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review: “bleeding violet” March 29, 2010

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.
Simon Pulse // Hardcover // 464 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Hanna hasn’t had the easiest childhood — she’s never known her mother, her father just died, and she’s a manic depressive. So when she sets out to find the mother who abandoned her, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that her task isn’t as easy as it seems. Rosalee wants nothing to do with Hanna, but agrees to a challenge — if Hanna can fit into the town of Portero, she can stay. But in a town like Portero, it isn’t easy to fit in…even if you are normal.

I loved this book. I don’t know how this review is going to come across, but I suspect it will be just a ton of gushing with an occasional coherent thought.

Hanna is the very epitome of a unique character. She’s bi-racial — black and Finnish — which totally shocked me. (Being Finnish myself, I’ve never come across a YA Finn. Ever! I did a dance of joy and called my father up to pronounce Hanna’s last name for me correctly.) But what’s more is that Hanna is crazy. She speaks to her father. She calls upon a swan to help her out, she only wears purple dresses — and she is an amazingly narrator who sucks you in and refuses to spit you out.

The world that Reeves creates is this horrific, grotesque, complicated, well thought out concoction that literally had me in awe from the beginning of the novel. I don’t want to say much in terms of the specifics so that I don’t spoil the ride for anyone, but this is one of the most unique world builds that I’ve ever come across in YA.

That being said, this novel will not be everyone’s cup of tea. There’s a lot of violence, a lot of sex and sexuality, and it’s weird and it’s definitely a book that I would recommend to mature YAs. Some of my teens got it through the Simon Pulse program and they begged me to buy it for the library. I happily complied with their request.

SWAN catalog
Dia Reeves




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