7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly bizarre
As soon as I read the first few pages, and saw Hanna talking to her father, who wasn't there, I was hooked. This book is just brilliant, and absolutely mental, but in a really good way!
Portero is crazy, really just so odd! With every new occurance, and each new creature that made an appearance, I was thinking "Are you serious?!" with a huge grin on my face...
Published on 4 Mar 2010 by Jo
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
If you are into real fantastical books, then you will probably love this. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief for that long. Thought the ending was really weak, but how you would wrap up all the crazy going on- I just do t know.
Published 6 months ago by Millie
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly bizarre,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Hardcover)As soon as I read the first few pages, and saw Hanna talking to her father, who wasn't there, I was hooked. This book is just brilliant, and absolutely mental, but in a really good way!
Portero is crazy, really just so odd! With every new occurance, and each new creature that made an appearance, I was thinking "Are you serious?!" with a huge grin on my face. I've reviewed a fair amount of urban fantasy novels, and so I'm used to reading about strange creatures and happenings, but Bleeding Violet is written in a way that makes you stop and think "What?", and it's just so awesome! I think it must be Hanna's narration. Being diagnosed and misdiagnosed with several different mental illnesses, as the story goes on, Hanna is never sure if the things that are happening are real or made up, and it's her surprise and yet easy acceptance of what's going around her that make it a little more surprising for the reader than other urban fantasies. You know, I think I would go as far as saying the creatures and events that happen may more be conventions of a high fantasy, where as the characters, relationships, and just everyday goings on are very normal, or conventional of an urban fantasy. It's the meshing of the two that is just so awesome, yet so bizarre!
Don't read everything I've said so far and assume this novel is a silly little fantasy where crazy things happen. There's nothing silly about it; Bleeding Violet covers some very serious issues. Hanna's mental illness is just written so well. Hanna's off-hand acceptance of the things she knows can't be right - the actual things that aren't "real" - is jaring. It's disturbing to read Hanna's thoughts on things such as suicide, and her actions when some things happen. It's so powerful!
Another issue covered in Bleeding Violet is that of identity. Specifically, racial identity. Hanna's mother, Rosalee, is black, and her father, Joosef, is a Fin. Hanna spent the first years of her life in Finland, without her mother, and knows a lot more about Finnish culture, and references are made throughout the book. At one point in the book, Rosalee makes her a meal, and there's something on her plate she doesn't recognise. When Rosalee tells her it's Grits, she asks "Is it a black thing?" There's an underlying, very subtle thread of Hanna feeling like she's only half herself, for not knowing about her black heritage, and for not having her mother around, but also that she's an outsider because of her Finnish background, and the cultural differences between her and her peers.
And then there's the unrelenting, desperate need to be loved. With her father dead, and a mother that doesn't seem to want to know her, Hanna feels quite lost; what is life without a parent to love you? The things Hanna goes through to try and impress her mother, in order to make her love her, or get a passionate reaction out of her, is heart wrenching, and it's so sad to watch her be rejected time and again.
It's not all serious and heavy though. There is plenty of action, which is very well thought out, just amazing, but you'll be more surprised by what's happening at the time, and wowed by it after the fact. If I was to criticise this book in any way, it would be that the action scenes could be just a little longer. It's not a huge deal, I just like me a bit of danger!
The characters are also brilliant! Hanna herself is strange, as you've probably guessed, but it's hard not to love her and feel for her! She's got such a great voice, and can be really quite amusing at times with her strange way of seeing things. Rosalee is just brilliant! Cold and unfeeling at times, which will knock you for six, but it's great to have such a character that'll make you react and feel so strongly! Wyatt, Hanna's love interest, is pretty sweet, really, but I doubt he'd like to hear that. He's clever, quick, and very powerful though, and a combination of Hanna and Wyatt together, well, it makes great reading!
This really is a very powerful, strange and beautiful book! I absolutely adored Bleeding Violet, it's zany and quirky, but very poignant and touching. Such a great ending! You have to read this book!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Hardcover)I heard about this book after author Karen Mahoney mentioned on Twitter that it was one of the best books she'd ever read. I checked it out, thought it sounded interesting so bought it. I wasn't disappointed!
I was hooked from the very start, Hanna creeping through the dark, looking for her mothers house, the mother she's never met, and having a conversation with her dead father. Color me intrigued, and it only got better and stranger from there. Her mother doesn't want Hanna around, but Hanna makes a deal with her: if she can't make a place for herself in town (make friends etc) within two weeks, then she'll leave. And so Hanna starts school in an attempt to find that place in Portero. But almost instantly she begins to realise that Portero may just be stranger than her.
I completely love this book. It's fast paced, dark, funny, serious and you're never sure what's going to happen next. Or if what is happening, is actually happening. Is it reality or in Hanna's head? Hanna is forthright, brash but with a sensitive side. Mostly, she desperately wants to belong, to be loved, for people to see her as normal again. In a genre filled with sappy, weak 'heroines' who care only about The Guy loving them, Hanna is a breath of fresh air. She's a very different character to anyone I've read before and her issues are very real. There is a love interest in this book and while he's a big part, he's not the main focus. Hanna's attempts to get her mom to love her are heartfelt and painful, but very well played out. Wyatt (the love interest) is tough and smart, thought not so much when it comes to girls. Which is very entertaining.
