Laura Lulu's Reviews > Ultraviolet

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson
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Jul 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, human-plus, arc, coming-of-age, contemporary-fiction, sci-fi
Read from July 24 to 26, 2011

4.5 stars

Wow. Really cool book. I don't know where to begin. I feel like anything I write in this review will be a bit of a spoiler in one way or another, so I'll try to be vague.

The story is told in first person from the POV of Alison, a 16 year old girl who can see sounds and smell emotions and taste lies. Numbers each have a color, names have a personality, and the stars make music. And she has hidden this extra side of herself since she was 6 years old and shared it with her mother, who proceeded to freak out and tell Alison to never say anything like that ever again.

So Alison keeps it to herself, which of course turns her into a distant person, never really sharing any of herself. How can she, when she needs to keep secret so much of what makes her her?

So, on to our story. Things happen, and Alison ends up in a mental institution for teens. Alison doesn't remember what happened, all she knows is that a girl from school is missing, a girl Alison hated, and the last thing Alison remembers is getting in a fight with said girl, and the girl disintegrating. Huh? People don't disintegrate. Do they?

What proceeds is a wild ride of mystery, self-discovery, and craziness. And because the book is written in first person and you're in Alison's head, you're never sure what is TRUTH. I questioned stuff right up to the end. Is this really happening? Is she crazy and imagining this? And that adds to it's awesomeness.

This books does some crazy genre jumping. The genres involved are right up my alley, so it totally worked for me, but I'm concerned that the ratings for this book might end up being a bit lower, just based on people reading along, thinking they were reading one thing and all of a sudden--WTF??? I myself am a big fan of WTF when done nicely, and this was done nicely.

But my absolute favorite part of this book was the prose. The unbelievably extensive way Alison senses things--and the beautifully descriptive way Anderson writes those impressions--just made this book for me.


An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
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Reading Progress

07/24/2011 page 15
4.0% ""That day I'd learned that my mind didn't work the same as other people's. So I couldn't talk about the color of three, or whether triangles tasted better than circles, or how playing Bach on my keyboard made fireworks go off in my head, because people would think I was crazy." So cool." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I loved this book. Being inside Alison's head was fascinating and it was so cool only knowing what she knew. I personally liked the twist, but I can see it annoying some readers. In a sense, it was kind of like 2 books and I liked them both equally.

Great review!


message 2: by Laura Lulu (last edited Jul 27, 2011 09:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Lulu Thanks! I knew there was a genre twist, just from scanning the beginning of friends' reviews. So I was expecting it. :)

(view spoiler)


Wendy Darling I'm so glad you loved this, Laura! A lot of people were floored by the twist, but I personally was thrilled by it. I hope the book finds an appreciative audience.


message 4: by Laura Lulu (last edited Jul 27, 2011 12:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Lulu Since I knew there was a twist, and it was of the paranormal/fantasy/scifi variety, I figured it out when (view spoiler)


Wendy Darling I haven't read SJ, although I have the first one waiting to be read. :) Now you've made me want to read it even more!


message 6: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH SJ was pretty good. It kind of felt like 5 episodes of a sci-fi TV show. Neat worlds.


Laura Lulu Wendy Darling wrote: "I haven't read SJ, although I have the first one waiting to be read. :) Now you've made me want to read it even more!"

I love them, but not everyone does, so bear that in mind. And they are not similar to this at all, the character I mentioned is just a side character, and he doesn't really become very fleshed out until at least the second book.

But do read them, if you like flawed characters. Flawed characters who actually grow as the series progresses. The books are scifi, but not very technical--to me, they read like UF set in space. :)


Wendy Darling UF set in space

Sold! Hah.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

to me, they read like UF set in space. :)

To me, the kiss of death. Let us never forget the lessons Grimspace taught us.


Flannery Ah, I thought you'd like the genre switch-up. I also totally considered (view spoiler)

I thought the ending was a bit bizarre--I mean, it's Canada. What crazy stuff happens in Canada? (view spoiler)


message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Flannery - did you catch the reference to the big giant nickel - I googled it and apparently there is a big giant nickel outside of town where this book took place.

Oh, and don't forget hockey riots. We always seem to have one whether the team wins or loses.


Laura Lulu Moss wrote: "to me, they read like UF set in space. :)

To me, the kiss of death. Let us never forget the lessons Grimspace taught us."


That's what we're talking about, silly. SJ=Sirantha Jax.

And case in point--Moss hated Jax. But she's mean like that.


Flannery AH wrote: "Flannery - did you catch the reference to the big giant nickel - I googled it and apparently there is a big giant nickel outside of town where this book took place.

Oh, and don't forget hockey ri..."


No way! *off to Google it*


Laura Lulu Bad hockey riots this past Stanley Cup when the Canucks lost to the Bruins.

http://www.time.com/time/world/articl...


message 15: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Here, we get hockey riots when our team wins!


message 16: by Regina (last edited Jul 29, 2011 06:53AM) (new)

Regina AH wrote: "Here, we get hockey riots when our team wins!"

That is hilarious! Really?


message 17: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Oh, yes, really. People are just looking for an excuse to riot. Never take your car downtown on a hockey final night.


message 18: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Big giant nickel - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

OK, I tried to put the picture in, but it didn't work.


Laura Lulu Here ya go. :)




message 20: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH That is big.


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