Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
Published: 2nd June 2011
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (Carolrhoda Lab Imprint)
"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.
The beginning of this book, Alison waking up in the institution, grabs you immediately. You're pulled into her story and aren't let go of until it kicks you away at the end of the book. I connected instantly with Alison and her situation and I rallied for her right till the end. I loved the element of Alison trying to convince her psychiatrist that she's sane and he interprets her behaviour as clear signs she isn't. It reminded me of that study where they put sane people into a mental hospital and their behaviour got categorised and they eventually went mad and had to be pulled out of there. The only thing I didn't like was the way the other characters were more disease than people. They were shown only as the symptoms that had gotten them onto the ward rather than the people with those conditions and I really didn't like that.
The way this book was written was just beautiful. I loved the way the synaesthesia was described, Ms Anderson did it just perfectly. At times it was almost like reading poetry. If you've read my reviews before you'll know I'm a massive sucker for a beautifully written book, it's my inner english lit student rearing her snobby head and she was purring happily whilst I read this. I'm always a sucker for first person narration, especially the kind of introspective narration seen in this book. It really pulls me into the story and helps me connect with the character more.
Alison's relationship with Faraday was just so beautiful, I really liked the way it grew and what it culminated in. The relationship with Alison's mother was so well handled as well. Plot wise, I think all those years watching Star Trek with my dad really paid off because I didn't find what happened at all confusing. When I first heard the explanation of the book I was really put off, but actually I really enjoyed it. I thought the sci-fi element was really unique and it actually made it more realistic than if there'd been a supernatural explanation. I loved the ending, I loved how sad it was. I'm such a terrible person but I hate happy endings, there's something about a novel being resolved in a heartaching manner that really appeals to me.
This book has definitely found it's way into my favourites and I think everyone should give it a go- 5/5.
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