Author: R.J. Anderson
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Net Galley
“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. (Net Galley)
R.J. Anderson’s novel Ultraviolet is an emotional rollercoaster of twists and turns. From the moment Alison Jeffries wakes up in the psychiatric ward of St. Luke’s hospital you are taken on a journey that is both beautiful and terrifying. Alison’s story is one that will haunt readers long after they have finished the final pages.
Sixteen -year old Alison Jeffries does not know what she did to get herself locked up in a psychiatric hospital. What she does know is that she does not belong there. She is not insane, even though she is positive that she is responsible for the murder of her missing classmate Tori Beaugrand. Alison is not even sure how she killed Tori, as her recollection of the event is next to impossible. While Alison might not think she is insane, she does believe that she is dangerous and needs to leave the hospital before she can harm anyone else.
All of her life Alison has been different. Her mind is filled with the colors, shapes, and tastes of every sound and word she hears. Unfortunately, Alison’s gift has struck fear in her mother, who in return has maintained a distance from her daughter throughout her life. Ultimately it is her mother who decides to have Alison committed, creating a further chasm in their already complicated relationship. One thing Alison has learned from her mother is to never reveal the things she sees. Not even to her own doctor.
Throughout the story Alison meets a myriad of unique individuals, each with their own tragic history. The most unique character being the unorthodox Dr. Faraday. He is unlike any one Alison has ever met. As she agrees to help him with his study, she finds herself being increasingly drawn to him and chooses to trust him with her secrets. Including what she believes happened to her classmate Tori Beaugrand. Yet, Dr, Faraday is not who Alison thinks he is and the answer to what really happened to Tori is far more complicated than a simple murder.
R.J Anderson does an excellent job of weaving together a story that is extraordinary, yet realistic at the same time. Alison’s journey is one of self- discovery as she learns that her perceptions of the world and the people around her are not quite what she has believed them to be. The characters are well developed and the writing is descriptive without being cumbersome. The beautiful imagery Anderson uses to illustrate Alison’s unique abilities allows the reader to easily envision them. Ultraviolet is a masterpiece of not just words, but of all the senses.