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review 2015-06-05 06:26
Color can be painful
Color Me Crazy - Carol Pavliska

Julian Wheaton and Cleo Compton have a history that includes his sister as her best friend.  Usually when they are in the same place, Cleo ends up falling or tripping or harming someone.  

 

Julian is also the owner of a recording studio.  He gives her a job and a place to live above the studio after her world implodes.  She does not want to live with her parents and has run low on options.  

 

Cleo is dating a man her parents approve of.  This is before they meet Julian, of course.  His sister and her best friend is also dating a rock star.  One that Julian does not approve of.

 

Julian has secrets that he is not wanting to share.  One is his health with the synesthesia.  Second, would be his history with a band when he was young.  The past for him is very dangerous and repeating it could be his greatest mistake.  When he realizes who he has fallen for, he may be willing to make that mistake anyway.

 

Cleo wants to tell him everything.  She cannot help that she is attracted to musicians who play guitar.  She has some secrets from the past that could have consequences too.  What will she do if there is a choice between a man from her past and Julian?

 

This story makes me think.  It has amazing character development and some real fun with banter and sex.  I was impressed with the story as a whole.  I do not say that often.  This book makes you feel for both characters and root them on.  While giving you a dose of what would happen in real life at the same time.  I give it a super 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given free from Netgalley.com and its publisher, for review purposes.  My honest opinion does not reflect Netgalley, nor its affiliates.

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review 2014-03-02 13:35
Reveiw & GIVEAWAY - The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh
The Moon Sisters - Therese Walsh

I loved this one!  So much.  I was offered this one by the publisher, Crown,  and I'm so thrilled I accepted because it's my favourite book so far this year.  I barely laid it down from start to finish. I'm a REALLY slow reader usually but I just rattled through this one.

 

It's hard for me to write a review of something I loved over one I hated as it's all about the 'feels' for me and I can't put it into words sometimes.  (Just an FYI - with this one I have a lot of feels and chances are that this review is going to be all over the place because of it.)

A moving tale of family, love, and the power of stories. After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz are figuring out how to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia, who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights, is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to say her final goodbyes and lay their mother's spirit to rest.

Though they see things very differently, Jazz is forced by her sense of duty to help Olivia reach her goal. Bitter and frustrated by the attention heaped on her sunny sister whose world is so unique, Jazz is even more upset when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper. Though Hobbs warns Olivia that he's a thief who shouldn't be trusted, he agrees to help with their journey. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, and they will finally be forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

 

I don't read very much in this genre (is it Women's fiction?  Family drama? Coming of Age?...I'm not sure) but the thing that drew me to accepting this one was the mention of Synesthesia.  It's a condition I've heard of before but don't really know anything about.  It's fascinating.  No two people who are affected by the condition have the same experiences and it varies from person to person but Wiki describes it as -

"A neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.  People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes.

 

Loosely explained, it's the ability to hear colours, or smell sounds, or even taste words.  It's fascinating to me. 

 

Anyway, the story.  It's just so interesting!  Told in alternating chapters from Jazz and Olivia's points of view with some chapters interspersed with letters written by the girls' mother to her father when she was alive.   Is it fate or luck that leads someone to make a certain decision over another?   Is life all mapped out for us or is it just being in the right place at the right time?  Maybe it's a bit of both?

 

I really cared about the characters, I loved them, both the main two girls and their family and the interesting people they meet on their journey (and their stories which run alongside Jazz and Olivia's are equally wonderful).  Brilliantly written, evenly paced and satisfying to the end. 

 

I'm not doing this justice at all, I'm all over the place.  I can't find the words.  I just loved it all and everyone needs to read it!

 

What we need here is a GIVEAWAY so that someone else can be lucky enough to get a hardback copy of this to soak up the good stuff!

 

 

I've been offered a second copy by the publishers to use as a Giveaway and I'm so excited to be able to share this with everyone on BL.  I've set up a Giveaway page and if you'd like to enter into the draw you can enter HERE or by clicking the giveaway banner above.  Winner will be drawn on 16th March and announced shortly thereafter on the blog here.  Please make sure on your entry that there is a way of reaching you if you're the lucky winner!

 

Good luck to everyone that enters! 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Completing this means I am 336 pages closer to my 1 Million pages goal :D

 

 

AND...

