Thursday, 31 January 2013

Review: Ultraviolet by R.J Anderson

Ultraviolet by R.J Anderson
Publisher: Orchard
Publication date: 2nd June 2011.
My rating: 4.5 stars


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—the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?

Ultraviolet reminded me of one of my all time favourite films Shutter Island. After finishing the book I sat there thinking to myself what has just happened?

In Ultraviolet we are told the story through Alison; she’s found herself in a psych unit after admitting she killed Tori a girl from school. Tori, hasn’t been seen since, but her blood was found at school at the spot where Alison the last person to have seen her had a confrontation with her. Alison’s mum has always believed Alison’s not right, so Pine Hills is the best place for her, whereas everyone else including Alison herself just wants to discover the truth.

Ultraviolet took me a while to warm up to, it had an unusual premise, but once we started to get down to the nitty gritty with Alison, I found myself fallen head first into an unbelieving world, but in no way I wanted to leave.

Ultraviolet was multi-layered and complex, but Anderson was able to produce a masterly woven plot. It had aspects where I assumed I knew what was going to happen, but then was totally flummoxed by what was around the corner. I liked the way Anderson slowly took us into Alison’s life, and opened nooks and crannies that even Alison hadn’t been aware of, how we were pushed deeper into her life and emerged with so many fascinating facts.

Alison was a character who I enjoyed being with, she couldn’t understand what was going on either, whether she really killed Tori, so I liked going through this journey with her, slowly unravelling the mystery surrounding herself and what really happened. It was like she was wearing blinkers her entire life and she couldn’t really see what was really happening. Until that one person came into her life who had that faith in her that she needed to give her the confidence to believe in herself. This one character I’m just a loss for words when describing him, it could probably be best summed up by Alison

“I was terrified of losing..., a soul mate so perfectly made for me that even now I was half afraid I’d invented him”.

And Alison nails it with this quote what Ultraviolet is really about. We are often led to believe so much, but how honestly can we say that it’s true? It’s like me and my best friend can see the same fight but have totally different takes on it afterwards. My sense of reality can be quite different to another’s. In essence Anderson has been able to play on this in an unbelievable way with Ultraviolet.

I went into Ultraviolet with one story, but left with so many more. With Ultraviolet just be prepared for the unexpected.

33 comments:

  1. My mom keeps raving about this book--I really need to read it, even though it's not my normal wheelhouse.

    Speaking of Shutter Island, have you read the book? It's fantastic!

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    1. No I've been meaning to for sometime I guess I should get to it asap!

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  2. Ultraviolet sounds fantastic! Not what I usually read but it looks really goo :) Thanks for your review!

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

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  3. I've heard so much about this one, but I still need to read it! It sounds incredible though and I love mind-boggling books like this one, so I definitely need to check it out soon for sure. Amazing review, Jasprit! :)

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  4. Ultraviolet really surprised me too, Jasprit! I remember requesting it from NG back when I was a newbie, but later forgetting about it. Then a few months ago I read some raving reviews on it and decided to pick it up. So glad I did as it's a beautiful book and like you I adored Alison. :)

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  5. Ultraviolet sounds so interesting, I've seen it around on quite a few blogs but never really paid a huge amount of attention to it. Now you've compared it to Shutter Island (I loved the book AND the film), I know I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy soon. Brilliant review!

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  6. Definitely be prepared for the unexpected. ;) I was so shocked and thrilled when the plot twist made an appearance. It's honestly the last thing I would have expected, and I love this book for not following the formulaic structure that every other novel does. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this, too, Jasprit! I hear the sequel is even better. :)

    Brilliant review!

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  7. Did you just say Shutter Island?! I loved that film! If this book is anything like then I'm definitely going to have to slipped this on my reading schedule. So many positive reviews too. Fantastic review, Jasprit. Glad you enjoyed this. :D

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  8. Wow! Ultraviolet is a book that sort of fell off my radar. I love a good mystery, especially one that messes w/the mind. I love the quote you included.

    Great review, Jasprit!

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  9. Oooo this sounds good Jasprit! I love a book that plays with reality and truth and makes you really think about what your seeing and how it differs from what the person standing right next to you is seeing. And I absolutely have to read about this boy - I LOVE that quote from Alison:)

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  10. I read this book a couple of years back and absolutely loved it so I'm glad to see you did too! Also Shutter Island is also one of my favourite films. What can I say? I love stuff that messes with my head! :)

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  11. Shutter Island was pretty amazing and I've been meaning to read the book (once I found out it was a book... I didn't know when I saw the movie!). I will definitely be adding Ultraviolet to my TBR list. Thanks! :)

    Brandy @ A Little of the Book Life

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  12. I read this a while back, I'm trying to remember what I thought of it. I got it from the library so I didn't write a review. I enjoyed the story, and the unexpected, but the ending didn't appeal to me, as far as I remember. I can't see myself reading the next book. Great review though Jaspirit and I'm glad to see it was so appealing to you.

