Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

How I Heard About It:  While browsing my "Good Reads" account, I somehow came across this title and was intrigued by the title.  After doing some "research" I found that it had incredible reviews and many 4-5 star ratings.  I decided it would be one of the novels I put on my Kindle for my vacation to the Dominican Republic that we took over the holidays.  

What It Is About:  Wavy is an eight-year old girl living a difficult life.  Her father is a drug dealer.  Her mother can be two different people depending on if she is on or off drugs.  Wavy has a little brother, Donal, who has become her responsibility because of the lack of parental supervision.  She has learned to keep her mouth closed, stay out of sight, and do exactly as she is told.  Wavy is a smart young girl who has a keen interest in constellations.  After a motorcycle accident involving Kellen, a guy that works for Wavy's father, she forms a "friendship" with him.  Kellen becomes a "parent" figure to both Wavy and her younger brother.  While they don't have any parents that make sure they are safe, feed, and educated; Kellen takes on this role.  As time goes on, Wavy and Kellen begin to form a "relationship" that even they can't quite define.  All they know is that they depend on each other as family members do.  When tragedy strikes Wavy's family, Kellen is ripped away from her, and the two of them aren't sure they will ever see each other again.  

What I Thought Of It:  This is a complete WOW novel.  All of the reviews were spot on.  The plot-line was incredible, the writing was top-notch, and the cast of characters was like none other.  I was a bit worried about the "relationship" aspect of these two characters; but found that it was handled with grace, dignity, and heart.  There were moments when I was a bit uncomfortable but to me that is a sign of brilliant writing.  As I finished the disturbing story, I felt a sense of hope for these characters and the strong will they had to survive and find peace from a difficult and dysfunctional situation.  While reading on vacation, I could NOT put this book down and finished within a few days.  

Who Should Read It:  I have been telling all of my adult-reader friends about this novel.  This is definite a book for the adult reader.  The reader should be alright with difficult subject matter, raw situations, and moments when you question what and why characters are acting out the way they are. The book will stretch the reader into a world that I'm sure most people can't relate to; but will make them think, feel, and react in ways they haven't with any other story.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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