Tuesday 5 July 2011



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, and the next she disintegrated. But that's impossible... Right?

I have to admit that this concept grabbed me from the moment I read the blurb.

Alison is a little withdrawn and really only has one friend. She doesn't trust people easily and has an amazing extra-sensory ability she tries to hide from others. She also has a nemesis--a popular, beautiful girl who seems to want to sabotage her every step of the way and bears a strange mark on her arm.

So the afternoon Alison gets into a fight with Tori after detention, and the popular girl disappears, Alison's life is thrown into chaos.

All of a sudden, she finds herself thrown into a psychiatric ward and pumped full of drugs that make her forget what happened the afternoon she was accused of killing Tori. Yet, when she gets moved to a facility called Pine Hills, Alison slowly starts to remember exactly what happened. But what she remembers doesn't make any sense, because Tori was there one moment and disintegrated the next.

Stuck in Pine Hills with other teenagers suffering from a variety of real mental illnesses, Alison's plight to go home begins. But how is she going to make it home when her own mother doesn't believe in her, and her doctor insists on keeping her on meds? It's not until she meets Dr. Sebastian Faraday, that Alison starts to feel alive and starts trusting herself. She's always found it hard to believe in herself and to trust others, but with him she feels an instant connection.

As all the pieces start to come together, Alison soon realises that everything she thought she knew isn't exactly right, and that what is first perceived as mental illness is actually a very special gift. Maybe the only thing able to save her...

Ultraviolet is an imaginative and fascination book that hooked me in from the very first page and kept me hanging on until the very end. I suffered through Alison's impossible plight and felt everything as harshly as she did--the anger, sadness, disappointment, confusion, and even her rare moments of joy. She's an incredible narrator, and took me on an amazing journey of self-discovery that I'll never forget.

I won't go into what happens when everything begins to unravel and starts to make sense because it would spoil everything, but I will say that the twists and turns will keep you guessing until you reach a very unexpected and amazing end.

I enjoyed every moment of this outstanding and well-written book, and look forward to reading more of RJ Anderson's books. She's a fantastic storyteller!         

Ultraviolet, June 2011, ISBN 9781408312759, Orchard Books

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