You can look up keening in the dictionary, but you don’t know what it means until you hear somebody having their heart ripped out.
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.
Very few books that I have read in my life really stick with me. There are some I remember and others that are a distant memory. Those that I can’t get through are promptly forgotten and some are abandoned. Then there are those that are a shining memory, ones I cannot get out of my head, the ones that I think about and remember how much they broke me, gutted me. One of those books is Lullabies For Little Criminals. After reading that book I thought to myself there’s no way another book could ever come close to this.
And then came All The Ugly & Wonderful Things. This book has surpassed my love for Lullabies for Little Criminals, just a tad, and has landed itself 5 stars and a spot on my favourites shelf. As I write this I am still shaky (since I literally just put the book down and ran to write this review) and so in love with Bryn Greenwood’s writing. A warning, this book is controversial and the topics are heavy, it is not for the faint of heart nor the squeamish.
My initial thought when I read about this book on the day of its release was “will I be able to get through this book?” I wasn’t sure I would like it and I knew it would need to be written very well for me to devote myself to it. Guys. I devoured this in 2 days. It was like being sucked into a funnel of beauty found in the most uncommon places.
I loved this book so much. I hope that I can recommend this to people but part of me is scared to do so because it’s such a complicated book that I’m terrified someone will view it incorrectly. I see how some people might be horrified or be uncomfortable but to me it was beautiful even when uncomfortable. Some books are told to us while others are shown to us. That is exactly how I feel about All The Ugly & Wonderful Things, I was unexpectedly touched by it. I would also like to mention that the title of this book is so perfect for the story, nailed it!