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Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves



Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: 1/5/10
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Supernatural, Monsters, Family relationships, Bipolar Disorder, Love, Possession
Pages: 464
Plot (from back of arc):
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.

I'm kind of in love with this book. Every time I try to write my review though, I can't find the words. I think I've been left speechless. Or there are too many words and feelings bouncing around in my head. BLEEDING VIOLET pullled me in by its jagged teeth and I read it at a breakneck speed and with wide eyes. I'm not sure I've ever read such a strange tale; it was completely unique.

As I was getting ready to read BV, I kept hearing comments about the book. Other reviewers kept mentioning that it was such an odd book. I'd have to agree with this sentiment. It is hard to determine exactly what characteristic of the novel other reviewers are referring to when they say it is strange, in comparison to other supenatural and horror YA novels, but for me, it was Hanna. Dia Reeves' main character is not, in my mind, your typical YA character, nor your typical horror narrator. There is an unshakeable calm about Hanna and her ability to accept unexplainable phenomena is rather impressive. In the novel, Hanna has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and, after a shopping spree during a manic episode and a violent outburst, has run away to a small town in search of her estranged mother. Shortly after she arrives, Hanna discovers that she might have just found the one place that is crazier than she is. Does Hanna run away screaming? Nope. She doesn't even flinch. I loved that Hanna is such a strong character, at least on the outside, but she still has a soft center. Her ultimate goal throughout the book is to gain love and acceptance from her mother, who left Hanna and her father when she was only an infant. This is what makes Hanna a YA character and a character that a reader can connect with. The fact that she fights back instead of cowering in the face of freakish monsters and evil spirits... those traits just make her a badass. But the fact that she has Bipolar Disorder definitely sets her apart from other YA characters - and explains some of her behavior and tendencies.

There is also a romantic plotline in BV. I found Hanna's relationship with Wyatt to be both interesting and engaging. It was interesting because of Hanna's personality, her past, and, in ways, her future. Hanna's past relationships barely passed for actual relationships and her entire future, as far as she was concerned, seemed to be focused on her mother. So throwing Wyatt into the mix had interesting side effects. In addition, I simply enjoyed their love story. It wasn't typical, but it still made me smile and root for their budding relationship.

The superatural elements of BV were impressive. The novel has a definite horror vibe - I think it could definitely be made into a movie - and at times I felt like covering my eyes and reading through my fingers. BV isn't one of those books that will keep you up at night with the light on, but it is filled with creepy crawlies. And evil spirits. And hidden doors to other dimensions. Portero, Texas isn't my dream destination, but I can't help but be fascinated by it.

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 50/50 (A)

Bleeding Violet is an amazing debut from Dia Reeves and if it isn't on your to-be-read pile, add it now! Start of 2010 with a great novel, start 2010 with Bleeding Violet!


47 comments:

  1. This sure sounds like an interesting read! It isn't something that I would usually pick up on my own but I'm definitely intrigued. I'll definitely have to give this one a try. Great review!

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  2. Good thing I bought this then! Awesome review :)

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  3. I am really excited to get this book. I love super natural stuff in ya. Gonna be a great read. Thanks for the review and the author interview. I am so glad that it comes out tomorrow so that I don't have to wait!

    :]

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  4. Great review! Sounds like a book to put on my list to read. :)

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  5. Wow this sounds like a fantastic read. I love super natural books. Your review if great.

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  6. This book was in my wish list, but now I'm very curious about it. I know someone in my family who is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She had an episode regarding paranormal things and she didn't act normal at all. In fact, she was so freaked out that she was interned in a rest home for more than 2 weeks because she almost burned her house. So now I really want to read this because I would like to know how well the author deals with this Bipolar Disorder thing.

    And your review was pretty awesome ;)

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  7. I'm going to try and persuade *someone* to get this for me lol x

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  8. Man, I SO want this book! I'm sick of reading books about "normal girls". I want girls who are different with and without a guy! This book sounds like it has what I've been craving....

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  9. horror and romance? this book has everything! ha ha..great review...I can't WAIT to read it!

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  10. I like that it has a horror vibe, since I looove horror novels and films. I hadn't heard much about this book, but it sounds really interesting and strange. I definitely want to read it now! Great review!

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  11. This book sounds soo good! I can't wait to read it

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  12. I really want to read this one. Great review!

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  13. Speechless must mean this is awesome! I've rarely read"speechless" (in a good way) books! I love your review, you mention all the things I want to know! Thanks!

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  14. Ooo - I had forgotten about this one! Great review - can't wait to read it.

