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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things Audiobook

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel

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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.

©2016 Bryn Greenwood (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1237 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.5 (1136 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (1140 )
5 star
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4 star
 (239)
3 star
 (53)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    Lori Michele Kelley 11-08-16 Member Since 2016

    As long as I have my Audible, I'm content.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    372
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    74
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    31
    16
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    Story
    "Just like the title - ugly and wonderful"

    Eight hours into this 11 hour book and I was thinking I had wasted a credit; I couldn't stop listening, but I wasn't happy. Then it ended and all of a sudden this wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. That never happens. What a weird book! The first part is beautiful, then it gets uncomfortable, then it makes you question everything you thought you knew about relationships and family, then it gets like a bargain bin book, then it just sneaks up on you and crumples you. It never panders to your emotions. It doesn't care what you think. Definitely worth the credit. And definitely worth the time!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Misty 08-10-16
    Misty 08-10-16 Member Since 2015

    Too busy to read as much as I'd like, Audible is the perfect solution. I'm a romance reader mostly, but can stray into any story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    350
    ratings
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    354
    321
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    27
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    Story
    "No other like it"

    If you had told me I would have loved a book this much just based on the blurb, I would have thought you crazy but I am telling you... Perfection. This book was every emotion and more. 5 star all the way.

    Follow the S3OC book blog on Facebook for the full review.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheri Waverly Hall, Ga. 01-04-17
    Cheri Waverly Hall, Ga. 01-04-17 Member Since 2012

    Hell hath no fury like a woman interrupted while listening to a really good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2111
    ratings
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    623
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    Story
    "I'm In The Minority!"

    Contains some spoilers:
    This was a hard story for me to rate and review. On one hand, the story was well written and I loved hearing all the different POV's, on the other hand, you have a 13 year young girl who's had hard life, and ends up developing feelings for an older man who has been there for her since she was eight. I've listened to several audios about young girls developing feelings for older men and I have to admit those stories were tastefully done and the things progress closer to a legal age. I do understand all the five star reviews, but I had mixed feelings about THIS story.Yes, Wavy had a hard life, grew up faster than most, but the whole story to me was on the depressing side. I felt the HEA, really wasn't that happy.

    The plot was well written, descriptive, kept me right on the edge wondering what was going to happen next, and the character development was great, but overall I can only give this story two stars due sexual content of a 13 year with an older man. I know this is a fictional, and preteens/teens are sexual. I also personally know someone close to me who was pregnant at 13, married by 14 and has been happily married to the same person for the past 21 years, but this happened with someone close to their age and not an adult.

    Jorjeana Marie did an amazing job narrating this story! There are some many characters, and emotions, this story had to be a challenge narrate.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robynne M Lute 12-31-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    17
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    Story
    "Pornography and Pedophiles"

    If you love the above, this book is for you! Entertaining, yet also extremely disturbing and misguided.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Narelle Narrabundah, Australia 12-29-16
    Narelle Narrabundah, Australia 12-29-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    Story
    "Very strange -odd"

    I was very uncomfortable with this book. 13 year old girl in love with a biker and describing her sexual feelings - the biker also in love with her?? Basically paedophilia.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mequasah tigard, OR, United States 10-25-16
    Mequasah tigard, OR, United States 10-25-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    129
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh how I wish I had listened to the reviews!"
    Would you try another book from Bryn Greenwood and/or Jorjeana Marie?

    I don't think so


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Currently listening to The Girl Before, very good!


    How could the performance have been better?

    Nothing wrong with the performance


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disgust


    Any additional comments?

    I could not finish this book, I was warned that it could make you feel uncomfortable and I went in with a super open mind. The relationship was completely unacceptable and there was simply no coming back from it. Cringe worthy. Made it to the bedroom scene when the man climbs in thru the 8 year old girls window....

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Hawkins Auckland, New Zealand 08-12-16
    Ann Hawkins Auckland, New Zealand 08-12-16 Member Since 2012

    Short fuse

    HELPFUL VOTES
    110
    ratings
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    50
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    4
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    Story
    "A brave departure from the norm"

    The story line is a refreshing change from assembly line romance tales. The main protagonists are damaged and unglamorous. Some readers might even find the gradual development of their relationship disturbing due to the age gap and the squalor of their surroundings, yet the author persuades us that something of beauty can still grow in the ugliest of circumstances. There is neither a handsome Prince nor sexually skilled billionaire to fuel a reader's girlish daydreams here. Instead a random act of kindness to a child generates a feeling of responsibility which, over a period of years, develops into an attraction destined to raise concerns. This was not an easy subject to tackle and I applaud the author for taking us in a new direction. I look forward to more books from this source.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jksullycats 12-27-16
    jksullycats 12-27-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacie Bombardier 12-15-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    7
    1
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    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Difficult to see the wonderful among the ugly"
    Would you try another book from Bryn Greenwood and/or Jorjeana Marie?

    Probably not-


    What was most disappointing about Bryn Greenwood’s story?

    It was a tragic love story, but since I have a 14-year old daughter, I could not help but to identify with the aunt's perspective.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    It was disturbing to me; glad others enjoyed it but I did not.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to many, many audible books and this is my first review. I do not see much wonderful in this sad, disturbing story. I almost wish I hadn't read it! But i know I'm in the minority. Maybe not for women with teenage daughters!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea 11-15-16
    Andrea 11-15-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    63
    1
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but, messed up."
    Any additional comments?

    This was a good story, but, it was definitely uncomfortable to listen to. You are happy for these tragic characters to find each other, but, conflicted because of the obvious pedophilia... which is HARD to listen to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • LilleyLoohLah
    10/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly Addictive"

    Whoa! I don't think I've ever been as affected by a book or ever thought about a book constantly like I did with this. Contrary to many views I did not struggle with the content at all (I can understand why maybe some people would), I was constantly on tender-hooks waiting for something bad to happen, expecting things to get out of hand at any turn. So many emotions, so much happening. Told in multiple POVs, the story is gritty, tense and beautifully written. The story follows the obsessive relationship between Wavy (age 8) and Kellen who is about 12 years her senior. Wavy's family life leaves a lot to be desired, her parents are abusive and neglectful. Wavy doesn't speak and doesn't like being touched by anyone, until Kellen. He is her protector, her friend, her confidant and as the years go by, their feelings become more....... One of my favourite reads of the year. I loved it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lo
    11/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favourite book of the year so far!!"

    I loved this story because of the discomfort I felt while reading not despite of..

    This author gave us a story that is original not only in it's content but in the way it's written as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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