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Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1) - R.J. Anderson Ultraviolet |əltrəˈvī(ə)lət| adjective : situated beyond the visible spectrum at its violet end —used of radiation having a wavelength shorter than wavelengths of visible light and longer than those of X-rays ~ Webster DictionaryHow many fiction novels have you read that caused you to become conflicted about whether to continue reading or run to the library or computer to research the topic? R.J.'s Ultraviolet did just that; she had me wanting to learn more about synesthesia. In my search, I found these beautiful depictions created by artist, Jayson Hopkins. R.J. also refers readers to websites that offer more information: The Synesthesia Battery and Mixed Signals. Alison wakes up in a psychiatric institution with no memory of how she came to be there. The one thing she does remember ... "one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?" Though nothing can truly compare to the author's stunningly beautiful writing, parts of the story had my mind pulling scenes from several movies. These in no way encompass Alison's full story, but, if you've read the book and seen these movies, you may agree some of the feeling they inspired can be felt here as well. That said, I want to stress the uniqueness of this novel; it is deliciously original and totally captivating. (To not spoil anyone, I'm including my list of movies as a spoiler block) ♪ Girl, Interrupted ~ Obviously chosen because of Alison's time in the psychiatric hospital. Though that's about as far as the connection goes♪E.T. ~ Again, obvious choice, but Faraday's struggle to find a way to return home made me think of this movie♪ Contact & Sirantha Jax by Ann Aguirre ~ These two because of the time spent in the latter part of the book where Alison and Tori battle alongside Faraday to find safe passage home; the visual experience of viewing space in such magnified detailNot only did the reader get an up close and personal look inside Alison's mind, sometimes we are so caught up in it that we are also wondering what is real and what is not. The first person POV makes this an even more touching story. The people she meets at the hospital are so real to us - the patients and the staff.Meet 16-year old Alison ... "Once upon a time there was a girl who was extraordinary. She could hear colors, and see sounds, and taste the difference between trush and lies. But hardly anybody knew that, and she preferred to keep it that way." Sensorially stunted at the age of six by her mother's fears, Alison has spent her entire life holding everything in, not sharing much, if anything, about herself or the things around her with anyone. She's uncertain what is or isn't "normal", so to attempt to fit in, she closes herself off. However, while in the hospital, she meets someone who will change her life forever. Someone who believed he was there to help her, but finds she also helps him. Their connection was felt by readers as strongly as by Alison. I want more! I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this book. We experience a range of emotions right along side of Alison. We are passengers on an exquisite, phenomenal, beautiful, gut-wrenching ride. And, once you hop on, you don't want it to end. One of my favorite passages in the book: I had no idea if I was only saying these things in my mind, or right out loud for Faraday and Tori to hear. But it didn't matter, because I'd finally reached the end of myself, all my self-reliance and denial and pride unraveling into nothingness, leaving only a blank Alison-shaped space behind. It was finished. I was done. But just as I felt myself dissolving on the tide of my own self-condemnation, the dark waves receded, and I floated into a celestial calm."I would recommend this novel to readers of all ages and lovers of Sci-Fi and/or YA realistic fiction especially. I hope R.J. decides to continue Alison's story! I will be the first in line (or online) to buy it!