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  15. I like your review! Very descriptive! You seemed to have liked this book very much and you've left me curious to see if its really that good! I hope to read this soon! Its been in my To Read list for some time!

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  16. Great review!! I've heard how odd this book is, but that makes me want to read it even more. Your review definitely gave me a better picture of it just because you were able to narrow down at least one of the the odd, but interesting aspects of it.

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  17. Great review! Hanna sounds like an unique main character.

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  18. I think it's admirable for someone to write a YA novel about a teen with bipolar disorder as long as it is handled respectfully. It seems as if the author did a fine job. I hope I get to read it soon!

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  19. Wow...now I definitely have to add this to my To-Read list.

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  20. Wow, this sounds amazing! Love the review, I had seen this around quite a bit and I was intrigued but I didn't know much about the story. It sounds so unique and intriguing!

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  21. my friend just announced that the book had more than just typical ghosts, and I absolutely loved the teaser 1st chapter
    plus, the full spread of the cover is absolutely gorgeous
    thanks for the review, I'll be looking forward to the horror elements!

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  22. Your review makes me want to read it right away! Sounds like an interesting twist on YA novels!

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  23. I'd been reading reviews about how weird and different Hanna is and am looking forward to reading this book.

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  24. Great review. Horror and romance combined. How awesome.

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  25. Wow, 50/50! Great review, and Bleeding Violet sounds creepily intense yet awesome. :)

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  26. Wow. I've seen this book everywhere but I haven't really heard any feedback on it. It's great that it's a unique read. So much stuff out there lately is the same old junk. I'm really excited to read this now! I really like your blog btw. :D

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  27. This book is sooooo epic. lol if they ever do make this novel into a movie (They HAVE TO. HAAAAAAAAAAVE TO~!!!!) I'd totally buy advance tickets and line up hours before the premiere starts. I'd be *that* hyped about it.

    Linked your review here, if that's alright with you. If not, simply say the word and I'll take it down, etc. =D

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  28. This is the first review I've read of this book. Thanks for being so thorough! I feel I understand the book much better now.

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  29. I'm not sure why I haven't heard much about this book before but I'll be looking for it now. You wrote such an excellent, interesting, detailed review I can't wait to read it! I really enjoy horror and suspense and this sounds like it has a different twist to it.

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  30. Great enthusiastic interview! Now I can't wait to read it.

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  31. I haven't heard of Bleeding Violet before but after reading your review it is definitely going on my to-be-read list. Fantastic review!

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  32. Wow you gave this one a great score! I'm in love with this cover and have been wanting to read this book for a super long time. I know just what you mean about being speechless that you don't even know how to write a review. Haha that's what happened with me and The Hunger Games! :)

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  33. Amazing review and I really am looking forward to this book! You did an awesome job getting your thoughts across.

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  34. This is one of the few in-depth reviews that I've read for Bleeding Violet and I must say that I am very intrigued! Great review and it makes me even more anxious to read this book. :)

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  35. Fantastic review. I am glad you enjoyed it, it is on the top of my wish list. Glad it is worth the wait. Love the cover.

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  36. Amazing review! A perfect 50!

    I'd have to read this one then. I haven't read it yet, but I've also heard tons of good things about this one. And a good romance? Yes, I'm definitely sold.

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  37. This sounds amazing! I love that people keep saying it's strange; I like strange. :)
    Great review! 50 of 50 is a very good sign.

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  38. Oh, I'd love to read this book! I enjoyed your review. Thanks!

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  39. Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this one. :)

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  40. Great review. I am currently reading this and I totally agree with you. =]

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  41. This book sounds great! The description alone would make me purchase this book...and your review of it makes me want it even more! Thanks!

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  42. This book sounds so good. I love when novels try to employ psychologically complex characters, the main having bi-polar is definitely something that catches my attention. All the other mentioned elements of the book sound very unique too.

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  43. Great review. This really sounds like a great book.

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  44. Wow!!! That good? I will have to check this one out. :)

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  45. it sounds good! I read the review in another blog too, and it is in my wish list.

    @MariePuertoRico

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  46. BLEEDING VIOLET is not for those who like their reading fluffy. It's dark, unapologetic in its occasional gory and weird scenes. Some may disapprove of Hanna and Wyatt's physical relationship (though personally I found it sexy and well done). Others may be too hopelessly confused by the first couple of chapters or the occasional vagueness of the plot to connect with it. But if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind dark read, I will find it hard to resist thrusting this book into your hands. Read it, and maybe you will savor it like I did!

    Irene (CashFund)

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