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.
Generally enjoyed - all agreed that this book is extremely well-written, also an "easy read". Some thought the subject matter a little too grim and explicit, but others found it deeply moving and thought-provoking.
Our group absolutely loved this book - it was a great first book for our foray into the club! We work in social services so the book was very relevant to the work we do. It generated lots of discussion in the office and made a lot of people look deeply into their professional practice. Group members who thought they'd struggle with getting through the book surprised themselves by reading it within days - it was that good! A highly recommended read!
Very thought provoking, confronting and engaging. An authentic read. The author portrayed Wavy's view with absolute sensitivity. Very well-written, readily visualised. An absolute page-turner.
Although the subject matter was hard and very confronting, everyone who read the book couldn't put it down. One member describing it as our best read. A couple of members choose not to read the book.
Mixed reactions with this one. Some struggled with Wavy and Kellen's relationship as it evolved. But then that was kind of the point. Made you think about consent and stereotypically accusing an elder without knowing the situation.
This book generated the most intense conversation and discussion ever! Divided opinions but voted one of the best picks!
Most members didn't complete the book. Slightly disturbing read.
Confronting, raw, and well enjoyed by our group.
This book created quite a lot of discussion! Especially around the issue of sexual consent and age. The read was engrossing, characters well developed and they had a very different 'life' to those of us reading.
A challenging and, in parts, uncomfortable read when measured against the "norms" of our middle class society. A long and excellent discussion.
Highly rated by our group and a real 'page turner'. Challenging at times because of the darker side, but also in that it challenged our social biases. Beautifully crafted characters. Excellent discussion.
All group members rated this book as one of their best reads. Engaging page turner. For some, it challenged them, and called for a re think on judgements!
We all finished this book and really, really rated it. The best book of 2021 for us. Very triggering for some. We savoured it and didn't want it to end.
Our whole group was hooked on this book right from the start. The characters were all very engaging, and had nuances that stopped them from being good or bad, and just people shaped by their past. We enjoyed discussing the "proper" relationship line so blurred by the characters in the book. One of our best reads this year.
Really good read - 6 members read this story within the first week. Couldn't put it down, a real page turner. Very descriptive. Not everything is as it seems in this world.
A very powerful and thought provoking book, written well. We didn't "enjoy" the questions - so our group had an "open" discussion on various topics that the book delivered.
Despite challenging the moral compass this book was compelling in all ways. Once again we were reminded that we all need to be loved and give love.
Well-written, but the final chapter brought the book to an abrupt end. Well drawn characters and a good storyline, albeit very controversial.
We all enjoyed the book. Challenged our emotions. Good discussions.
A book that generated a lot of discussion for our group! Great for differing perspectives and made for a very interesting split!
Most of us didn't finish. Very dark theme. A few liked the writing style, but overall not a winner.
Great book and discussion. Not always a pleasant read; challenging in it's characterisations and plot. Highly recommend.
A must read book. The majority read it, and thought this book was fantastic. It deals with under age sex, and so we felt it made you feel uncomfortable and almost squeamish for them, but also loving the story and the characters. A shocking eye opener to a world we can barely understand - we wondered how much was autobiographical, and therefore how good the author's future books would be. It made us question relationships and what the law deems 'wrong', when in this case the 'wrong' relationship saved two vulnerable people, and ultimately withstood all the prejudice. Brilliant read.
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.
We all loved this book! Made for really interesting discussion as so many conflicting emotions felt about the characters' stories.
We absolutely LOVED this book. It was a compelling read.
We all really enjoyed this one. Great book, great characters. We liked the strength of Wavy. How quick people were to judge Kellen.
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.
All the group enjoyed this book. Lots of discussion on all the problems that arose.
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.
I loved this book! It challenged me on so many levels. I cried, got angry, was shocked and finally hopeful.
Compelling. Disturbing but super endearing also. Very thought provoking and generated good discussion. Definitely recommended.
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.
Couldn't put book down, interesting read. Found it hard and morally wrong, but made you think outside the box and gave great perspectives.
An amazing book - overwhelmingly high scores. Very difficult content, but very well-written and believable.
Great book. We questioned the values!
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.