my first attempt at a book review. hopefully i don't suck too bad at it. ;)
i picked Dia Reeves' Bleeding Violet because i think it's an underrated book. on Goodreads it's been rated 737 times with 224 reviews. most friends and people i follow on Goodreads have it marked as 'to-read.'
it's dark and twisted, haunting and mysterious, gorgeous, unique. it's a great book.
i've even bumped up my Goodreads rating from 4 to 5 stars because i keep coming back to read different parts of this book. it's sucked me in.
the cover blurb, also the summary on Goodreads, raised questions that drew me in.
love can be a dangerous thing.... ooooo, interesting. :)
hallucinations?? pills?? frilly, violet dresses?? hmmm, that's different.
a strange town filled with dark secrets?? *hypnotized face* tell me more.
anything can happen and no one is safe?? yup, i'm hooked.
first, Hanna. i love Hanna *book hug*. i'm curious if it's odd to say that reading a book about a bi-racial, bi-cultural, bipolar teenager is refreshing. characters need to be unique to draw in readers, they have to be believeable, they have to be flawed. Hanna is both unique and flawed. not every girl in every high school all over the world is going to be a bubbly blonde cheerleader that's mentally stable. teens are all different people, they're manic or depressed or bipolar or anorexic or bulimic or a cutter or a jock or a nerd or a drama queen. teen characters need these flaws to make the reader connect, to make the reader believe them.
with the added twist in regards to Hanna's bipolar state, it altered how i read the book through her eyes. Hanna is very brazen, blunt and rather calm, "charming and rational" as one psychiatrist puts it (pg.22), and i guess maybe not controlling but she knows what she wants. she wants her mother Rosalee to accept her and love her, she wants the town to accept her, she wants to fit in at school.
but her mother wants her gone, the town sees her as an outsider, and the kids at school think she's a nutcase that wears bright purple. clearly, they have no fashion sense. ;)
then there's Hanna's father, either a side-effect hallucination brought on by her bi-polar disorder or an actual ghost that's haunting her and her mother. i'm torn between the two.
and Portero. this town clearly has some demons, but what town doesn't?? these ones are just creepy and bizarre and supernatural/paranormal and outrageous. what i enjoyed about Portero is that no one in town lied to themselves about the creepy stuff. they all knew it was there and they accepted it. the weird stuff is normal.
i understand the purpose of the Mortmaine: they're there to help the town when the creepy stuff pops up and tries to kill someone, like paranormal cops. i did think that they were both afraid of change and puppets of the Mayor. Wyatt's resistance is welcome, as are the cards he makes. with the arrival of Hanna, the town changes a little. her weirdness gives them fresh eyes on which to look at the town, and if the town is going to survive, the Mortmaine have to change how they go about stopping and killing the dark creatures.
i would've been upset if there wasn't a romantic aspect to this book. it would've added even more for Hanna to deal with, which it did, even with the bizarre start to their relationship that Hanna and Wyatt had. and then there was Hanna's view of sex and how it seemed to be her decision for her and Wyatt to have sex. it was a little surprising, but teens have sex. it's true. not writing about it isn't going to make it not true. now, Hanna's not promiscuous, she's only interested in Wyatt, and it just seemed to fit with her character. she's brazen and bold, and adult enough to use condoms.
i hope this next part was intentional because it makes spots of the book so vivid: the focus on colour. the purple, the splashes of red everywhere (not always blood, but sometimes), the green of the Mortmaine, the white-blue of Rosalee's kitchen. whenever a colour appeared it popped into my head and filled my vision. the purple of Hanna's dresses, the lipstick red of Rosalee's kitchen chair. gorgeous. :)
in the end, after Hanna fights her way to become a part of Portero, breaking through the barriers established by Rosalee, the evil (and dead) Runyon, and the controlling Mayor. it's one of those 'over for now' endings, which i'm happy to find. not everything is wrapped up. it's Portero, there's still weird creatures and monsters creeping around in parks and windows, and that's fine. i never expected that to be the end. i did hope that the end would include Hanna making some kind of peace with Rosalee, badass and brutal as she is. i wouldn't have Rosalee any other way, because then she wouldn't be believable. she didn't have to melt like butter under Hanna's love, just soften the tiniest bit.
in conclusion, go read this book. i saw a (negative, unfortunately) review that said this book was a hot mess. i will agree, but that's what made it so good. nothing's perfect, and nothing's ever going to be perfect in Portero. what town is perfect?? what adult?? what teenager??
Bleeding Violet is freakishly awesome. thank you, Dia Reeves. i can't wait for Slice of Cherry to come out in January.
also, i love Swan and Little Swan and Ragsie. like a splash of adorableness mixed in with the blood. :)
so, that was my first ever book review. i hope you like it. i hope Dia Reeves likes it, if she ever reads it (which would make me kinda nervous, eeeep). maybe i'll do another one in a couple of days.