Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson - 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? From Amazon UK
When I was doing my research for LGBTQ YA Month, I discovered that the sequel to Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson is a book I had to read for the Month. However, having not read the Ultraviolet, I had to get to it. And oh my god, it was SO good!
Alison can see the colours of sounds, taste words, and hear the music of objects. And disintegrate people. Or at least has done once, to Tori Beaugrand. But she has no idea how she did it. In a panic of overwhelmed senses after the event, physically hurting from sensation overload, Alison blurts out what she did, how she killed Tori, and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital. No-one but her mother has the slightest inkling about her strange senses; she knows she can never tell anyone or they'll really think she's crazy, so Alison has to be so very careful with what she tells her psychiatrist. But when a new doctor arrives and discovers her secret, he is fascinated by what she can do, rather than think she's crazy. Can Dr Faraday help her work out what's up with her senses, and unknowingly help her discover what she did to Tori?
Such a good book! I was gripped from the very beginning, and I couldn't put it down! We discover that Tori's strange senses are part of her Synesthesia, a condition where the senses overlap, and it's just so fascinating! I discovered that I have it to a mild degree (for me, numbers, and some letters, have personalities), and I lapped it all up. Was such a clever idea for Anderson to have an actual real life neurological phenomenom in her sci-fi book. It's something that is kind of rare, and so different, most people won't have heard of it, so it just adds to the mystery. And then, when you discover this isn't made up and is actually real, other aspects of the story just feel more real, too.
What did happen to Tori? Alison saw her disintergrate, heard her shriek in pain. Is she really insane? Did her Synesthesia play tricks on her? Or did she actually do something, and if so, what? So she can make sure she doesn't do it again.
I don't think there's much else I can say about the plot without spoiling it. But it's fantastic! There were clues to things along the way, but I never expected the outcome! You come up with your own theories while reading, but I didn't really see this one coming. It's awesome though! And Ultraviolet is so exciting because of it, even though in regards to action, not very much happens for most of the book.I was still gripped, though, I couldn't get enough of this book!
There is a bit of a romance in the book, which is more of a sub-plot, but one that's intrinsically linked to the main plot. It's really quite sweet, but one I found to worry me in the back of my mind. Even though it's possible you might feel a little bit uncomfortable, it's written in a way that's so pure, it really is at the back of your mind, and easily ignored. Fortunately, it is addressed and dealt with, so despite reading with just a niggle, that niggle is satisfied by the end.
And I really don't think I can say much more in this review without telling you everything that happens, because I just want to talk and talk about it! Ultraviolet is just amazing, and so unlike anything else I've read before! I am SO excited to read Quicksilver!
Published: 2nd June 2011
Buy on Amazon US
R. J. Anderson's Website