Monday, June 7, 2010
Review: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home. But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.
Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY
Okay...where to begin with this book. Well, have you ever watched a movie maybe the Twilight Zone or even read a book and by the conclusion you say "What the...?" (insert F-bomb or hell here) Let's just say that my first WTF (only the F-bomb was fitting here) came after reading the FIRST chapter. That has never happened to me before in all my years of reading. It also became my mantra throughout the book. Bleeding Violet is an entirely original book, that is not for the faint of heart. If you have been looking for a book that will blow your mind, look no further. If you crave the blood, gore and psychotic elements of which most YA urban fantasy lack, you will find satiation here! Let's start with characters. If you thought J.D Salinger's character Holden Caulfied was crazy, wait until you meet Hanna Jarvinen-crazy incarnate. Hanna is a bi-polar, manic depressive, bi-racial, bi-cultural, absolutely gorgeous sixteen year old who has grown up without knowing her mother. So a few months after her precious father dies she decides it is time to force her mother to man-up and fulfill her god-given role and moves to Portero, Texas. Hanna is so unlike any other protagonist in literature that you are immediately drawn to eccentricity and feel for her plight. She has not had an easy life, the majority of it due to her disorder. She is not a character to emulate, but to learn from. Parents will cringe at her antics and way of thinking, most teens will not relate to most of Hanna's problems, though unfortunately some will. It all boils down to the fact that Hanna simply wants to be loved and she will do anything to get it whether it means having sex with all the boys in her class, killing others or killing herself. The person from whom she desires love the most is her mother, Rosalee. The only character who really can match Hanna crazy for crazy is Rosalee. Like Hanna, Rosalee is beautiful and charming and evidently just as promiscuous. Rosalee doesn't want Hanna, she believes that love is a trap, and tries to send her away. At first, we are appalled by the way she treats Hanna. How could any mother treat the being whom she carried under heart for nine months the way Rosalee treat Hanna? Well, Rosalee has a secret. But fear not eventually Rosalee's maternal instincts kick in, I mean, who better to be loving and accepting of someone as crazy as Hanna than a mother who is equally as crazy. Your dysfunctional family has got NOTHING on this one. Along with finding love from her mother, Hanna also finds love Wyatt (I love that name...sigh) Wyatt is that typical guy from high school who makes your stomach flip, flirts with anything that has a pulse, and ends up being much deeper than you originally thought and best of all he is hot without having long hair. Wyatt and Hanna have a rather bumpy beginning. And a most unusual relationship what with Wyatt being Mortamaine, a group of well trained, special powered, fighters of the forces of evil that plague the town of Portero. Hanna truly falls for Wyatt, something we get the idea that she has never done for any boy, so when he does typical boy things such as refuse to call her his girlfriend in front of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, or when he takes her on a Mortamaine hunt and uses her as bait, she is justifiably crushed. However, in the end, it is Hanna who breaks Wyatt's heart. As I said, the love that Hanna craves more than anything is her mother's and her own love for her mother trumps all...even the love of a wonderful boy like Wyatt.
The plot is a little confusing since it seems like there are different plots intertwined. The overall is Hanna's struggle to be accepted in a town that shuns her because she is an outsider and by a mother who has no use for anyone but herself. This is an enjoyable read for older teen readers and adults. I DO NOT recommend it for tweens. However, if a tween desires to read it, I feel it would be important to discuss the issues of Hanna's promiscuity (she lost her virginity at age 14 in a sauna with a random boy) Whereas, I applaud any other who is not afraid to address the issue of sex and teens, I am unimpressed with those who don't condemn sex as cure for boredom and acceptance. This is my only problem with the book. So, go ahead, get ready to suspend your disbelief a little more than usual, prepare for lots of blood and purple, (hence the title Bleeding Violet) tons of action and creatures that can usually only be found in nightmares or Twilight Zone episodes and a whole bunch of "WTF's" or "WTH's" which ever you prefer.