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. And when a crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.
About the Author
Dia is a librarian currently living in Irving, Texas.
Read an Excerpt
The truck driver let me off on Lamartine, on the odd side of the street. I felt odd too, standing in the town where my mother lived. For the first seven years of my life, we hadn’t even lived on the same continent, and now she waited only a few houses away.
Why didn’t you have the truck driver let you off right in front of her house? Poppa’s voice echoed peevishly in my head, as if he were the one having to navigate alone in the dark.
“I have to creep up on her,” I whispered, unwilling to disturb the extreme quiet of midnight, “otherwise my heart might explode.”
What’s her house number?
“1821,” I told him, noting mailboxes of castles and pirate ships and the street numbers painted on them. I had to fish my penlight from my pack to see the numbers; streetlights were scarce, and the sky bulged with low, sooty clouds instead of helpful moonlight.
Portero sat in a part of East Texas right on the tip of the Piney Woods; wild tangles of ancient pine and oak twisted throughout the town. But here on Lamartine, the trees had been tamed, corralled behind ornamental fences and yoked with tire swings.
“It’s pretty here, isn’t it?”
Disturbingly pretty. said Poppa. Where are the slaughterhouses? The oil oozing from every pore of the land? Where’s the brimstone?
“Don’t be so dramatic, Poppa. She’s not that bad. She can’t be.”
No? His grim tone unnerved me as it always did when he spoke of my mother. Rosebushes and novelty mailboxes don’t explain her attitude. I never imagined she would live in such a place. She isn’t the type.
“Maybe she’s changed.”
“Then I’ll make her change,” I said, passing a mailbox shaped like a chicken—1817.
How had I gotten so close?
A few short feet later, I was better than close—I was there: 1821.
My mother’s house huddled in the middle of a great expanse of lawn. None of the other houses nestled chummily near hers; even her garage was unattached. A lone tree decorated her lawn, a sweet gum, bare and ugly—nothing like her neighbors’ gracefully spreading shade trees. Her mailbox was strictly utilitarian, and the fence that circled her property was chin high and unfriendly.
Ah. said Poppa, vindicated. That’s more like it.
I ignored him and crept through the unfriendly gate and up the porch steps. The screen door wasn’t locked—didn’t even have a lock—so I let myself into the dark space and sat in the little garden chair to the left of the front door. I sat for a long time, catching my breath. I sat and I breathed. I breathed and I sat—
Stop stalling, Hanna.
My hands knotted over my stomach, over the swarm of butterflies warring within. I gazed at the dark length of the front door, consumed with what was on the other side of it. “Do you think she’ll be happy to see me?” I asked Poppa. “Even a little?”
Not if you go in with that attitude. Where’s your spine?
“What if she doesn’t believe I’m her daughter?”
You look exactly like her. How many times have I told you? Now, stop being silly and go introduce yourself.
Poppa always knew how to press my “rational” button. “You’re right. I am being silly.” I straightened my dress, hitched up my pack, marched to the front door, and raised my fist to—
NO. The force of the word rattled my brain. Don’t knock. It’s after midnight. You’ll wake her up, and she awakens badly.
“How badly?” I whispered, hand to my ringing skull.
As badly as you.
Nine times out of ten, I awoke on my own, naturally, even without an alarm clock, but if I was awoken before I was ready, things could get interesting. And apparently, I’d gotten that trait from my mother.
Just let yourself in. said Poppa, his advice rock solid as always. It’s practically your house anyway.
I crouched on the porch, the wood unkind to my bare knees, and folded back the welcome mat. A stubby bronze key glinted in the glow of my penlight.
A spare key.
“Only in a small town,” I whispered, snatching it up.
I unlocked the door and slipped inside.
A red metallic floor lamp with spotlights stuck all over it stood in the center of the room. One of the spotlights beamed coldly—as though my mother had known I was coming and had left the light on for me.
Aside from the red chrysanthemums in a translucent vase above the sham fireplace, and the red throw pillow gracing the single chair near the floor lamp, the entire living room was unrelievedly blue-white.
Modern, the same style Poppa had liked—
Still likes. he said.
—and so I immediately felt at home.
My hopes began to rise again.
I slipped the spare key into the pocket of my dress as I traveled down a short hallway, my French heels clicking musically against the blond wood floor. I put my ear to each of the three doors in the hall, until a slow, deep breathing sighed into my head from behind door number three.
My mother’s breath. Soothing and gentle, as if the air that puffed from her lungs was purer than other people’s.
I stood with my head to the door, trying to match my breath to hers, until my ear began to sting from the pressure.
I regarded the door thoughtfully. Fingered the brass knob.
No, I told you. Poppa was adamant. You need to entice her out of bed.
“I know how to do that,” I whispered, the idea coming to me all at once.
