Saturday, March 17, 2012
by R.J. Anderson
Published June 2nd 2011 by Orchard
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 has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?
W. T. F...... That was my initial thought.
Let's just say that this story was...... unexpected. After reading the blurb, I pretty much figured there had to be some supernatural, or just plain not-normal force was at work in the book.... but just what it was, I had no clue. And when I found out..... just wow. I so did not see it coming. It wasn't fantastically good or bad.... just interesting.
What I absolutely LOVED about this novel was the psychology aspect! The main character, Alison, has synesthesia, which is, like, my favorite neurological condition of all time! I mean, if I could somehow tweak my brain functions, I'd totally make myself a synesthete. Reading about the life of someone who has lived with this condition was pretty fascinating, and, in my opinion, the author did a fantastic job. Granted, Alison is not your ordinary synesthete, I think RJ Anderson did wonderfully in trying to convey the different crossed sensory experiences.
As for the characters, I really liked the motley gang from Pine Hill--every single one of them! Sure, they all had their mental issues, but Anderson did a good job of making me empathize with them. Alison, especially. She experienced lots of difficulties and hurt because of her condition, and the ever-constant fear of being clinically crazy. But through all of the uncertainties, Alison emerges as a much stronger person.
As for Alison and Faraday....hrmm.... I'm not really sure how I feel about it. While I do like how well the two balance each other out, I'm not sure I'm completely okay with their relationship due to social reasons for why it is considered unacceptable. But then again, if I were in Alison's shoes, heck, I'd probably fall for him too....
The ending.... I absolutely loved it! I truly don't think the author could have concluded her story any better. In some ways, she managed to turn it into a psychological thriller, making you wonder: did that really just happen??? I definitely liked this book, but I just didn't quite love it. But regardless, this was definitely worth the read and I highly recommend it to.... well, everyone!