bleeding violet.

| Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Bleeding Violet Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is weird. Delightfully, unabashedly weird.

Take a bipolar and hallucinatory 16-year old and drop her into the only town on the planet where the paranormal activity out-weirds anything her troubled mind can think up, and you have the setting of this novel. Hanna battles her own inner ghosts while dealing with the very real monsters of Portero, Texas. However, none of this compares to her struggle to obtain the love of a mother that abandoned her as an infant.

This novel is very dark and graphic. Language, sex, violence, gore, homicidal rage, mental illness, suicidal tendencies - all are prominent throughout the text. That said, I found this story engrossing. Despite the very heavy themes throughout, Hanna is engaging, even charming. Obviously very troubled, but engaging nonetheless.

Reeves' style is sometimes lyrical and very easy to read. There were a few passages where descriptions felt out of place to me (a girl's pink skirt "fluttered prettily" while she was weighing down a murderous flying monster), but most of the language flowed well. The characters are engaging and all have signature quirks. My one qualm is that one of the primary antagonists, the Mayor, isn't introduced until near the end of the novel, and falls a little flat of what she's been built up to be. Most of the other characters are quite well done.

Though there is a good deal of gore/violence here, there is also Hanna's quest to be loved. After the death of her father, she's longed to feel a strong emotional connection to another person, and she searches for it desperately in a mother who is by all appearances cold and unfeeling. One of the main pulls of this story is Hanna's desperate struggle to achieve even the smallest glimmer of affection from her mother, or from anyone.

I can see opinions of this book varying widely based on personal taste and any triggering issues readers may have. Hanna displays a very blasé attitude toward sex, death, and blood that some will find unnerving or distasteful. She also has a long list of mental issues which may or may not be portrayed accurately. I personally found the novel unique and enjoyable, albeit disturbing, but I could easily see where other readers might be turned off. If any of the aforementioned issues are likely to upset you, I'd advise passing on this one.

If you feel you can handle the themes and you are interested in a unique paranormal YA novel with a fresh voice, try this one out.


{ Christi Goddard } at: March 18, 2010 at 3:44 PM said...

It actually sounds like something I'd adore. I love me some stories that are like Wonderland on crack.

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