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{September 5, 2011}   {Review} Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

From Goodreads: 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?

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Learner Publishing Group has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read of copy of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its recent USA debut, and I am so glad because I really enjoyed this book.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked it up, based on the hundreds of mixed reviews already out from the UK and other countries, but this is definitely a book right up my alley, and once I started it, I was so captivated that I had trouble putting it down and completing the daily tasks of life.

Anderson has done a wonderful job researching medical facilities and conditions that result in people being put into psychiatric hospitals, and the story itself took my breath away.  It is nothing like other books I’ve read concerning psychiatric hospitals, and Anderson’s wonderful imagination and colorful characters (no pun intended) have a lot to do with it.  As I read, I kept thinking to myself that this novel is “really good,” but there came a point in the story where it switched from “good” to “awesome.”  I was reading along, and all of a sudden Anderson adds this completely shocking twist that made me bolt upright and read the text even closer.

Now, this novel is not for everyone.  Most of this novel is somewhat feasible and realistic, with scientific explanations for basically everything, but the story definitely takes a turn for the paranormal and I can see where it might ruin the story for some readers out there who really enjoyed the realistic aspect of the book.  It is quite a shocker, in my opinion, but that’s what makes me love it all the more.  Here we have a really good psychological thriller unraveling, and all of a sudden we’re thrust into a sci-fi, paranormal thriller, which, for me, is absolutely awesome!  But, like I said, not everyone is going to like this aspect, especially as it happens very late in the novel and, without some serious flexibility as a reader, it won’t sit well, especially as it’s such a shock and deviation from the rest of the novel.  However, I found it refreshing and extremely interesting and I hope there is a sequel coming out soon!  Four stars.

4 stars

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