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Vera Violet

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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Set against the backdrop of a decaying Pacific Northwest lumber town, Vera Violet is a debut that explores themes of poverty, violence, and environmental degradation as played out in the young lives of a group of close-knit friends. Melissa Anne Peterson’s voice is powerful and poetic, her vision unflinching.

Vera Violet recounts the dark story of a rough group of teenagers
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Counterpoint Press
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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Michelle
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
This is a story of a loyal group of friends who, in life, have been dealt a raw and violent hand. Growing up in a small logging community in Washington state where hope was abandoned long ago. Poverty, racism, and methamphetamine ring true. This is all they know and they are well aware that this is all they will ever have.

Welcome to David, Washington:

"Unemployment rates in logging towns jumped above state and national levels. The economy moved out. Methamphetamines moved in. Logging roads were
...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
He didn’t care much about who was around or what they did. He paid attention to his alcohol, his needles, and global politics.

This book reads like a series of vignettes and author Melissa Anne Peterson sets out to illuminate a small town in the Pacific Northwest and one of its inhabitants, Vera Violet O’Neely.

Readers are the voyeurs in Vera Violet. While we peep into the life of this troubled teenage girl we see her dealing with all sorts of problems... and we see that Vera and her family are,
...more
Chris LaTray
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I love so much about Vera Violet. I love the familiarity of its setting. I love its gritty story of people—my people—resigned to essentially having to choose from a forest of opportunities, most of which are bad. I love the voice of our narrator, for whom the book is named after. I love the story of the book's author, debut novelist Melissa Anne Peterson, and her path to publication with none of the bonafides of the "typical" debut author. That makes her one of my people too. Finally, I love ...more
Lisa
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the gritty story about Vera Violet, her family and her hardscrabble group of friends in the Pacific Northwest. They’re losing their land, their jobs and their basic will to live which is how they all wind up living as if there is no tomorrow. Some turn to drugs, others violence and a few have just given up hope. I liked this book well enough but found myself distracted and had to reread Part 1. The story seemed to drag a little bit in the middle. Still a story that captured my attention ...more
Noel Ferguson
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about the trials of growing up in a working class, blue collar town with a struggling economy. The author is deeply engaging with the descriptions of dramas of adolescence playing out in the schoolyards and at home. I especially liked when the lead character reached for freedom from the dreary darkness of the western Washington logging town with a pilgrimage to eastern Montana. Highly recommend for anyone interested in an in-depth exploration of small town life in the Pacific ...more
Karen Kay
I received this from Netgalley.com for a review.

"Vera Violet recounts the dark story of a rough group of teenagers growing up in a
twisted rural logging town. " Vera has a hard life and struggles to live it as best as she can.

The writing reminded me of S.E. Hinton

3
...more
Pamela Ferguson
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've lived in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for most of my adult life, several decades now. But unless one has lived as a child and a teenager in a location, the place has not become internalized as it does through the osmosis of growing up there. Well now I feel I understand parts of the PNW in a visceral way that I didn't before. To open the pages of this book and start to read is to wash along on waves of words, moving with the current. I just had to give myself up to the experience. The ...more
Andrew
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
In a forested rural town by the Skohomish River, Vera Violet O'Neel lives in a community rampant with poverty and methamphetamines. If you're from Cota Street, you know how to fight to stay alive. As she makes an escape to St. Louis, she gradually unveils the bits and pieces that make up the violence and tragedies among enemies and loved ones alike that drove her to make a run for it. Peterson's descriptions of Pacific Northwest living and the struggles of addiction are accurate, capturing the ...more
Addie BookCrazyBlogger
Feb 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc-s
In reading this novel, I have to wonder if the author has ever been to St. Louis or even looked at a map of St. Louis. Violet allegedly lives on Ivanhoe Street-which is maybe a mile away from my house. She claims the street is by Lafayette park (it isn’t). She claims Shenandoah Ave is the cross street (it is most definitely not). She talks about Northside (not bothering to differentiate between county and city) as though it’s right next to East St. Louis-which is literally across an entire big ...more
Ellen
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I saw an early preview for Vera Violet and it immediately captured my attention. Set in a dying lumbar town in Washington, it follows a young woman and her friends as they navigate a changing environmental and economical landscape.

This book is bleak, it is devastatingly sad, and absolutely haunting. It is all of these because through this group of friends we are able to see the repercussions of a broken economy, lack of stable employment, dismantled families, and the rise of crystal meth. It
...more
Laurel Beth
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: february-2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Roberts
Feb 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
The novel, and or state of,
is a nasty bit of vapidness,
and comes nearest to espousing on,
aluminum siding, dead robots
and vaporized cult leaders.

#poem

Chris Roberts, Patron Saint to the Smoke Stack People
Missy
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Vera Violet" is a heartbreaking tale of the rural logging town in Washington.

"I am a fighter. I was born for this."

A group of rough teenagers who had to leave their homes and move to a street where drugs were common and the violence was bad on the streets. The logging company shut down and skipped town owing the people money.

"Dad told me how rednecks were workers of all skin colors who protested unfair treatment. These words shouldn't hurt you."

Thank you to Publisher and NetGalley for the
...more
Sarah
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, opinions are my own.

I have lukewarm feelings about this book. I really liked the nuanced way in which Peterson writes her characters and explores rural poverty and the oppressions of capitalism on a group of friends from a small Washington town. It's very atmospheric, just like the Pacific Northwest. And just like the Pacific Northwest, it's dark here. A myriad of violences and grief saturate these pages. It's not an easy
...more
Susan
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Don't let the title fool you! Vera Violet is no sweet flower and her world is no garden. Ms. Peterson has penned a raw, unfiltered view of the aftermath of logging on small towns in the Pacific Northwest. Really this story could have been about many coal mining towns or even some manufacturing towns. To further deepen the book's impact, the main character, Vera, leaves the ravaged PNW and her family and friends who are struggling with drug dependence, unemployment, and poverty to head east. She ...more
Tom
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
2/5

#VeraViolet #NetGalley

I want to first start off by saying that I did enjoy the book; but I do have to be honest in saying it did bore me a little bit. More parts than few in this book was Vera looking back at all she’s been through. And don’t get me wrong she’s gone through a lot, more than what any one should ever have to go through. I just couldn’t stay involved in the story longer then thirty minutes at a time. Which made it difficult to keep going in the first place. However, I’d still
...more
Angela
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: uno-2020
I feel quite saddened when I receive an advanced copy of a book that I just cannot get in to. Unfortunately, that was the case with this novel. I found the novel to read more like a work of non-fiction. At times I found myself bored and others completely confused at the sudden jump in stories. By the end of the book I sadly just wanted to be done.

I do appreciate the publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book. I do think that there is an audience out there that will enjoy and
...more
☕Brenda☕
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it
So I have mixed feelings about this book. Which I suppose isn't a bad thing as I enjoy books that make me feel them.
This is a coming of age story mostly, but also about the struggles of dealing with poverty and hopelessness that was occurring in the Pacific Northwest at the time.
It was at times very hard to read this book, as their was so much hopelessness.
I can't get more specific as I don't do spoilers, but if you want to read a book that moves you this one is worth a look.
Daniel
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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I work outdoors in remote locations—often in rough weather. I come home and study hard. Every so often, I have a beer with friends. I write because my life is often quiet. I write because it seems it has always been so. Inside my head, there is a silence that overcomes each moment. Inside, there is a hush that invades every thought.

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