//I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That, in no way affects my opinions of the book.
Title : All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Author : Bryn Greenwood
Genre : Adult Romance, Contemporary, Literary Fiction
Releasing : 9th August, 2016
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.
And again, I’m in the minority. Looking at all the brilliant 4 and 5 star reviews of this book on Goodreads, my brain is compelled to ask me whether something is wrong with me, and how is it I always end up having unpopular opinions of such popular, well-loved books? I can see why people love this book, I can see the good and the wonderful things in this book, but I simply cannot ignore the ugly in it either. I just feel so indecisive about what I feel for this book; its’s been about 3 days since I finished this but I’m still unsure about what exactly my opinion is on this novel. So, please keep in mind that some of my thoughts might appear ambiguous, but that’s the best I can do right now.
1. Unconventional story : I’ve never read something like this before. Never. The concept might be a recurring trope in books – wreckless, ghastly parents which lead to a damaged childhood – but the actual story, which is basically a love story between a young girl and a grown-up man, is completely different and unconventional. I initially felt that I had read enough of this trope, but the unique story added more depth to the trope, and it was something completely different and heartwarming.
2. Process of falling in love : I couldn’t find another heading for this point so this will have to do :P So, the initial 50% of the book was basically about this little girl (Wavy) and Kellan (who’s a grown-up) falling in love, and even more than that – forming a connection. The way they get to know each other, save each other’s lives (literally and metaphorically), and slowly develop feelings – this whole process was beautifully potrayed and written.
3. Different POVs : The book is written from the POVs and perspectives of a number of different people, some directly connected to the story and some as mere background or secondary characters. Surprisingly enough, every perspective adds something to the story, adds another layer and adds more meaning. I loved reading all the different POVs and the author just did a lovely job of making each voice stand out and matter.
1. The sex : I remember when I was reading this book, during the initial 15-20%, I was constantly thinking to myself “I’m very uncomfortable with where this is heading“. I was literally constantly thinking this. Because, I was uncomfortable. At that time, I was just weirded out by the growing love between the two characters (and the girl was 8 years old then) but I later on came to accept that relationship differently but THEN, the sex started. Okay, maybe not sex, but handjobs and kissing and making out and all this talk about breasts. And that was really weird and just, I don’t know. Most people justify it as being in love and healing each other’s broken selves, but I don’t see it as anything other than a thirteen year-old giving a handjob to a fully grown-up man. And that irks me.
2. The ending dragged on : Or rather, the latter half dragged on. I feel that the book could’ve been shortened and there wasn’t need for lengthening it, and it got really boring and dramatic by the end. A little less would’ve made me finish the book with positive feelings.
Contemporary and Romance lovers, if you’re not irked out by the cons I mentioned.
A ‘good book’ or a ‘good read’?