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 wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but what I found blew me away.
Hanna has arrived in Portero, TX in search of her mother. Her father has died and her aunt keeps trying to admit her to psych wards (Hanna’s manic depressive) so she decideds her mother’s house would be the best place for her. Hanna soon realizes that things in Portero are even wierder than she is. What’s a few hallucinations when there are monsters that can turn you to glass, and people that can appear from nowhere running around town?
I love Dia Reeves’ writing. I was dragged into Hanna’s world immediately, and for half the book I was wondering if much of the wierdness was Hanna’s wierdness, or if the town really was full of supernatural creatures. Hanna’s got her own brand of crazy going on, but somehow manages to find her own little niche in Portero. It takes a while and few bumps in the road, but her crazy actually helps her to be accepting of the situation she finds herself in.
I enjoyed the monsters and mythology that Dia Reeves came up with for her novel, and was sucked in by her characterization. I finished the book feeling like I knew Hanna, her mother Rosalee and her boyfriend Wyatt. The mayor and Runyon (a ghost) were seriously freaky. I couldn’t believe some of the things they did. I easily could have read another 400 pages of the book.
I feel the need to mention that Bleeding Violet is definitely more suited for older teens than young ones (over 12, definitely; over 14 is probably prefered though). There is no mincing on the mentions of sex or drugs and no skimping on the use of swear words. There is quite a bit of gore and some murder thrown in. None of this threw me or dragged me out of the story at all; none of it was gratuitous. It meshed well with the flow of the story, and in fact, made sense with the knowledge that Wyatt and Hanna are 17 year olds (teenagers can curse like sailors, didn’t you know?) and the kind of town they live in.
Bleeding Violet is in the running for my top five books of 2010, and Dia Reeves is going on my auto-buy list. This book was just so unique and well-structured. It’s an amazing example of a great debut novel.
Bleeding Violet is part of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge