Wednesday, August 24, 2016

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood Review

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 star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her fa
ther'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.
Amazon Link-


"I was lying on tracks under a train I was in love with."

Readers are either going to hate this one or love it... 
For me, it was a book that instantly captured my attention and held me captive through the final page. I can't remember the last time I was so eager to indulge in words. There was something about the underlying taboo and the emotional turmoil on the surface that helped me look past the age difference and realize that Wavy was forced to grow up faster than normal and it wasn't because of Kellen. She was verbally abused by her mother, was forced to care for her little brother, and was in the company of drugs, sex, and alcohol. The only constant in her life was Kellen. He protected her, paid for her education, and in a some weird way.. was *the normal* part of her life. Their relationship started as guardian/child, but then as time progressed, so did the feelings and intimacy. It's not honorable to play off of a child's emotions and I want to think that Kellen tried his best to keep her at arms length. The problem was that Wavy felt alone and unwanted when Kellen pushed her away. Without him she had no one so he did what he did to keep her close. Yes, she was young and yes, it was very wrong... But in some twisted way, it was also very right. Wavy may have been young, but she was mature and knew what she wanted. Together they made their ugly lives into something wonderful.

It was a wild ride with danger and epic love. There were twists and turns and parts that I just couldn't believe. My heart ached and my gut wrenched. The words provoked so much emotion and for that I am thankful. I read to find the special reads of the world and this one was just that. It's in a league of it's own. Edgy and borderline just wrong. I found it to be flawlessly addictive and beautiful in the most awkward way, but I know not all readers will. If you are thinking about reading it I will leave you with this warning* Go into the book knowing that there are child/adult relations and if you can't stomach that then don't read it. Not all will appreciate the topic and graphic details, but I think with an open mind you can learn to be okay with it. 

"The letters seemed so wonderfully tragic to me. Each one a message he would never get. A note in a bottle, bobbing on the ocean. Lost" 

My only complaint would be the ending... I expected (or maybe just craved) a Romeo/Juliet kind of ending, but it never came. What did happen seemed a tad meh. The book builds up and feeds off intensity and emotion and near the end, I felt the writing completely switched tempo and voice. It lacked an emotional punch. I really would've loved to see a jaw dropping ending without a happily ever after. A tear-jerker ending would've left me reeling for sure. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

"ah, life-
the thing
that happens
to us
while we're off
somewhere else
blowing on
& wishing
ourselves into
the pages of
our favorite
fairy tales."

a poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations. 



Few words and simple phrases can portray truth and utter beauty. They can open up your soul and flood you with deep rooted emotion. Words are wisdom. Words are encouragement. And Words are the way we exploit our true inner selves. This book had a way of making me want to dive deep into the pages and explore meanings hidden beneath the surface. It empowered me and gave me a better perspective of how to live. It moved me in ways I never knew possible. It proved that less is more and captured the essence of finding light in the darkness. 

I forsee many re-reads in my near future. It was a flawless masterpiece that every person should read.

Drawn To You by Lily Summers

No one knows my story. No one knows what happened. I'm barely holding on.

I'm more than ready to lose myself and keep my secret buried.

Then Ezra finds me. A tagger with a raw talent, he fills the city with his art, splashing color across Portland's grey skies. A ghostly woman in the depths of the ocean, a boy preyed upon by shadows -- everything he creates touches my soul. Authentic and raw, his work grounds me. Magnetic and brave, he heals me.

Ezra is everything I need; he's everything I don't deserve. 

I never imagined I'd meet a man like him... or that he'd rip my darkest secret out of me.

All I want is to fade away.

Why won't he just let me?

Drawn To You is a heart-wrenching debut about love, art, and a passion that brings color to the darkness. It's an angst filled romance about the lengths we go to remember and the love we can never forget.

**This is a standalone new adult romance novel**

4/5 Stars

Do you like NA? Have a thing for artsy books? Then this one is for you!
Drawn To You tells a story of raw emotion and soul connecting romance... There was lust, angst, secrets, and swoon worthy intimacy. It circled around hope and forgiveness and had a strong artsy foundation. It was a tragic story with a beautiful outcome...

Let me just say that NA is not my favorite genre. It tends to be very generic and often times has repetitive plots and similar themes. This one was different though... I felt a unique premise that led with an emotional punch. The art focus made this book stand out. I could visually see the paintings in my mind. Each brush stroke, every color contrast... The paint exposed inner feelings and a romantic connection. Mia and Ezra communicated through paint. Together they used colors of forgiveness to paint over their inner darkness. It was truly a beautiful story with amazing depth.

Wondering why it didn't get 5 stars? Well... some of the descriptions were a tad over the top. It's first person so we get Mia's every thoughts. That means we get cheesy descriptions of how perfect Ezra is. At times it was just too much. Other than that I enjoyed the story and would definitely recommend it to others. It was fast paced and left a lasting impression. I applaud the author for creating such an artsy whirlwind of a romance.