Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jenn's Review: Ultraviolet

Summary:  "Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. This is not her story. Unless you count the part where I killed her."
Sixteen-year-old Alison wakes up in a mental institution. As she pieces her memory back together, she realizes she's confessed to murdering Tori Beaugrand, the most perfect girl at school. But the case is a mystery. Tori's body has not been found, and Alison can't explain what happened. One minute she was fighting with Tori. The next moment Tori disintegrated—into nothing.
But that's impossible. No one is capable of making someone vanish. Right? Alison must be losing her mind—like her mother always feared she would.
For years Alison has tried to keep her weird sensory abilities a secret. No one ever understood—until a mysterious visiting scientist takes an interest in Alison's case. Suddenly, Alison discovers that the world is wrong about her—and that she's capable of far more than anyone else would believe.
Review:  Completely hooked in the first three sentences?  I know I was.  Due out in the US in the fall of 2011, Ultraviolet was a novel I received from the publisher, Carolrhoda Books through Net Galley.  This is one you want to have on your shelf.  While one isn't supposed to comment about errors in an uncorrected proof, I have to mention that the formatting of this galley was terrible (an honest glitch I'm sure), but it was such an amazing read that I was completely willing to suffer through it.  Yes, it was that good.

This is a fascinating look at the psyche of a teen who has grown up knowing she was different then the rest of the world.  When her arch nemesis goes missing after a fight between them, Alison is sure that somehow her unnaturalness has disintegrated her. I knew what Allison's condition was before she and her doctors figured it out, but it was certainly easy to see how it could be missed.  (It made me wonder how often this kind of thing is missed in adolescent psychiatry.) I can't imagine being a teen in a Psychiatric Ward.  Being a teenager is hard enough without having someone prodding around your life and probing your motivations and feelings all the time.  Alison's journey is tumultuous as she learns more about the system of which she is a prisoner, her abilities, and herself.

Ms. Anderson's writing reminded me a lot of Madeleine L'Engle for a more mature audience.  Her story telling is captivating and so are her characters.  It is fascinating viewing the world through Alison's perspective and even more interesting as her perception of herself and others begins to change.  It's startling, but refreshing to see Alison realize how other's perceive her and how being so concerned about her differences has isolated her in ways she never knew. I also love the fact that the story is set in Ontario and that Ms. Anderson doesn't feel the need to apologize for it by explaining things to bits.  Although Ms. Anderson took the ending in a different direction than I would have preferred, it was well done and nothing I hold against her or her work.  

This is not RJ Anderson's first work and now that I've discovered her, I am putting the YA fantasy series she has written, Faery Rebel, on my ever growing TBR wishlist.  Ultraviolet is set to come out in September, and if you love YA, I highly recommend you put it on your wishlist as well!

Final Take:  4.5/5


Miricor Publishing May 19, 2011 at 10:53 PM  

I love love loved this book!!!! The description of how Alison saw the world was amazing. I had the same trouble reading it because of the wacky formatting & I almost gave up in like the second chapter, but I'm thrilled that I stuck with it. I'll be chatting this book up to people for a long time. :)


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