately, this book would have been so much better, and would have gotten 5 stars (but probably 4 for the insignificant POVs scattered along the way) if Wavy came to realize what had happened to her -- that she did love Kellen, but that it was because she had been so abused as a child and that he was also one of her abusers. I wanted Wavy to rise from the ashes of the abomination that was her childhood and flash forward to ten or twenty years later where she has come to build a somewhat stable life for herself.
It scares me how many people can comment about this book and say, "This made me uncomfortable because I have young kids, but after reading this I'm like who am I to judge love?" Really? Well, how about you just offer up your kid to any registered offender who will take your kid to and from school and buy them groceries. Given the author saying she is the daughter of a "mostly reformed" drug dealer, I wonder if this book is more of an autobiography. Is there someone who was like Kellen that the author had a relationship with as a young girl? Does she wish it could have blossomed into some lasting, accepted relationship? It sure made me wonder...
A painful tale of the powerful bond between a neglected, abused child & a young man who decides to protect her. Wavy is a tiny child who refuses to talk, eat, or be touched. Life with her drug-dealer father & addict mother isn’t nearly as bad as life with her self-righteous aunt Brenda who is determined to keep Wavy & Kellen apart.
The story challenges societal norms & laws regarding emotional and physical love. Extremely controversial & tragic. Beautifully written. The story would have been just as powerful without explicit details bordering on erotica. Not recommended for anyone offended or sensitive to the subject.
The setting is real without being too detailed. The characters are believable. And the story was masterfully told from different points of view, as if by witness testimonials, interviews and/or gossip. Voice, however, switched randomly between first & third person.
It is curious that it received low ratings for the subject matter by readers who finished the entire book despite the elicit content.