Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Review: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

SUMMARY (From amazon):

Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.


This book is just a whole world of crazy, from what happens in the town to Hanna herself. Many times, I found myself wondering what was real and what wasn't- what was in her head and what really was happening. I really appreciated that particularly effect the book had on me and I could easily understand why Hannah went right along with everything that happened. Crazier things had happened in her head- it was easy to believe all the random events in the town.

Hanna is bipolar which was a trait that helped define who she was but what I really enjoyed was how she was not only depressed which is the part of this disorder that tends to be focused on. She very much was more manic prone, going so far as to have hallucinations, the delusions of grandeur where she could do anything, and many other negative, dysfunctional features of this disorder. Reeves did a fantastic job tying in this part of Hanna with the events of the story. She also did a great job using Hanna's medicine to keep things "normal" or let the hallucinations run wild, especially with Hanna's ability to see her dead father. Hanna's character was fantastically done and despite being bipolar and a whack job, she did have her own development but more defining than her mental instability was how desperately she wanted her mother's love. Most everything revolved around that fact without it ever being overbearing or the point shoved down a reader's throat.

Wyatt's character was also very interesting and I felt he was a great match for Hanna. He knows the truth about the town and faces it down regularly. I often could easily understand his motivations and rationalizations and enjoyed Hanna's interactions with him. Despite some of the things Wyatt does, I became very sympathetic of his character and really think he was as well done and planned out as Hannah herself.

The plot was sometimes hard to follow with some events come out of nowhere but I didn't find it choppy or distracting because this is a story told in the perspective of a girl who hallucinates, who knows she's crazy but has never really come to terms with it in her own way. There were plenty of unexpected twists and overall, I most definitely enjoyed watching things progress.

Yes, sex did come up in this book both with Hanna and her mother, Rosalee. It wasn't distasteful and using their bodies was something both Rosalee and Hanna used to define who they were. I actually enjoyed watching the town's reactions to Rosalee and wasn't entirely surprised to see how they responded to Hanna, either. She flaunted what she had and knew how people reacted but never once did I find myself disliking her for it. This is one more thing Reeves did a fantastic job incorporating without making me turned off by it, particularly in the context of this crazy town with monsters and other weird events happening. Normal rules simply didn't apply in most every way and Reeves made that clear and used it perfectly. Some scenes were very out there and gave me wtf moments but I very much enjoyed every one of them. This book, in so many ways, is quite genius and is just out there enough to be brilliant. If sex and graphic scenes bother you, then don't read this one but personally, I think you would be missing out.

Overall, I give this one 5 stars. It kept me entertained and I wanted to find out more. I also kept wondering if things were real or in Hanna's head and part of me wondered throughout the book if I would get to the end and find out everything was in her head and she was in an institution. Did that happen? You'll have to read for yourself and find out but I most definitely enjoyed and appreciated the ending of this book. Pushing this one even more to 5 stars is Reeves' fantastic writing style and use of imagery. Scenes were painted very vividly, from the sounds and the sights to even the smells.

Source: Purchased at Borders
Hardcover, 464 pages
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
January 05, 2010
ISBN13: 9781416986188
ISBN: 1416986189
BINC: 9960820

Author's Website

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  1. This book sounds pretty nifty, and different (which we can all use more of). Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really need to read this book. It sounds amazing. Great review!

  3. I agree this sounds amazing, and weird, but like a great read! 5 stars!

  4. Nice review, I really need to pick this one up already!

  5. Great review! I haven't read this one yet,
    but I'm looking forward to reading it.
    It sounds so great and I love the cover =)

  6. Great review! Hanna does sound like a nutjob-but an endearing one, LOL.

  7. I have this on my shelf, and I will get to it...hopefully soon :)