Title: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Authors: Greenwood, Bryn
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 406
Year: 2016
Language: English
Description: All the ugly and wonderful things indeed ... young Wavy and her brother Donal are at the mercy of their meth-addicted parents, but for the care and support of an unlikely knight in shining armour. Kellen, one of their father's drug runners is a damaged man who does his best for the children. But the bond that develops over time between he and Wavy is complicated by their significant age difference and the boundaries they breach.

This is a graphic coming-of-age story as compelling as it is disturbing in its visceral portrayal of love and resilience in the gritty reality of rural America.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I was captivated from the start although the first couple of chapters nearly broke my heart."

"One of the best books I've read in a long time - shocking yet gripping - I couldn't put it down."

"Beautifully written. A difficult subject tastefully done."

"Some readers may find the topic disturbing."

"While it's not pleasurable reading, I did find it compelling and the writing is great."

"The story is gritty and at times, very hard reading."

"Some people will have difficulty with the sexual content."

"This is a difficult but compelling book - the subject may be too challenging for many BDS readers."

"This book sneaked up on me and I was completely in thrall to it by the end."

"The author's ability to handle a complex plot structure and her use of language are both very impressive."

Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Love story, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Young narrator, America, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles


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By: CHCH 322 2021-03-24 13:56:17
We had a very good discussion, but we found (especially our clinical psychologist member) the book very disturbing, because of the way Kellen groomed Wavy. We felt that the catalogue description maybe needs to discuss what sexual grooming is, and how this was portrayed and seemingly accepted in this book, as it is more in line with the perpetrator's version of events rather than that of the victim's.

By: WANG 015 2021-02-03 11:30:31
We all loved this book! Made for really interesting discussion as so many conflicting emotions felt about the characters' stories.

By: CHCH 426 2021-01-27 12:01:04
We absolutely LOVED this book. It was a compelling read.

By: CAMB 007 2020-09-28 14:57:21
We all really enjoyed this one. Great book, great characters. We liked the strength of Wavy. How quick people were to judge Kellen.

By: DUNED 109 2020-07-13 13:16:07
Most of the group enjoyed this book - the writer elegantly depicted a sensitive topic. Some found it really disturbing but others were able to get past that.

By: CHCH 333 2020-07-09 14:03:53
All the group enjoyed this book. Lots of discussion on all the problems that arose.

By: NELS 015 2020-07-03 13:26:37
A very polarising book. About half the group found it very challenging and disturbing, others were quite comfortable with the content. However, we all enjoyed it - very well written with believable characters, and all the more real as the author was writing from experience.

By: TEPUK 006 2020-05-08 14:53:07
I loved this book! It challenged me on so many levels. I cried, got angry, was shocked and finally hopeful.

By: MOTUE 004 2020-01-29 22:26:56
Compelling. Disturbing but super endearing also. Very thought provoking and generated good discussion. Definitely recommended.

By: PUKEKO 001 2020-01-29 14:34:04
A controversial subject which provoked somewhat surprisingly little controversy in our group as we almost unanimously loved it. Overall, we found it beautifully written, sensitive, believable and un-putdownable, despite confrontational and taboo subjects. There was some concern over the narrative structure/multiple P.O.V narration but it didn't detract overly from the story.

By: NELS 072 2020-01-29 14:29:15
Couldn't put book down, interesting read. Found it hard and morally wrong, but made you think outside the box and gave great perspectives.

By: AUCK 069 2020-01-27 14:59:43
An amazing book - overwhelmingly high scores. Very difficult content, but very well-written and believable.

By: INVER 004 2020-01-27 14:58:18
Great book. We questioned the values!

By: WAIUK 005 2019-10-23 13:43:11
Very thought provoking, something we will continue to think about. New insights especially into children's rights. We felt sympathetic to most characters. Extremely valuable insights into lives we would not normally encounter.

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