Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson
© 2011 by Orchard/Carolrhoda
UK Release: 2 June 2011
US Release: September 2011
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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"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 wakes up in a mental institution. As she pieces her memory back together, she realizes she’s confessed to murdering Tori Beaugrand, the most perfect girl at school. But the case is a mystery. Tori's body has not been found, and Alison can't explain what happened. One minute she was fighting with Tori. The next moment Tori disintegrated—into nothing. But that's impossible. No one is capable of making someone vanish. Right? Alison must be losing her mind—like her mother always feared she would.
For years Alison has tried to keep her weird sensory abilities a secret. No one ever understood—until a mysterious visiting scientist takes an interest in Alison's case. Suddenly, Alison discovers that the world is wrong about her—and that she’s capable of far more than anyone else would believe.
This was really an unexpected read to say the least. I felt like the description didn't give me very much to go on but left me intrigued enough to request it from NetGalley. I'm really glad that I did! I found Ultraviolet to be an intriguing novel that pulled me in and kept me guessing.
When Alison wakes up in a mental institution covered in (apparently self-inflicted) cuts and no recollection of how she got them, I found myself instantly drawn to this character and her mystery. I immediately wanted to know more about why she was in the mental ward and what she had done to warrant her moving her to Pine Hills. As someone (basically) accused of murder and assumed to have a severe mental illness, I was struck by Alison's will and determination throughout. As she deals with her sensory abilities and learns to open up a little, I felt like I was able to connect with this character, even though we share little to nothing in common. She made me want to be her friend (despite the fact that she pushes all of her would-be friends away). I also thought that Anderson did a fabulous job of giving you just enough information about Alison and her condition that you question her sanity (and humanity) throughout the whole story.
As the story moves along, parts one and two were cohesive and captivating, but I found myself a bit thrown-off by part three. I almost knew it was coming but there was just something about it that made it disconnect a bit from parts one and two. In the end, I thought all three parts rolled together for a good story, but it was honestly the first two parts that made me fall in love with the story and the characters. And...that's about all I want to say in case you decide to read it! This is definitely a novel I think you want to go in to without too much information so you can discover everything along the way!
This is a fabulous read for fans of YA science fiction, especially perhaps Madeleine L'Engle.
**Thank you MUCH to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the eGalley!