I stole into the kitchen and turned on the light near the swinging door. The kitchen, like the living room, was blue-white, with a single lipstick-red dining chair providing the only color, aside from me in my violet dress.
I dumped my purple bag by the red chair and went exploring, and after I learned where she kept the plates, the French bread, and the artisanal cheese, I decided to make grilled-cheese sandwiches. I took no especial pains to be quiet—I wanted her company. I’d traveled more than one hundred miles in three different crapmobiles and an eighteen-wheeler full of beer just to bask in her presence, but it wasn’t until I plated the food that she shoved through the kitchen door.
My grandma Annikki once told me that anyone who looked on the face of God would instantly fall over dead. Looking at my mother—for the first time ever—I wondered if it was because God was beautiful.
I had the same hourglass figure, the same hazel skin, the same turbulence of tight, skinny curls; but while my curls were a capricious brown, hers were shadow black.
Island-girl hair. Poppa whispered admiringly.
I averted my eyes and presented the sandwiches, like an offering. “Do you want any?”
She drifted toward me in a red sleep shirt and bare feet, seeming to bend the air around her. Her mouth was expressive, naturally rosy, and mean. Just like mine. Our lips turned down at the corners and made us look spoiled.
“You broke into my house to fix a snack,” she said, testing the words, her East Texas drawl stretching each syllable like warm taffy. “I better be dreaming this up, little girl.”
“It’s no dream, Rosalee. I’m here. I’m your daughter.”
Her hands clutched her sleep shirt, over her heart, otherwise she didn’t move. Her oil black eyes raked me in a discomfiting sweep.
“My daughter’s in Finland,” she said, the words heavy with disbelief.
“Not anymore. Not for years. I’m here now.” I reached out to touch her or hug her—any contact would have been staggering—but she stepped away from my questing hands, her mean mouth twisting as she spoke my name.
“God.” She seemed to recognize me then, her gaze softening a little. “You even have his eyes.”
“I know.” I marveled over the similarities between us. “Not much else, though.”
Rosalee looked away from me, tugging at her hair as if she wanted to pull it out. “How could he let you come here? Alone. In the middle of the night. Did he crack?”
“He died. Last year.”
She let her hair fall forward, hiding from me, so if any grief or regret touched her face, I didn’t see it.
After a time, Rosalee stalked past me and stood before the picture window. “If he died last year,” she said, “why come to me now? How’d you even know where to find me?”
I sat in the red chair, clashing violently in my purple dress. “I stole your postcard from Poppa’s desk when I was seven, the month before we moved to the States.” I went into my pack for the postcard. It was soft, yellowed with the years. On one side was a photo of Fountain Square, somewhere here in Portero. On the back was my old address in Helsinki, and in the body of the card, the single word “NO.”
I showed it to her. “What were you saying no to?”
Rosalee glanced at the postcard but wouldn’t touch it. She settled herself against the window, her back to the lowering sky. “I don’t remember what question he asked: to marry him, to visit y’all, to love y’all. Maybe all three. No to all three.”
I put the postcard away. “When Poppa and I moved to Dallas, the first thing I did was go to the public library and look up your name in the Portero phone book.”
I’d gotten such a thrill seeing her name in stark black letters, Rosalee Price, an actual person—not a legend Poppa had made up to comfort me whenever I wondered aloud why other kids had mothers and I didn’t.
“I memorized your address and phone number. For eight years I recited them to myself before I went to sleep, like a lullaby. I didn’t bother to contact you, though. Poppa had warned me what to expect if I tried. That’s why I just showed up on your doorstep—I didn’t want to give you a chance to say no.”
She regarded me with a reptilian stillness, unmoved by my speech. “Who’ve you been staying with since he died?”
“His sister. My aunt Ulla.”
“She know you’re here?”
“Even our feet are the same.”
I took off my purple high heels and showed her my skinny feet—the long toes and high arches. Exactly like hers.
“I asked you about your aunt,” said Rosalee, still unmoved.
I admired the sight of our naked feet, settled so closely together, golden against the icy sheen of the kitchen tile.
“I didn’t even know I looked like you. I figured I did. Poppa told me I did. I knew I didn’t look like anybody on Poppa’s side of the family. They’re all tall and blond and white as snow foxes. And here I am, tallish and brunette and brown as sugar. Just like you. My grandma Annikki used to say if I hadn’t been born with gray eyes, no one would have known for sure that I belonged to them. And I did belong to them, but I belong to you, too. I want to know about you.”
That Sally Sunshine act won’t work on her. Poppa warned.
But it was working. As I spoke, Rosalee’s gaze remained focused on me, her unswerving interest startling but welcome in light of her antagonism.
“Poppa told me some things. He’d tell me how beautiful you were, but in the same breath, he’d curse you and say you were dead on the inside. So I’ve always thought of you that way—an undead Cinderella, greenish and corpselike, but wearing a ball gown. Do you even have a ball gown? I could make one for you. I make all my own clothes. I made this dress. Isn’t it sweet?” I stood so she could admire it. “I always feel like Alice when I wear it. That would make this Wonderland, wouldn’t it? And you the White Rabbit—always out of reach.”
“Why do you have blood on your dress?”
Her intense scrutiny made sense now. She hadn’t been interested in me, but in my bloodstains. I followed her gaze to the two dark smidges near my waist.
Sally Sunshine and her bloodstained dress. said Poppa, disappointed in me. I told you to change clothes, didn’t I?
I fell back into the red chair, the skirt of my dress flouncing about my knees, refusing to let Poppa’s negativity derail me.
“What makes you think that’s blood? That could be anything. That could be ketchup.”
“That ain’t ketchup,” Rosalee said. “And this ain’t Wonderland. This is Portero—I know blood when I see it.”
I nibbled my food silently.
“Whose blood is that?”
Tell her. Poppa encouraged. I guarantee she won’t care.
“It’s Aunt Ulla’s blood,” I said. “I hit her on the head with a rolling pin.”
I risked another glance into her face. Nothing.
“And?” Rosalee prompted.
Did she want details?
“Aunt Ulla’s blood spurted everywhere, onto my dress, into my eyes.” I blinked hard in remembrance. “It burned.” I fingered the smidges at my waist. “I thought I’d cleaned myself up, but apparently—”
“Hanna.” Despite her apathy, Rosalee addressed me with an undue amount of care, as though I were a rabid dog she didn’t want to spook. “Did you kill your aunt?”
I ate the last bit of grilled cheese. I licked the grease from my fingers. “Probably.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bleeding Violet is the most bizarre and amazing book I have read this year. I am not exaggerating when I say that you will literally be reading this book and suddenly say "What the F$*&?!" out loud. This town that Dia has created (Portero, Texas) is full of monsters (too many to even mention), a suicide door, portals to other locations, and a very shady history. This town has enough crazy to go around...enter Hanna. Hanna is crazy...no literally she is crazy. She is a little strange and hallucinating about her dead father is just the icing on the cake. Hanna is obsessed with purple (hence the title). She even makes her own purple dresses and never goes out in anything but one of her dresses and a pair of heels. Hanna comes to Portero to keep from being sent to an institution. When Hanna shows up on her Rosalie's (her mother's) door step it is clear that Hanna is not welcome. But Hanna is stubborn and will not take no for an answer. When Hanna starts school she immediately realizes that there is defiantly something strange about this town. Why does everybody wear black? Why does everyone wear earplugs in class? Oh but wait, not everybody is in all black. Wyatt appears on the scene in all of his gorgeousness wearing a lovely shade of green and kicking some major monster butt. Hanna is immediately determined to become a fixture in his life. Turns out, Wyatt is a member of a group called the Mortmaine, a group of hunters that protects Portero. Despite all of the killing, fighting, and literally being eaten going on it is amazing that Hanna and Wyatt find time to fit romance into the mix. I feel the need to once again say how incredibly insane this book is (wait until you read the naked by the lake scene) but it is also amazing once you finish it. Oh and the cover art is fantastic! How can you not pick it up off the shelf? FYI - this book is more mature then your average YA book. Hanna and Wyatt have a sexual relationship and some scenes are a little bloody/graphic. If you love it as much as I did you will be happy to know that Dia Reeves is releasing another book set in the crazy town of Portero, Texas. Slice of Cherry will be out January 2011! New characters same crazy town! I cant wait! http://bringmeanotherbook.blogspot.com/
Dark and enchanting. This book was amazing and interesting and romantic. The book had surprises and twist and it was very different from what I usually read. This book ended to where I didn't need another book although I wouldn't mind there being another. The characters were shown great in the book and I loved everything about the main character even her hallucinations which were actually pretty cool. This book is something you would definetly want to read.
Very entertaining. Dont listen to the negative reveiws. Their just haters. If ur a person that liikes spooky books youll love this!!
Okay let me start by saying this book was AMAZING!!! The main character, Hanna, is crazy...literally crazy! I could not put this book down! I finished it in one day and I totally recommend it for anyone who likes books that are fast paced, has a lot of paranormal stuff and a little love story thrown in. Definitely fun and worth the money!
I love this book i have read it many times and not once has it bored me :) Its a MUST READ!
