All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

  • by Bryn Greenwood
  • Narrated by Jorjeana Marie
  • 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight.
Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house until one night her stargazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy's family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world.
A powerful novel you won't soon forget, Bryn Greenwood's All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.

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What the Critics Say

"Jorjeana Marie was meant to narrate this gripping story, which takes place in meth country in the Midwest. Neglected, abused 8-year-old Wavy Quinn is stargazing when she unintentionally causes Jesse Joe Kellen, an ex-con employee of her drug-dealing dad, to crash his motorcycle. Marie grippingly portrays this troubled pair who befriend each other after Wavy saves his life. Things come to a head when their relationship is misunderstood. In addition to deftly presenting the lead characters, Marie perfectly renders Wavy's adorable little brother and beloved grandmother. Some chapters are written from other characters' viewpoints over a period of 15 years, and Marie presents those flawlessly as well. Listeners will be eager to hear what happens next, always rooting for Wavy and Kellen." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So many 'hard to listen to' moments

This is difficult to review. I wasn't initially captivated by the provided synopsis, but I got the book because so may reviewers had written to just get it. I read several reviews, and I can go back and check again, but I don't remember any that warned of the extremely graphic and vulgar language used to describe sexual acts. Put that little cherry on top that many are spoken by a girl no older than 14 years, who is experiencing them with a 24 year old man. I'm not sure I can express myself in a way that conveys my sincere distaste for those moments and there were plenty.

So, now you know. If you think you can look beyond it, there is a decent story here. But I can definitely say, it wasn't for me. Knowing what I know now, I would have passed on this one.
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- jksullycats

Great book for Pedophiles

I read many reviews on Audible and all gave five stars and not one person mentioned the inappropriate relationship in this book!!! I listened as the book hinted at the relationship but I figured that was all in a crush the little girl had on this man. I didn't think it would actually be carried out by a grown man. I had to stop reading. I was so disgusted and I felt like I needed a shower after listening to it. It had all the common pedophile rationalizations included - like 'she was so much more mature for her age', she lived a hard life and knew more things than other girls her age', it was a sweet kind of true love, and, of course, 'she was the initiator - she wanted him. Ick!!! I don't know how the book turns out in the end but as soon as their was sexual interaction between the two I had to stop. As a woman and a mother I am appalled.
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- Claudine "I am a Native American woman who loves quirky - off the beaten path stories. I would like to find more books about people of color."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-09-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios