Love can be a dangerous thing....
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.
But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.
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Source: borrowed/Public library
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BLEEDING VIOLET blew me away to smithereens, I kid you not. Is it so awfully wrong for me to love a book that's set in a crazy place, has more than kooky scenes, and a lunatic heroine with a penchant for making a bloody mess out of anyone that makes her lose it? But, goodness, this book is so refreshingly different. Twisted and beyond bizarre, yes. But consuming and unique, as well. It was unlike anything I'd ever encountered before, ever. In a badly good way. Yet I want more, more, more. The town of Portero has got it's hooks in me. And so does the lovely female protag.
What better heroine is there besides a psychotic, I ask you? To say that Hanna is a bit of an oddball is an oversimplification. But I can't remember loving a heroine more! No, really, I cannot. It's just something about her personality... Thrilling that at any moment she could lose it, curious in the odd (or sometimes downright insane) things that she says... Above all it's her nonchalance and lack of reaction toward the far-fetched and irrational that justifies my fixation with her. Her obsession with the color purple, as it's my favorite color, doesn't hurt either! Just like the book, I'd never before read about another character like her. Plus, it's nice to see a young woman of color be in the starring role. I don't know about you, but it's rare when I get a book that isn't about someone of other races or skin colors. Seriously. It's rare.
And unlike others who have moved into Portero, this racially-mixed, ghost-seeing mad woman blends right in. Everybody, in some shape or form, is a freak - "Rosalee's words came back to me: Even if you were Hannibal Lecter himself, around here you're nothing special" (45). I mean what kind of school is it when students wear all black and earplugs? A town where the Mayor is this frightening, powerful, supernatural woman who makes the entire town tremble with fear? Where paranormal creatures waltz in and out and nobody really panics? Yet, it takes loads more than window-hopping lures, manic, ghost serial-killers, gross, man-eating hardheads, among other things, to drive Hanna out of this freakish town! I actually thought it was pretty sweet, in a certifiably weird way, that the only thing that would make her leave is rejection from the mother she never knew. I thought it was kind of cute how Hanna went out of her way to try to gain her mother's approval and affection. Or maybe I'm just weird.
But even more adorable and totally lovable is Wyatt. A guy is ten times hotter when he falls for a girl despite the fact that she's nuts. Wyatt is this wicked cool Mortmaine who combats otherwordly foes that pose a threat to ordinary citizens, using the most unlikely weapon. Which I cannot reveal, because that would give away waaaay too much and dampen the cool factor. But the romance area really won me over. I liked the fact that these two dated. That Wyatt took Hanna's nutty impulses in stride. That he only liked her more when he realized she wasn't prone to a major freak-attack when she saw some of the things crawling out of hidden places across town, didn't mind that he himself was almost-merciless killer as long as it served to protect others. He understood her and grew to care for her a lot. So much so that he would not know what to do with himself should something seriously wrong ever happen to her.
The ending, like the rest of the book, was super super strange but logical at the same time. And satisfying, really hit the spot. It seems this book is bound up in contradictions. I enjoyed it for what it is - a disturbing story told by an equally disturbing protagonist with erratic tendencies coupled with crazy good, addicting romance with a gorgeous guy. The book's fast-paced, intriguing. I liked being continually baffled by Hanna, delighted in her sass. I'm reluctant to let her, and this story, go. By far one of my favorite heroines. Absolutely the strangest novel I've ever had the pleasure of reading!
This book is out there, no doubt about it. A book that, if you have the spine for it, should definitely be read. Still, fair warning: this book is bloody (borderline gory at points), there's sex (mostly implicit), and there's a lot of profanity. Being that the heroine has a few loose screws doesn't always cook up the most comfortable situations, for some who can't stomach her suicidal inclinations. Add all of that up and I would not recommend this book for the faint-hearted and/or conservative reader. However, if you're into murder-mystery and lunatics, you might want to check out Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser.
"Don't make fun of me, Wyatt. I remember thinking that night in the dark park that you were a robot. I remember wanting to cut you open with the machete to see the gears with my own eyes."
He gave me such a look.
I sighed. "Maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud."
He laughed hard. "Jesus Christ. You are insane! You really are."
"Yes, but it's okay," I assured him, taking my emergency stash of pills from my purse to show him...
Wyatt was still chuckling and shaking his head. "So many things about you make sense now." (237)