Author: R. J. Anderson
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (Imprint of Lerner Publishing Group)
Buy: Amazon, Book Depository
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 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?
Ultraviolet left me breathless. Taste. See. Hear. Touch. Smell. Alison can do all of those at the same time. Ultraviolet did that to me, feel everything at the same time. Result? Complete sensory overload.
I read this book because the pitch chilled me. “Unless you count the part where I killed her.” You could say I read Ultraviolet almost solely because of this line.
Although this book started off slow—the pace quickened once Faraday arrived on scene—things are interesting in the psychiatric ward, and with Alison’s senses, there wasn’t ever a dull moment. R. J. Anderson’s writing works beautifully with the story as well, her vivid imagery matching perfectly with how Alison’s mind worked.
Alison wasn’t the only one who fell in love with Sebastian Faraday. He’s charming, he’s handsome, and he understands Alison in a way nobody else does—or want to. Oh, and those brilliant violet eyes. When Faraday comes along, the whole story shifts, and you just know something’s going to happen. This amazing guy pops up—no way something isn’t going to happen. Which left me irritably turning pages trying to find out what’s going to happen, of course.
Alison herself was an enigma. I had no idea what to think of her at first. Seeing stars? Was she insane—well, she is locked up in a ward, but she sounds perfectly sane. I didn’t understand why they didn’t just let her out. I didn’t know if Alison had weird powers. Her calmness is disorienting at times and her flashbacks even more so. I wanted to know more though. Which, I guess, was why I read on.
As I learned more about the characters and figured out a little more of what’s happening with Alison, the hate I’d harboured against some of the characters melted away. I must admit, I was never a huge fan of Dr. Minta or Alison’s mother. But after learning about their story, I started empathising with them. As Faraday says, everybody has a story behind them. There are always reasons people act the way they do.
I never thought Ultraviolet would be this deep. I’m glad it was though. It’s complex, it made me think. True, my brain was tired (what with the little functioning brain cells), but the book was worth all the effort.
The twist at the end gave me a lot of confusion. It seemed as if the sci-fi aspect just popped out of nowhere. That felt a bit random and somewhat forced, but it tied the story together and answered a lot of questions. Though, I still think Ultraviolet would be more powerful left as a contemporary, and personally, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of E.T.
The bittersweet ending left a lump in my throat. It was perfect, in a way that made me want to cry.
Ultraviolet is the best cross-dimension read I’ve read this year (not that I’ve read a lot). I loved it, and best bet: so will you. Pounce at it if you see it on the bookshelves on September 1st, 2011. You won’t regret it—promise. Well… at least I hope you won’t!
See Kris's review of Ultraviolet!
Disclaimer: This book was received for free from the publishers. No payment was received in return for this review. Opinions expressed in this review were in no way influenced by payments of any kind.