“Ultraviolet” by R. J. Anderson
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
“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 wakes up in a mental institution. As she pieces her memory back together, she realizes she’s confessed to murdering Tori Beaugrand, the most perfect girl at school. But the case is a mystery. Tori’s body has not been found, and Alison can’t explain what happened. One minute she was fighting with Tori. The next moment Tori disintegrated—into nothing.
But that’s impossible. No one is capable of making someone vanish. Right? Alison must be losing her mind—like her mother always feared she would.
For years Alison has tried to keep her weird sensory abilities a secret. No one ever understood—until a mysterious visiting scientist takes an interest in Alison’s case. Suddenly, Alison discovers that the world is wrong about her—and that she’s capable of far more than anyone else would believe.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Typically I make it a point to read the book as close to its release day as possible. “Ultraviolet” releases in the US in September. So why am I reviewing it now? Well, I made the mistake of reading a ‘couple’ of pages while reading a few other books. “Ultraviolet” is the type of book that will pull you in from the very first line until the very last word.
As stated in the synopsis (“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.”), “Ultraviolet” is about a young girls death. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers as much as possible here, but the story revolves around Alison, the top suspect in the disappearance of Tori Beaugrand, who Alison thinks she killed. Most of the story takes place in Pine Hills, a psychiatric institution for young people.
After Tori Beaugrand goes missing, Alison becomes the main suspect as she was the last one to see her. There’s video evidence of a fight. There’s blood from her ring that matches Tori’s. But there’s no body. And what Alison remembers doesn’t make sense. Until she meets Faraday, a young man who poses as a scientist to get closer to Alison, meeting with her during daily sessions for research. It’s Faraday that informs Alison of her condition – synesthesia.
After finding out she has synesthesia, which is why her perceptions are unusual – something her mother blamed on mental illness (but synesthesia is not a mental illness, it’s a neurological condition) – Alison begins to understand that she isn’t crazy.
When Kirk, a fellow patient at Pine Hills, does some digging on Faraday and finds out that he isn’t who he says he is, Alison’s sessions with Faraday are terminated and he is banned from returning to Pine Hills. But on a trip home, she contacts him for answers…answers that will change everything. And that is where R.J. Anderson’s story really shines, because everything you thought you knew…it’s all wrong.
To say I loved this book may actually be an understatement.
It was just THAT good.