This was one of the slowest books I’ve read- slow in the beginning, slow in the amount of time it took me to read. But, the best things in life require plenty of patience. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was one of the best, most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to end and I still don’t want to put it down. I don’t want to forget a word of this story.
343 pages is not created equal by every author. This book took me on a journey that spanned decades, in the space of very few pages. The depth of the characters was overwhelming and real. I knew these people inside and out after reading.
Wavonna (Wavy) Quinn is introduced to us as a young child, bounced from place to place. When her grandmother and current caregiver dies, Wavy has to move in with her druggie mother and baby brother. While her mother lies in bed all day, Wavy is tasked with being the mature adult at 8 years old. She feeds and cares for her brother and gets to school by herself each day. The reader follows Wavy’s life through 21 years from the perspective of several narrators, Wavy included.
From the moment Kellen was introduced, my heart was drawn to him. He reminds me of a not-so-little kid I know. He has the most genuine and good heart out of anyone, but always finds himself in situations he can’t explain or break free of. His past haunts him, and he can’t shake the stigma of being the bad guy. Looking at Kellen is like looking at the stars in a thunderstorm. You can’t see past the scary to see the bright and beautiful, unless you’re Wavy.
This novel challenges everything a person may think is moral and right, and craps all over it. It shows that true love isn’t in a number or in the shell of our bodies, but soul-deep. Unconditional love withstands the test of time and all of the ugly things the world throws at it. It is proof the law doesn’t always know what’s best for every person. It shows us we never really know someone until we’ve walked a few miles in their boots.
What could an 8-year-old child and a grown man possibly have in common? Simply, we’re all human, we all ache over the same things, but we all handle those aches in different ways. Kellen and Wavy connect over the pain of loneliness and form an innocent love that leads to criminal consequences.
On this journey, there are several roads to six feet under, and we have to draw our own map through All the Ugly and Wonderful Things that make up this life.
I couldn’t have chosen a better book to begin 2017 with. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, it is a must. It is perfectly done, full of goodness and equal parts heartache. It is a novel that leaves the reader wanting more while thinking it couldn’t have ended better. This is a one-of-a-kind work of art!