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.
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Love story, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Young narrator, America, 2020 Titles, Group favourites


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By: CLARK 001 2022-05-11 12:37:51
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!

By: AUCK 218 2022-01-07 12:51:11
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.

By: TAUR 060 2021-11-19 12:16:55
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.

By: MILT 003 2021-11-15 13:55:19
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.

By: CHCH 503 2021-11-01 14:29:18
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.

By: TAUR 061 2021-08-26 14:40:06
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.

By: CHCH 518 2021-08-25 09:58:13
Well-written, but the final chapter brought the book to an abrupt end. Well drawn characters and a good storyline, albeit very controversial.

By: AUCK 276 2021-08-23 12:38:37
We all enjoyed the book. Challenged our emotions. Good discussions.

By: CHCH 510 2021-06-28 10:13:38
A book that generated a lot of discussion for our group! Great for differing perspectives and made for a very interesting split!

By: QUEEN 014 2021-06-25 12:06:18
Most of us didn't finish. Very dark theme. A few liked the writing style, but overall not a winner.

By: ASHB 027 2021-06-11 12:19:40
Great book and discussion. Not always a pleasant read; challenging in it's characterisations and plot. Highly recommend.

By: AUCK 285 2021-05-13 14:52:07
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 e. 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.

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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