Remember when I said how excited I was to review this one? Remember? Well. I lied. This book is actually a pain in the rear end to review, because is just so darn weird. And in my book in YA at the moment, with dozens and dozens and dozens of books that start to look exactly the same, weird = awesome. This is the kind of book I'd recommend to my special friends, the ones who understand that just because I read a book about a girl who decides to paint the walls with her own blood does not mean I should be committed to a psych ward. The ones who would understand the deep and indestructible bond that has been forged between me and Portero in this book and would fantasize about all the ways we'd prove our non-transy-pants-ness to Hanna, Wyatt, and the rest of the Porterenes when we move there. Seriously, while I don't do "best-of" lists - there are just too many factors at play - if I had to do a "most memorable" list, this book would blow the competition out of the water. The other reason I can't review a book like this? Every time I start thinking of something bad to say about it, my brain counteracts it with wild admiration of Dia Reeves's bravery in writing this. It's the Donnie Darko of the book world, violent, uncomfortable, just plain effed up. Unlike Donnie Darko, it's also very sexy, which considering that nine out of ten challenged books were challenged for sexual content, is the more dangerous move on the part of the author. I wouldn't exactly recommend that all sixteen-year-olds run around and be as crazy as Hanna by any means - it sure isn't a moral handbook - but it's utterly fresh in its daring, and the repressed rebel inside of me loved it. Also, Finland! A bicultural, biracial protagonist! Love! I finished reading this book, and even though she never even mentioned lefse I had to go have some. And then I lamented the fact that we don't have a sauna. I'm a Caucasian melting pot, and if there was one particular cultural identity I'd emphasize, it would absolutely be Finland, even though pigs will fly before I learn the language. My vocabulary currently consists of two words. Anyway, thank you Dia Reeves for giving that a shout-out in Hanna's character. If I was the kind of person who said squee - which, of course, I'm not - I would totally be squeeing right now. It's not the most well-written book I've read this year, but it's definitely one of the most wild, crazy, and fun.
BLEEDING VIOLET, by Dia Reeves, is a graphic and horrifying book about a town in Texas and a girl who stands on her own to fit in. The town of Portero (Spanish to English translation= Doorman), houses people who are not afraid of the unknown creatures of other worlds. There are doorways in this town that open to unimaginable terrors. Hanna is special girl. She has multiple ailments of the brain that no doctor can correctly diagnose. She is prescribed different pills for her symptoms, such as hallucinations. She moves to Portero to live with her estranged mother after her father passes away. Hanna's mixed up head makes her fit in better because she is not surprised by things that are beyond normal. I really got a kick out of Hanna. This book was strange in itself, so it needed a strong (and strange) character to make it believable. It took a few chapters for me to get the hang of her mentality but she definitely has a place in my heart now. Hanna and Wyatt made for a different kind of couple. In a way they were two halves of a whole. It was sweet that he accepted her so quickly after seeing how she reacted to the abnormal events in the town. Reeves is definitely a mastermind of creativity. The 'creatures' that Hanna and Wyatt came up against stretched my imagination to the limit. I loved how they became a dynamic duo in battling against those not from our world. Reeves put a lot into one book but she did it so perfectly when incorporating a killer plot into the mix. This is definitely a great book to explore waaay outside a typical YA comfort zone.
This book is very strange but also very good. Its about a girl who is bipoler, She runs away to a new town to find her mother, and also to escape from her aunt who was going to put her in a pyche-ward. What happens in the town? You're gonna have to find out yourself, lets just say I didn't see it comeing. I would reccomend this book to anyone who think's all teen books are the same.
Wow! I DEVOURED this book. I found it completely unique, intriguing and imaginative. I would read this book again any day. Multi-dimensions, ghosts, monsters, wishes, the list goes on. This book can be considered kind of a dark story, but that is right up my alley! I only recommend this book to Mature Teens, there is some sexual content
This book was crazy, and not in the fun, cute, Alice in Wonderland way. The main character was a psychopath and most of the book I spent wondering what was actually happening and what was in her delusional mind. It wasn't until close to the end that I realized most of this was actually supposed to be happening. I love fantasy books, but this went way too far for me. Additionally, I wouldn't recommend it for young adults due to the sexual content (the main character uses sex as a weapon, or for just any reason whatsoever). I really really really do not recommend this book, but then again, that's just my opinion.
This book is strange. That is the one and only way I know how to describe it. The lead character Hannah is manic depressive and suffers from hallucinations. Her father dies and she finds the mother she never knew in a town full of crazy people. I'm not even sure what the actual story was even about, I don't know why a lot of the things that happened did. I guess the reason the book gets 3 stars is because how could I get bored when reading from the perspective of a a manic depressive who suffers hallucinations, it was intriguing to say the least. Besides that I'm confused. I'd say use your own discretion on this one, if it sounds good to you read it, if not don't. 3 out of 5.