This book wouldn't be for everyone. It's definitely up there on the strange and crazy scales. But it's a well written story with plenty of action, interesting characters and lots to get your teeth in to. I had a very, very hard time putting it down. It is a stand alone book, but I will definitely be looking out for other books by this author! A great read, would highly recommend it.
3.0 out of 5 stars ok,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Kindle Edition)If you are into real fantastical books, then you will probably love this. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief for that long. Thought the ending was really weak, but how you would wrap up all the crazy going on- I just do t know.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Kindle Edition)A brilliant, weird, violent, funny and touching story that kept me turning the pages. Will read more from this author. Loved it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Marmitey,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Hardcover)Well I for one loved this book - its completely whacko - a real marmite book you will either love it or hate it. The heroine Hanna is a total nut job who wears nothing but purple (in honour of her father) makes her own clothes and desperately wants to be loved and acknowledged by her mother Rosalee. After running away from her aunt, Hanna tracks down her mum to a small town called Portero and finds the town and its people even more bizarre than she is. Strange creatures, the mortmain, suicide doors and then theres Wyatt who is Hanna's main love interest although she does tend to use him quite a bit. This book surprised me it was totally original (no vampires or werewolves here) and very funny in places, although it has to be said a little disturbing in places too especially mum and daughter by the lake and the next morning (yuck). Well worth a read I cant wait to read her next book a slice of cherry which is due out in January as it is set in Portero too.
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Hardcover)Hanna is what some people would call insane. After bashing her aunt on the head with a rolling pin, she runs away to Portero, hoping to find her mom. Once there, she quickly learns that dark things are everywhere. Mysterious events continually occur, with people vanishing and dying. Sometimes, even more mysterious than the events, are Portero's residents. Hanna must earn her place in this twisted town and prove her worthiness.
Dia Reeves has unabashedly created a world of complete insanity and oddness, sucking the reader in from the start. Her storytelling and characterization will hook readers and have them flipping pages. I devoured this 464-page story in a single day, unable to put it down.
Hanna is clinically crazy, but compared to the rest of Portero, she's fairly normal. When first introduced to the story, it may seem hard to grasp and confusing. That, however, was what drew me in. I was utterly confused as to what was going on, but I had to find out more. Hanna's insane antics added excitement to the plot and kept me guessing. I literally never knew what to expect. Living wooden swans, glass people, what next?! This book could have been terribly off in many ways, but because Ms. Reeves presented it in such a convincing, laid-back manner, the oddness became cool.
The characters in Hanna's life were each individual and had some of the best characterization I've seen yet. Her mother was harsh, depriving Hanna of a real relationship. Even so, Rosalee is a compelling character who has her motives for being cold. Wyatt, Hanna's love interest, was totally bad ass but not a bad boy. He had a sweet job of taking down the evil entities in Portero, but he still had a fun personality. Wyatt is definitely one of the most enjoyable love interests in Young Adult fiction these days.
I loved almost every aspect of this book. The oddities, the real characters, all of it was amazing. I was slightly turned off by the casual approach to sex and nudity, however. For some characters, mainly Rosalee, this laid-back approach was almost a defensive mechanism. It added to her persona in some ways. With Hanna, though, I was irked about her casual manner. I really can't place why I felt differently towards her. It was just off. Sorry, but there's really no way to explain why I was bothered by it. For those who have read it, the lake scene with the nerdy boy? Birthday suits were not necessary, in my humble opinion. Another part of this book was its gruesomeness. I've got a sturdy stomach and am never affected by books' descriptions of blood and gore, but there was one particular scene that really got to me. I actually got woozy and a little nauseous. I caution those with weak stomachs.
Regardless, though, this is one of the best books of 2010 - a must-read. It was insane, but enjoyably so. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Reviewed by: McKenzie Tritt
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All consumingly brilliant,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Hardcover)Normally i would give a quick run down of the story in my reviews but not for this book. Thats partly because there is so much going on that you would tune out long before you should but also because there is no way i can get across how brilliant this book is. It has such a dark humour throughout it that if you have never known anything but happiness in your life you may not get it but for all us normal people who have had ups and downs, Hanna embodies that inner voice in all our heads and reading her story makes you feel just a bit more normal about having those negative thoughts.I love this book, its instantly on my top five books. Read and enjoy!
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bizarre and weird story,
This review is from: Bleeding Violet (Hardcover)I know that other reviewers have enjoyed this book. I did not. It's not often that I don't like a book, this book was just too strange for me - and I read ALOT of fantasy and urban fantasy books.
Hanna has moved to a new town, and has issues, such as seeing her dead father, having a mental illness and having a mother who is constantly rejecting her. However as soon as she moves to Portero (where her mother lives), she realises that it is a strange town where supernatural 'monsters' exist and the residents have to work hard not to get killed.
It's very Stephen King, but maybe not as well written. Hanna is annoying and her relationships have no depth, I ended up not caring about her, or her mother and boyfriend at all. The monster scenes were not graphic enough, so I found it hard to visualise things such as a giant leech attaching itself to her arm!
The boyfriend relationship is not at all romantic, she kind of just meets and sleeps with him, and they become boyfriend and girlfriend.
Yes, I realise that the author is dealing with serious issues such as mental illness, suicide, self-harm and bereavement but I found it hard to take it seriously in a story where there are bizarre monsters ready to gobble you up around every corner.
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Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (Hardcover - 5 Jan 2010)