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  13. This was such a weird one, but I'm glad you liked it, Jasprit! I did too. No matter how many books I forget every month (and I do forget quite a few), this one has always stayed with me. The sequel is almost out and I can't wait for it to show up in the newsletter. :)
    Ohhh, and you're reading Cold Kiss. Me happy.

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  14. I'd not heard a lot about this book, except that a friend on GR highly recommended it as one of his top three YA, so to see your review has encouraged me more that it's a book I will enjoy.

    Definitely the unexpected is something I'm always looking out for.

    Oooh, I like that quote. Great review, Jasprit! :)

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  15. Shutter Island is made of pure awesome!! I have seen this book so many times and heard a lot about it, but always walked past it in the library /bookstore but I think I might give it a go, it seems like I would really enjoy it.

    Fantastic review Jasprit <3

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  16. Oh I must watch Shutter Island! A lot of people recommended it to me. This book sounds so good! I haven't saw any review before yours but now it goes straight to my to-read list. Great review :)

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  17. I have got to read this book! I keep reading such great things about it and I loved Shutter Island. I really enjoy books that mess with your head and make you think! Totally getting this one on the blog!

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  18. Alison sounds great, and I am glad to hear it is multilayered and complex. I haven't seen much around about this one, but will look it up further now.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  19. I'm not the fab of the cover, but I like a good mystery, and Ultraviolet sounds perfect. I loved Shutter Island, it played with your mind, and if this book is anything like that, I'll be looking forward to it. Thanks!

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  20. Ohhh, I'm so happy you liked this, Jasprit! Such a polarizing book. Your description of Alison having "blinkers" is such a good one; it describes perfectly how she wasn't able to see the whole picture in the beginning.

    I hope you love the sequel just as much. And how lovely was Faraday, eh? *swoon&

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  21. I adored this book. I loved seeing everything from Alison's perspective, but I felt so sorry for her because no-one understood! Until Faraday, of course. I wasn't sure about them because of the age gap, but surprisingly, I still warmed to him. And omg, that twist! TOTALLY unexpected, right? Can't wait for the second one. Glad you loved this Jasprit, wonderful review! :)

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  22. Wow Jasprit, I'm really quite interested now! I've heard pretty great things about this book, and I've always wanted to read about the mystery/thriller aspect of it all. But Alison sounds like a great character, and I can't wait to meet that boy! Ultraviolet seems like one of those books that will play with your mind. What a brilliant review, Jasprit!

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  23. The book seems fascinating... I've heard a lot of high praises about the work of Anderson but I haven't read any of her books as of yet. Maybe I'll give this one a try. Thanks for the review, Jas!

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  24. WOW. This sounds FANTASTIC! I liked how you mentioned it took you a while to warm up to the story...I actually picked this up last year/year before and while I appreciated the writing and mystery and how different it was, I sort of lost interest a few chapters in. I think I'll resume reading it when I get ahold of a copy..I'm really interested in how the mystery unravels :) Brilliant review, Jasprit!<3

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  25. Not only does the synopsis sound AMAZING, your review made me want it even more! The quote is great too. I'm so interested in the mystery of it all and all the unexpected-ness :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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  26. ooh I LOVE mysteries and this book hasn't really been on my radar but right now if I find it at a bookstore I will definitely buy it! great review! I really want to know who actually killed Tori and if she is even dead

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  27. Oh wow, this sounds fabulous! I love how you describe this, Jasprit, especially in the second to last paragraph. I keep hearing that this book is good and that I should give it a try, but that was never really enough for me. Now I’m definitely interested!

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  28. I've just recently seen the sequel to this Quicksilver and I absolutely love the covers to this series. Unfortunately I was declined :( But I'm really looking forward to reading this book... Its reminds me of the Nightshade series and I love that series. Wonderful review, Jasprit! :)

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  29. This is new to me and it sounds like a very intense book. Awesome review. Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

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  30. I love the suspense and mystery behind the book. 4.5 Stars!? I want to buy my own copy. Thanks for the review. Shutter Island gave me the creeps but I enjoyed it :D

    -Dannielle

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  31. I love Shutter Island! The movie is awesome, but the book is one of my favorite books of all time. If you haven't read it you MUST. The shock value obviously won't be there for you, but it's still brilliant. Anyway, I'm so glad you liked this one Jasprit! I love how you've described Allison, and you've worded everything in this review so wonderfully. I love this review! I can't wait to see what you think of Quicksilver, too. I think I may have liked it more than Ultraviolet. :)

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  32. Oh man, I really loved this book. It completely surprised me when I read it.

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