I loved the tone of the book¿ Dia Reeves does the crazy well. Actually, she does it so well that I had problems identifying when Hanna was devolving into her bi-polarism and when weird stuff was actually going down (but that¿s kind of the point). I can see why some people might be a little put off by the tone though; the narrator and other characters are fairly sociopathic, especially with regards to killing people in order to get what they want. It was a flavor that I wouldn¿t want everyday, but in small doses the Black Humor was delightful. Along that line I will add that I can already foresee reviewers taking issue with how the main character and her mother seem to continually use sex as a manipulator. I thought it worked ok as a character point/flaw, and I thought the flawed aspect of that M.O. Was fairly apparent. So don¿t freak out. Reeves also built the world well, and had plot elements that were surprising, but not unexpected. She wasn¿t afraid to really put her characters through hell and let them sort things out.One issue, though: Hanna¿s mixed race status. I¿m not sure it added anything to the book. I thought having a character who has grown up is Finland move to the South (where she will inevitably be flatly identified as just ¿black¿) was an interesting character trait, to employ, but I¿m not sure it really went anywhere. Every now and then she¿d throw out something Finnish (like blood pancakes), but I didn¿t see a whole lot of cultural tension. I can see why having Hanna be half black, half white is kind of a metaphorical extension of her bipolarism, but I just wasn¿t convinced by the narrative¿s execution that the bicultural aspect was important.
My first impression of this book and the main character, Hanna, blew me away. And I'm not talking about the "Wow, this book is amazing" kind of way either. More or less the "Wow, this girl is crazy, what will she do next" kind of way.When my step-daughter's friend first told me of this book, I was told that it was about a girl running away fro home and encounters ghosts and the like, which had me intrigued. But when I started to read this truely strange book I began to realize that she was wrong and I began to wonder what would happen next to this manic-depressed girl named Hanna. She alone, with the help of her new boyfriend, Wyatt, urged me to continue reading this oddly fascinating book by Dia Reeves.Nothing is as it seems in Portero, TX. Not only do you have Hanna trying to live with a mother she never knew and who never wanted her, she starts realizing things are just as odd and out there as she is. You've got these strange monsters that lure you to the windows only to suck out your life and turn you to glass, giants leeches that fly, possessions and the ones who are supposed to stop it all from happening, the Mortmaine. You'll just have to read this for yourselves on what happens to everyone, no spoilers here, lol.I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars because of the strangeness of this first book by Dia Reeves. The writing was amazing, and the story was addictive (I read the book in 3 days, lol). But the overall feel of it left me wondering why these things were in Portero, TX and how they got there, and there was no explanation as to how they just were there in the first place. I think that if I got a better understanding as to how these "things" came to this town, and no other town, then my rating would have been higher. But this was a great book, and I think that anyone who likes strange and out of the ordinary things, you will love this book.Make sure you check out her next novel, Slice of Cherry.
Bleeding Violet book reviewBleeding Violet takes place in Petro. A small town where paranormal things happen most of the time. Like random doors popping out of nowhere. You can walk though them but sometimes you can¿t see them. Once you walked though you¿ll be somewhere else in Petro. Hanna has just moved into Petro with her mom and she has no idea what to expect, her mom says bad things happen here and if Hanna can survive 2 weeks she`ll let her stay. Hanna meets Wyatt who is her new boyfriend and helps her but is amazed by Hanna¿s mom but you¿ll find out why later. During her times in Petro Hanna runs into paranormal animals, doors and demons. Will she survive? Maybe but there¿s one my problem she¿s psycho. Read this book to uncover the secrets and find the truth.
Hands down, this is the most unique book I¿ve read in a long time, possibly ever. There¿s no vampires, werewolves, witches, angels, gods, or anything else you¿d recognize. Every crazy monster in this story is new. At least they are to me, so I¿m making the assumption that they¿re totally original. If they¿re not, then at least they¿re obscure enough that they haven¿t made their way into popular folklore. But I¿m working on the belief that they¿re straight from the mind of Dia Reeves.Honestly, it¿s difficult to discuss this book. It¿s a little bit like waking up and trying to explain the wildest dream ever to a friend, and the only response they offer is a blank stare and an occasional look of shock. So instead of exploring the actual plot of the story, I¿ll stick to the characters. Hanna¿s well-versed in crazy: she¿s recently been diagnosed as bipolar, but she¿s seen so many psychiatrists and had so many diagnoses that she could be ten types of crazy. Portero, it turns out, is crazier than Hanna. In any other setting, Hanna would be a wild-child in need of attention, but in Portero her behavior is actually advantageous for staying alive. When she attracts the attention of Wyatt, a guy from her school who is part of the Mortmaine (the group that keeps the town safe, mostly), instead of sitting back and looking at him in awe, she wants him to take her along on a hunt. Wyatt struggles with his role in the Mortmaine because he has new ideas on how to fight, but apparently the Mortmaine is very rigid about these things. Hanna and Wyatt¿s relationship is a turbulent one: they don¿t fully trust each other, yet they¿re passionately attracted to each other at the same time. Throw in a clingy ex-girlfriend, and there¿s more than enough drama to fill the pages of this book. But the story isn¿t really about Hanna and Wyatt. Hanna¿s reason for going to Portero was to find Rosalee, the mother she never knew. Rosalee is distant and uncaring, and she¿s sure that Hanna won¿t last in Portero. When things between Hanna and Rosalee take a strange turn, Hanna makes it her mission to solve Rosalee¿s problems. Once a secret is revealed, their relationship is both improved and more stressful.Yes, there are some gory scenes (blood, severed body parts, torture) , but those didn¿t bother me as they served to advance the plot. However, there were a few parts in the middle of the book that slowed the book up. While these events helped to create a moral dilemma (and subsequent psychological torture associated with the choice) for Wyatt, it seemed to weigh down the middle of the story. But overall the pacing of the story allowed for a quick reading of the book. While many will hate this book, I think it¿s an outstandingly creative story, and I found it to be utterly enthralling.
