Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: Ultraviolet

Thanks to my school work this update and the next two are all going to be a day late, oops, and on Wednesday as a heads up I'm going to make a post explaining how posting is going to go for the rest of the year. 
Back to the matters at hand, this was the third book which I had to read in a week (I think I finished this book the day I had to return it, another book I had to read in almost one sitting) and I was a bit hesitant about this book because I haven't read any other books by the author and I just couldn't tell from the blurb if I was going to like it or not. It didn't seem like something I was going to like but I told myself to get over it and try it anyway for the heck of it, rather glad that I did that.

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Summary: Alison wakes up one day to find herself in a mental institution and accused of murdering a classmate she didn't like who has vanished without a trace. Alison would like to say that's impossible but when she starts to piece her memory back together she remembers her classmate vanishing in a flash and that's not the only weird part of her life. For her entire life she's seen colors with sounds and all kinds of other strange, cross-sensory things so could she be crazy after all?

The Good: For a character which has a very good reason to think that she murdered a classmate and is crazy, Alison is a remarkably mature main character which was quite nice. There comes a point in the book where she figures out what has been going on and does change and apologize for her past actions yet she never writes them off the way most of us do when we've done something immature. There was one line which summed this up rather well (paraphrasing here) "You want to know the reason why I didn't like you? It was because your name tasted like cough syrup" which both shows how absurd some things have gotten yet how Alison always did have a reason behind her sometimes crazy reactions. Her mother also got a bit more fleshed out than I expected which was a nice touch, it would have been so easy (and normal) if her mother had been yet another parent in fiction who just doesn't get their child but here there actually was a deeper reason and, well, I like when parents are just plot devices but actual characters in a story. 

The Bad: One thing that is a bit hard to buy is how Alison has so many different forms of synesthesia (I don't think it's a spoiler to give her condition a name, most people should be able to figure it out from the description alone) since from the little reading I've done it seems like most people only have one or two types of it and she has more than that (at least the character acknowledge that this is pretty unusual). I did think that some of the characters were too understanding of Alison's explanation for why she had been so crazy in the end (or possibly I'm just used to unreasonable characters, could be both)  

Sorry this one is a bit short but that's because there was more stuff that I liked (I really enjoyed this book overall) but it involves some plot elements which I think are too spoilerly to say in a review 

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