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Bleeding Violet Hardcover – January 5, 2010
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After her father’s death, 16-year-old Hanna hitchhikes to Portero, Texas, the home of her mother, Rosalee, who abandoned her. Hanna is desperate for Rosalee to love and accept her, and Rosalee reluctantly makes a bargain: Hanna has two weeks to make friends and fit in at her school or she won't be allowed to stay. Hanna has never fit in anywhere, though. Struggling with manic depression, she hears voices and hallucinates, wears only purple dresses, and has a history of violence. Portero is no ordinary town, though, and Hanna learns that it is haunted by doors to other dimensions and plagued by dangerous creatures from those realms. Wyatt, a powerful young initiate in the Mortmaine, a demon-hunting organization, recruits Hanna, and together they struggle to deal with an ancient evil that threatens the town and Hanna’s future. With plenty of sex and violence, this is a book for mature teens, who will find Portero to be an intriguing world and biracial Hanna a startlingly unusual heroine with a poignant, memorable voice. Grades 10-12. --Lynn Rutan
Poor Hanna has had a seriously rough adolescence. It’s hard enough for her to accept the death of her beloved father and to manage her escalating mental illness, but when she shows up in the hometown of her mother (whom she’s never met), she discovers that her mother wants nothing to do with her. What’s more, the town itself has doors that open between worlds, often releasing evil forces onto the residents. Since Hanna has nowhere else to go, her mother agrees to let her stay, if she can prove that she can fit into this guarded, hostile town that considers outsiders merely fresh meat for monsters. Reeves immediately establishes a mysterious, disorienting perspective by allowing Hanna (who hallucinates conversations with her father but, as far as the reader is permitted to know, can also conjure up a swan whose actions impact the actual world) to be the only narrative voice describing the town of Portero and Hanna’s efforts to settle into it. The resulting novel is wonderfully baffling, and as lush, warm, and conflicted as Hanna herself. Hanna is a ref reshingly unbalanced protagonist—unafraid of gore or her own sexual power while also being terrified of any loss and unable to handle simple high-school power negotiations. Her struggles are wrenchingly genuine and often even life-threatening (both against horrors released through the portals and the unrelenting clamor and chaos lurking in her own brain chemistry), and readers will likely literally sigh with relief when Hanna finally captures a bit of good to balance her world. -- BULLETIN, March, 1, 2010, STAR
An original plot, a unique protagonist, and plenty of weirdness makes Reeve's first novel a satisfying read for older teens. Hannah Jarvinen is a beautiful, birarcial teen looking for someone to love her. She speaks the Finnish language and cooks Finnish cuisine. She wears only purple to honor her dead father, whose ghost speaks to her. She is strong-minded, wild, lonely, and very troubled. She is also bipolar and suffers from halluncinations and fits of violet mania. When her aunt tries to put her in a mental institution, she takes a rolling pin and travels to Portero, Texas, to find her mother. In addition to her mother, she finds a town of black-clad people living in fear of strange monsters called "lures" and a group of monster hunters known as the Mortmaine. Portero contains doors to a dark world that can be opened with "keys" fashioned from bones. Being used to the strange, Hannah is not scared off, and instead becomes determined to prove to her mother that she can be accepted in a town where outsiders are called "transies" (or transients). She falls in lust with popular Wyatt, or Mortmaine. When she helps him to defeat five of the lures, she is hailed as a hero in the town and is compelled to learn more. She becomes Wyatt's lover, and soon she is by his side hunting demons. Her relationship with her mysterious mother, however, does not come as easily. She soon realizes that her mother has her own strange dark connections to Portero and the Mortmaine.
This teen novel is not for the faint of heart. There is plenty of blood, gore, violence, sex and bad decisions. The main character would make many parents cringe. Teens who crave all those things and a dose of the dark arts will love this novel. Although Hannah is not a character to emulate, she is interesting. The plot can be a bit confusing at times, and some situations just do not make sense. For instance, Hannah suffers no consequences for violently assaulting her aunt. Nevertheless it is a fantasy, so some suspension of disbelief is required when reading this interesting debut from an author to watch.
----VOYA April 2010
Top customer reviews
I just have to say what a standout book Bleeding Violet was -- I read it when it was released, and I still can't get it out of my head! The voice used was truly unique. As someone who has worked with persons with severe mental illnesses for several years, I thought the narrator's wild train of thought was wonderfully authentic. I particularly loved the fact that you cannot always tell what is real and what is psychosis -- something that is difficult for the average person to understand (but that is a part of life for many who suffer from psychosis). Finally, I loved that at the end, all the "crazy" things weren't just attributed to the town or some sort of "magical girl" twist. Leaving her as she is was perfect! I can't rave enough about it!
Its a truly fresh and original take on what is a booming genera.
The one thing that I do think readers should be aware of is that it should probably be marketed primarily to older teens. It does contain some frank sexual dialogue, and some profanity. I personally believe it was not gratuitous, and was creatively used. However, its more explicit than... Well, some popular YA novels I can think of! (The writing, however, is much better than those novels... In my humble opinion!)
If you liked YA novels such as The Hunger Games by Collins and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Ryan, you should DEFINITELY give this one a try!
After hitting her aunt on the head with a rolling pin Hanna runs off and goes to her mother, who she's never had a relationship with. Hanna is manic depressive. She has hallucinations and talks to her dead father. There's also a swan who always protects her, which I was kind of confused about because it was just there with no explanation. Hanna comes off as a confident, brave, girl who could easily get what she wants. When really she's just a vulnerable person who's afraid of getting hurt and only wants to be loved and accepted by her mother.
Then there's Hanna's lover boy Wyatt, who protects the town from all the bad monsters. I didn't really like him at first because he was just ruining everything Hanna was trying to accomplish. He also had a few problems to deal with other than the monsters attacking people. I grew to like him even though he was still really naive and tried too hard to do his "duty".
I'm surprised at how much the author managed to put into the book. Something happened in every chapter so there were definitely no dull moments, which was great.The plot was slightly confusing and I had to go back and reread some parts that made go, "What?" It was still a really enjoyable book that made me laugh quite a few times.
I should warn you though that both Hanna and her mother are quite promiscuous. There's also some cursing, gore, murder, and a whole lot of strangeness. So if that doesn't bother you then I would recommend this book, since I really enjoyed it.
The tagline "Crazy never looked so beautiful" is definitely right. I've never read a novel quite like Bleeding Violet, and now I want more. Initially, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to connect with Hanna, because let's face it, she's got a few loose screws in her head. Yet, I found her to be a very enjoyable narrator, one who's tough and not afraid to take risks. She's crazy, but she's also sweet at times, and all she really wants is her mother to love her back.
The plot goes from normal, to weird, to insane, to WTF, to complete shock. Be prepared for some serious description every now and then about blood, killing, sex (which is done tastefully). Reeves kept me guessing and completely absorbed in the story. A note on that, I would only suggest this novel to older YA readers (at least 14 and up).
Highlights: The characters in this novel were amazing, as well as the description. I also really enjoyed how imperfect the relationships all were. Each character really seemed to be their own person, unique. I loved how Reeves really took a chance with doing something crazy, something different when it comes to Bleeding Violet.
Lowlights: There were a few moments where I was going "Wait, I don't understand", so I had to back it up a few paragraphs to reread again. Other than that, it was awesome.
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
Most recent customer reviews
Was it ever.Read more
weird when you know about what is happening, but still a great book.