I don't remember why I checked this book out. I can't even remember reading the inside cover. It's a strange novel about a teen who is, well, crazy and ends up in a town that seems to be even crazier than she is. It's clever, at times funny, but mostly odd. If you like teen urban fantasy novels, this might be something you'll like. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.
Bleeding Violet is unlike any book you will ever read in your life. This is an extremely crazy book. I'm glad I don't live in Portero, TX!!! I would fear for my life. This book had me reading non-stop from the get go. This unique book will have you captivated, even if you disagree with the character's behavior. Dia Reeves has a wild imagination that she put to the test in Bleeding Violet. I highly recommend this book for fans of paranormal/thrillers/fantasy. I will be looking forward to this debut Author's next book.
Hanna Jarvinen is crazy. According to doctors, she is bipolar, but she prefers the term manic depressive. She hallucinates pretty regularly and talks to her dead father daily. She also dresses all in purple in his memory. She decides to go to Portero, Texas to find the mother she has never met. Her mother is less than enthusiastic to see her long lost daughter and states that if Hanna can't fit in, she has to go back to live with her aunt. (Never mind that Hanna knocked her aunt unconscious and wouldn't be welcome even if she came back.) Portero is a lot more weird than Hanna ever suspected. On the first day, she just figures she's hallucinating, but it seems that other people see the visions as well. It turns out that the town is the site of interdimensional travel and large, scary monsters traipsing through all the time. Will she survive this crazy town and be accepted by the community to get through to her mother?I have never seen a young adult book quite like this one. I think the closest to it would be Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I heard about this book from other blogger's reviews and just checked it out at the library on a whim (and because I love the cover). I had no idea what I was getting into. The bizarre town is used to random monster attacks. Everyone wears dark colors as to not attract attention from dangerous creatures. Needless to say, purple clad Hanna was a surprise, but not expected to last long. She was as surprising to me as she was to the townspeople. She is so strange, but full of life. She takes all the weirdness in stride and rises above people's doubts and criticisms. Her thought processes are fascinating and make her one of the most interesting protagonists I have ever read. Hanna is my favorite character in the novel. Her character development goes beyond her mental disorder. Her different layers are revealed as the novel goes on and I couldn't help but be emotionally invested in her and her journey.The narrative features many scenes that would be considered by many to be not appropriate in a book geared towards teens. I loved every single page of this book. The writing really sucked me into the story and held my interest throughout. Personally, I had no problem with the violence, drug use, or scenes of sexuality. All of the reviews I have read that are negative condemn Dia Reeves for not providing a good role model or a good message. I completely disagree. I think those people are more interested in censoring anything that they don't agree with than looking for an interesting story that might speak to them. They seem to focus on individual scenes and not the overarching themes and messages. Hanna is an independent and assertive girl who solved her problems through her own wit, negotiation, and intelligence. There are some very disturbing scenes in the novel, but they aren't gratuitous or put there just for shock value. On the other hand, there are also some very touching, emotional scenes.Bleeding Violet has easily made it into the ranks of my favorite books. I would recommend this to people who aren't squeamish and are looking for a wild ride.
