Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Recommendation: Bleeding Violet

The Set-Up: 
Love can be a dangerous thing....
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, the 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.

My Take: 

I loved this book.  Seriously. I. Loved. This. Book.  This is one of those books that I picked up and wondered “Why the hell didn’t I get this sooner?”  Hanna is such a fun character, and even though she‘s bipolar her mental illness isn’t really what defines her.  Neither does being biracial.*  She has so much going on, and her self-confidence leaps off of the page.  Even though she’s thrown into a completely strange situation she goes along with it, convinced that she can make the grimmest of situations work.  She’s optimistic without coming off as a Pollyanna, and that’s really nice to see.
I usually have one or two things that I take issue with, but the only thing that even gave me pause was Hanna’s attitude towards sex.   It gave me pause not because I had a problem with it, but because it isn’t very often that YA features a character who’s sexually active and not because she has some sort of problem she’s trying to escape.  Hanna is as matter of fact about sex as she is everything else, so the romantic scenes in the book quickly become more matter-of-fact than scandalous. 
I also loved that the romance in the book was so realistic, yet satisfying.  Wyatt is a bit of a jerk sometimes (like most guys), and despite his jerky tendencies he was still a decent romantic lead.  I’ve gotten spoiled with reading YA, I tend to expect some sort of romance at some point, but the romance between Wyatt and Hanna was satisfying without feeling forced or unnatural.
The town of Portero was hands down my favorite part of the entire book.  I look forward to reading more books set there, and meeting more of the residents.  While I was reading all I could think was “What kind of insane person would willingly live in such a place?” I look forward to finding out. J
I guess I should give a warning here that the book has some pretty graphic bits.  Nothing that I found offensive, but I have a pretty high tolerance for gore.  But this book is probably not something you would want to give younger readers.  The violence is probably on par with the Hunger Games, but with the addition of sex I think some Amazon reviewers were a bit more scandalized than they would’ve been if the two hadn't coexisted.  However, I think books should be about pushing boundaries, and I love how Bleeding Violet does that while telling an intriguing story.
So if you like your YA on the older side with a bit of the dark, this is definitely a book you should check out.
*I was pretty annoyed that one Amazon reviewer complained that “Hanna herself is biracial, but comes across as a generic white girl, who just a bit on the slutty side.” So, she should act all conflicted because she comes from two different cultures? Or should she be a little ghetto, but still dig tea parties?  Pffft. This is why no one should take Amazon reviews too seriously, but more about that later.


LM Preston said...

Oh, I have got to add this to my to be read pile! Thanks :-D

Post a Comment