Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson is the first NetGalley book that I’m going to review on the blog. I really enjoyed reading Knife, which is the first book in a series about faeries. I already have copies of the sequels but I haven’t had the chance to read them yet. Since my request for Ultraviolet got approved, I thought I might as well bump this up the to-be-read pile.
Here’s the summary from R.J. Anderson’s website:
Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori – the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?
Such an unusual book! After finishing it, I had no idea how I’d write the review because so many unexpected things happened in Ultraviolet. At first, I thought it was going to be a straight up contemporary YA novel set in a mental institution for teens. I was worried that it would be too gritty or bleak for my taste but that didn’t happen. Instead, the novel transformed into something with hints of magic realism with maybe a bit of fantasy and to my surprise, science fiction was thrown into the mix. Sorry for being so vague! I really don’t want to ruin the reading experience for any of you – a huge part of why I enjoyed this book was because it kept me guessing. Just when I thought I had things figured out, something happened that completely changed the dynamics of the story. I was engrossed because I had no idea what would happen next so I kept reading until I reached the end. I have a feeling that other people might not like where the story went in the second half of the book but it worked for me.
I felt bad for Alison through the course of her story because it seemed like no one really understood her – her parents, her best friend and even her psychiatrist. She knows that she’s different from everyone else so she keeps a tight rein on herself – she tries to pretend that there’s nothing extraordinary about her. Alison is a reserved person as a result of that and she doesn’t normally reach out to other people. I really liked Alison’s point of view because she has a fascinating way of seeing the world around her. How she perceives her surroundings makes her descriptions of the scenes so vibrant and full of life. Alison is one of the main reasons why I think Ultraviolet is so different from other YA books out there. Half the time, I wasn’t even sure if Alison and her friends in the institution were really crazy or not. Although it wasn’t the focus of the story, there IS a romantic interest for Alison and I thought the whole thing was sweet. Again, I apologize for not being clear but I am hoping that what I’ve said has made more people curious about this book. I want to know what the rest of you think and whether you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I did.