Saturday, May 20, 2017

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott ~ Review

Source:  Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

Everyone is weird.  Some people just hide it better than others.  It's true.  And pretty clearly demonstrated in this book.

Domino can't face the pain from her past.  She hides in plain sight with her make-up and her fun colored wigs.  She's not quite real and she truly not whole.  The author does a good job of demonstrating the way people compartmentalize things to deal.  Clearly not stable and clearly in pain, this homeless girl tries to fit in and tries to be seen.  Abandoned and betrayed, she needs to feel loved and accepted.  But the one person who has been there for her the past year turns from her and she's left to make it on her own.

Enter the Madam.  What a weird one she is.  An adult this time that hasn't dealt with the pain in her life, who wants to be loved and accepted and goes about it in a really weird way.  The whole house thing just bugged me.  I'll be honest in that I was expected one thing and got another.  And while that should be good, it just wasn't this time.  I mean this book is weird.  Nothing feels real or contemporary yet it is.  And I just didn't except the amount of weirdness.  I wanted it wrapped in a metaphorical bow that made it an analogy for the way the mind works.  And it wasn't that at all.  It's just a variation on weirdness with everyone having a healthy dose.

The writing is good.  This author does have a way of crafting a story.  And while it did take me a bit to grab hold, I did end up interested in the story.  I really wanted to know the ending.  The ending that just wasn't what I wanted.  But the story itself did keep me turning the pages.

I really liked Cain.  He's a sleeping giant that was kind and put up with a lot.  Many of the girls in the house had me angry for their treatment of Cain.  I was impressed by his loyalty to Domino and his care of her.  He, too, had some compartments in his mind.  He, too, has a degree of weirdness but I still liked him.  

Poppet was another one I cared about.  Such a loyal friend.  I like Angie and her dogs.  She was quirky and a little scary.  As for the rest of the characters, they all get varying degrees of my hate.  And there you see the emotion that this book provokes.  I hate the Madam.  I hate Mr. Hodge and Eric.  I hate the carnations and most of the rest of the girls though they all deserve pity.  They formed a middle school mentality that ran the house and created the drama is many a different forms.  They all shared in the weirdness.  And they also represented the varied weirdness in us all.

What I didn't care for in this book was the lack of satisfaction when I was done.  There was no smile on my face when I finished.  There was no relief or happiness.  There was just puzzlement at the weirdness that didn't satisfactorily blend into normal.  And while that in itself says something, it just isn't why I read books.

So the bottom line is that if you enjoy the weirdness of life, roll around in it and find satisfaction in it, then this book is totally for you.  If you prefer your contemporary to wrap up in a bow at the end, you might want to skip this one.



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