Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The setting of this book is a mental institution and told from the point of view of Alison, who wakes up institutionalised after the mysterious death of one of her classmates. I loved the style of the narration, because in every word you can really feel Alison's fear, despair, resignation, confusion and her uncertainty. You just feel that she has just given up and now wants to hide away from everyone. She is reluctant to get close to anybody else after being unsure what happened on that day, and will not tell anybody what she experiences through her fear of being disbelieved and being thought of a freak.
Alison has always seen the world differently- for instance, seeing noises as colours, or associating words with emotions or tastes. She remembers becoming overwhelmed by an increase in her senses after an intense argument with popular girl Tori, and seeing Tori just appear to disintegrate in front of her eyes. Tori hasn't been seen or heard from since, and Alison cannot rationally explain to the police or the doctors what happened to her. Amongst the harsh doctors and unstable patients, Alison grows close to new psychologist Doctor Faraday, who not only listens to her and believes her, he provides an explanation for her unusual way of seeing the world, and encourages her. Doctor Faraday is different, he has violet eyes and Alison hears his voice as chocolatey. But he is also kind to her, and listens to her story without judging her.
You get a sense of the monotony of the passing days but without it ever feeling boring or like there is nothing happening. It is just a really compelling read, and I found myself constantly wanting to keep going to find out exactly what happened when Tori disappeared, as you just know that there must be something more to it than what troubled Alison dimly remembers, and something more to Doctor Faraday than first meets the eye. The reveal is shocking and absolutely the very last thing you would expect! The book is split into 3 parts and part three feels like a completely different novel, it's just bizarre! I give five stars to parts one and two and 3-4 stars for part 3 of the book.
What can I say about this book- it's emotional, creepy, heartwarming, mysterious and great!
ARC thanks to Lerner Publishing and Netgalley.com
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