Friday, 7 October 2011

Ultraviolet by R J Anderson


June 2011, Orchard Books 
416 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Young Adult

Themes: light colour and sound spectrum, psychiatric hospitals, living with mental illness, coping with isolation, effects of medication, shutting out the world, misinterpreting people, hint of abuse, treated like a criminal, lots of tension, tissues will be needed. 

Summary from Orchard Books
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? 

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Alison...she is so scared and unsure of the situation she finds herself in but she doesn't stop trying to find a way out. She sees most people in the wrong light, but realises the truth at the end and becomes a better person. 

Is there another character who deserves a mention? Tori reminds me of Lilah's friend in The Taming of Lilah May by Vanessa Curtis (no I can't remember the friend's name...) 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? When evil psychiatrists are trying to get you to say you killed someone you don't think you did, you will see danger in every world you hear from them and become paranoid. 

Are there lots of plot twists and surprises? Just as I thought I'd figured the story out, suddenly the world got turned on its head. There's all the feel of Knife in the spunky characters, and something new which suits the genre. 

One of my favourite parts was...when Alison was finally believed by the one person who had rejected her. 

This seriously wow read gets 10/10 for having me hooked for the last few hours as I read what felt like an episode of Star Gate, minus the goaulds. 

Suggested read
Definite check out Zelah Green: One More Little Problem by Vanessa Curtis, which is without the science fiction parts of Ultraviolet, and explores mental illness. 

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