I loved the idea of a mixed teenager girl with mental disorders narrating a paranormal novel. This was so unique a concept and in general there isn't enough black, or mixed heroines for us to root for. Hanna is 16, her father is dead and her mother has never been around. After not taking her medicine for a period of time, Hanna conks her aunt in the back of the head and takes off to find her mother. Her mother obviously doesn't want her, but Hanna still takes over a bedroom and makes herself at home. Hanna feels right at home in this strange town, where there is far more oddities than the ones Hanna sees in her head. I adored the concept here, and so much could have been done with it. Yet the whole tale is an ugly mess. Truly the book isn't suited for the young adult crowd. I don't believe in 'book banning' or keeping stories away from anyone but I certainly won't encourage people of any age to read such a story. This book makes light of sexual promiscuity, drugs, suicide and more. One of the overlying themes in "Bleeding Violet" is that its okay to hurt someone if you love them. And by hurt, they mean violently, physically hurt. Even if one ignores all these things, the story is just bad. The motivations of the characters are off, things happen that are just never explained. The evil in the town seems random. There are several different 'creatures' that are in the town, but nothing to explain how they are related or why this town seems to get the crazies. Also, there was nothing about the characters that made you feel like they were real or easy to relate to. They were just unlikeable, the lot of them. I give the book two stars rather than one, because I did keep reading to the end so I didn't find the tell completely unreadable. Also, it was a two star book because I did think the premise and the character had possibilities. I really wanted to like this 'underdog' heroine but it just didn't happen.
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. (From Goodreads)Huh. That was my first reaction when I finished Bleeding Violet. The book was manic, much like the main character Hanna was. But when I thought about it, the whole town was manic. They lived normal lives with monsters around and people disappearing all the time. I'd move as far from there as I possibly could, but people stayed. People even moved to the town to live there!Hanna's father died and she is living with her Aunt Ulla who wants to send her to a mental ward every time Hanna does something the least bit out of the ordinary. She has bipolar disorder but "I prefer manic-depressive"..."It's much more explicit, don't you think? More honest?" she tells her mother, Rosalee. Hanna takes her pills on and off sporadically, which doesn't work. I have a problem with this because I have bipolar disorder and portraying it as simple as taking a pill for a couple of days and then not taking them, really simplifies the disease. (Off soapbox) But the book is not about being having manic depressive disorder. The whole town is manic depressive. I didn't see anything happy there and everything was manic. I kept thinking at the end that maybe this all took place in Hanna's mind, but there was no indication that it did.After Aunt Ulla threatens to lock her away forever, Hanna runs away to her mother who she's never met. Her mother isn't accepting of her and neither are the kids at school because she's a transy, someone who just moved there and hadn't seen anything real. She has to prove herself to both her mother and the kids at school so she can stay. The kids prove easier than her mother.Despite her altering manic and depressive moods, Hanna is surprisingly lucid as to what to do if you can call talking to her dead father's ghost she can see, a carved wooden swan, and a silver swan lucid. She talks to all these things to help her make decisions, save her life, and almost talk her into death.Hanna's impulsiveness gets her into trouble more than once and the last time is the worst yet best. It proves to be the one thing that determines whether she can stay with her mother or sent back to Aunt Ulla.It is truly one of the most bizarre books I've ever read and when I read it again, I'm sure I'll see something new in it and have a different perspective.This is definitely for an older crowd. Suicide and sex are prevalent throughout the book as well as death. They are treated lightly instead of with the attention they deserve. But for the town of Portero, death is such an everyday occurrence, they are desensitized to it. Maybe the author is trying to make a statement there. Or maybe she isn't trying to make any statement at all.
This book was crazy in the best way. It's not something I read typically - the description had an air of the dreaded urban fantasy to it - but once my jaw dropped after reading the first chapter, I was in for the duration.
So I think this is one of the books you will love or just find disturbing. The entire time I read it I didn't really know what to think. It was like reading some sort of demented Alice in Wonderland story. Hanna struck me as being a psychopath and although parts of her life make you want to feel sorry for her most of me wanted to just avoid her if at all possible. All the characters were interesting and also a little demented so they also leave you with a disconcerted feeling as does Hanna's romance with Wyatt. Honestly it's hard to write this because I can't say it was a bad book but definitely not something to my tastes. If you are looking for something different from your typical vampire/werewolf story this is certainly one option.
I have read a lot of books in the YA-Fantasy genre and I have met, in my readings, countless protagonists. Some of them memorable and others, not so much. I can sincerely say that until this point, until Bleeding Violet, I hadn¿t met anyone as unconventional and as interesting as Hanna. She transcends stereotypes and expectations of what heroines should be and is not afraid to be her own individual self. Many people will have trouble with her character because in Hanna¿s world, morality is gray (or perhaps, more appropriately, purple) and she does what she wants to, damn the consequences. Dia Reeves takes us on a wild purple ride in Bleeding Violet. She takes all the set down, trusted and oft-traveled paths in fantasy storytelling and turns them upside down. The dialogue is biting and crisp and the plot has more twists and turns than Lombard Street. I was aware that I was reading from the viewpoint of someone who is not actually sane in the expected sense of the word but Reeves does not use insanity as a viable excuse for Hanna¿s individuality. In fact, she makes no excuses for it and is entirely unashamed of it. Reeves shows us Hanna through her skewed logic and at the same time, inserts a raw vulnerability in her by revealing her longing for a mother. Her mother. And when this desire for a response to her need of maternal love and acceptance leads her down a road she would not (perhaps) otherwise travel, my heart twinges. Because who can¿t remember doing stupid things just because you want to be accepted, because you want approval? I hope that this is the first of the series because, whether people agree with me or not, Hanna is a far more interesting, far more vibrant heroine that Bella can ever hope to be. So for the originality, both in characterization and plot, and the sheer insanity of it all, I give it five stars.
Hanna Jarvinen is an unusual teenager. She is biracial, sees and hears hallucinations, wears only purple to remember her dead father (with whose ghost she still communicates)¿and is hardly extraordinary when she arrives on her mother¿s doorstep in Portero, Texas, after her aunt kicked her out.That¿s because Portero is far weirder than Hanna could¿ve imagined. It contains dangerous monsters and many doors between worlds. Portero is hardly the place for Hanna to fall in love and get to know her mother better, but Hanna is nothing if not determined to get what she wants, in spite of both human and inhuman obstacles.Not since I read Holly Black¿s TITHE five years ago have I encountered a story as unique and fascinatingly compelling as Dia Reeve¿s debut novel, BLEEDING VIOLET. Indeed, BLEEDING VIOLET defies adequate description and categorization, blending snark, relationship issues, and the supernatural into a sexy paranormal read that will be hard to forget.From page one, Dia unapologetically yanks readers into a dark and twisted world where monsters and mental illness are simply Hanna and Portero¿s way of life, confused people be damned. While this total immersion in the world of Portero may be initially jarring, once I began figuring things out, I felt like I had been let in on a terrific secret, and I LOVED being in Hanna¿s world. It¿s brutal and shocking, and not for one second can you look away.Hanna is a protagonist like no other, with her crazy thoughts and her way of looking at the world. She¿s slightly disturbing yet inexplicably alluring, the kind of girl you know you should stay away from but who part of you almost wants to be. Hanna is fearlessly original in her interactions with the Porterenes: the awkwardness of her developing relationship with her mother is well drawn, and I found Hanna¿s budding romance with Wyatt, a local boy with an important job in monster-policing, to be one of the most well-developed romances I¿ve read in recent YA literature. From beginning to end it¿s no fairy-tale relationship: there¿s no immediate rush of physical and soul-mate attraction, but rather the blossoming of it through witty repartees.BLEEDING VIOLET is not for those who like their reading fluffy. It¿s dark, unapologetic in its occasional gory and weird scenes. Some may disapprove of Hanna and Wyatt¿s physical relationship (though personally I found it sexy and well done). Others may be too hopelessly confused by the first couple of chapters or the occasional vagueness of the plot to connect with it. But if you¿re looking for a one-of-a-kind dark read, I will find it hard to resist thrusting this book into your hands. Read it, and maybe you will savor it like I did!
Hanna is a manic-depressive. She is 17 years old and never met her mother, when her father dies, she decides to show up on her mom's door steps for better or for worst. For worst, her mom doesn't want her here and would do anything to get rid of her, so they made a deal. If Hanna fits in within 2 weeks she gets to stay, if not, she goes back to her aunt. Portero is more than she bargained for though, can she handle it?As much as I wanted to like this book, I didn't. Let me explain why. First of all this book felt more like SciFi then fantasy, and I don't like SciFi. When I think of Bleeding Violet, the word weird instantly comes to my mind, but the word isn't strong enough. Monsters hiding in windows, turning you in glass statues if you touch them?Doors appearing out of no-where with dead people inside?Mother and Daughter naked on a beach carving glyphs into a naked boy's forehead?A girl being eviscerated by her friend to get rid of a nest of little demons?Just not my cup of tea, really.I can deal with weird stuff though, I would have to say the thing that bothered me the most while reading was the fact the all the weird events didn't seem to fit in together, like there are some holes in the book's matrix that would help me make some sense out of it. I felt like I was trying to put a puzzle together, but I had pieces from multiple different puzzle, so for obvious reasons it wouldn't fit together. If you read the book, is there some kind of explanation I missed that would help me make some sense of that world?I read the book until the end hoping some bits of information would help me, but unfortunately it didn't happen.On the other hand, characters had some potential. Hanna is very interesting, her illness is a major part of the story, and I liked Wyatt (Hanna's boyfriend). Rosalee (Hanna's mom) is a whole new level though. She's possessed and have a major case of multiple personality disorder, makes it kinda hard to follow sometimes, but it adds an edge to the character.This book really wasn't for me, but I'm not giving up on Dia Reeves, it was her first novel so I'll wait and see what else she got up her sleeve.