 

 

And, I'm calling this for the letter 'F' in my AtoZ Challenge.  F is for Family

 

 

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review 2014-01-01 14:27
Review: Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson
Ultraviolet - R.J. Anderson

You know that old tag-line for those awesome sweets, Skittles - "taste the rainbow"?! Welcome to Alison of Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson's world!! She has a condition/gift/anomaly whereby she can taste colours and lies, see the colour of numbers, feel sounds. What she has is called synesthesia which is a phenomenon in that the brain's wiring relating to senses and memories is tangled and intertwined (I'm describing this in a very simplistic way. If you want to learn more you should read chapter 3 of The Tell-Tale Brain by VS Ramachandran. He explains it waaaay better than I ever could) in a way that certain memories are experienced alongside sensations. One of the most common examples of this amazing ability is that numbers are often "seen" in the mind's eye as a specific colour, but sounds, smells and tastes can be wrapped up in all kinds of different memories like songs, shapes and textures. It's pretty amazing and studying people who have synesthesia can offer some really incredible insights into the geography of our brains. But I won't get into that just now .....

 

Alison has synesthesia and everyone is very keen to label her as cray-cray, possibly because she flipped out and ranted and raved all over the place about murdering her school mate and nemesis, Tori by vaporisation. But all is not as it seems as Alison is shipped off to a teenage psychiatric unit and is forced to question her own sanity and if she can truly believe what she sees with her own eyes.

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review 2013-12-30 21:05
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson
Ultraviolet - R.J. Anderson

This book starts off as a weird mystery. Alison wakes up in a psychiatric treatment center with no memory of why she's there. All her life, she has experienced sensations that other people don't, like tasting the color blue, knowing that each letter of the alphabet has a color, and knowing that the name “Victoria” tastes like cough medicine. This has always frightened her mother, so she assumes that her mother has somehow found a way to get her committed. Then she remembers what really happened: she killed Tori Beaugrand.

Ever since they first met, Alison heard Tori's presence as a painful buzzing noise. One day, the two of them fought, and Tori...disintegrated. Now, Alison feels guilty and confused. She wants to make sure she never does anything like that again, but she's not even sure how she did it in the first place.

The overall mystery sucked me in right away. I guessed Alison's condition almost immediately (she's a synesthete), but that didn't explain the strange, indescribable color she sometimes saw, the “birthmark” on Tori's arm that no one else could see, or Tori's disintegration.

The bulk of the book took place at Pine Hills Psychiatric Treatment Centre. Alison was determined to prove that she wasn't crazy, so she could go home and hopefully stay calm and not hurt anyone else. She assumed that she somehow disintegrated Tori after becoming stressed and overstimulated by the noise she heard whenever she was around her.

Unfortunately, Alison had no idea who she could trust or what she had to do to prove that she was stable. Her mother seemed determined to keep her in treatment forever. Some of the other patients didn't seem that bad, but some terrified her. She didn't trust Dr. Minta, and all her efforts to get him to let her out of Pine Hills seemed doomed to failure.

The one person she trusted was Sebastian Faraday, a graduate student in neuropsychology who was studying her as part of his thesis. He was the one who figured out that she had synesthesia, and he seemed to be utterly convinced that she hadn't killed Tori.

The introduction of Faraday was one of the first places where this book went a little wrong for me. Before him, the book was slow, but interesting. Then he appeared, and Alison became a lovestruck teen. He was so nice, so trustworthy, and all the nurses at Pine Hills enjoyed chatting with him. Alison was captivated by his violet eyes (a violet only she could see) and beautiful voice (beautiful in a way only she seemed to experience).

His violet eyes and absolute certainty that Alison hadn't killed Tori worried me. Did he know the truth about what happened to Tori? Was he using Alison? Her increasing attraction to him, and the occasional signs that he felt the same way about her, set off great big alarms in my mind. I think the psychological term for what I was worried about is “transference.” Alison had no one she could trust, no real friends. Her mother had rejected her, and her father let it happen. Her romantic feelings for Faraday weren't surprising, but Faraday choosing to act on them was so incredibly inappropriate. I never got to the point where I felt otherwise, no matter what Faraday or Alison said, no matter what the book's later plot twists revealed.

Alison was pretty messed up. For a variety of reasons, she did her best to mute her emotions. Because she saw Pine Hills as a place she wanted to get away from as fast as possible, she made little-to-no attempt to get to know anyone in more than a surface-level way. I had a hard time liking her, but, at the same time, I didn't dislike her. She only really started to grate on my nerves when she began to fall for Faraday, and not just because it was all a very bad idea. No, part of the problem was that, while I could understand her reasons for not trying to get to know any of the nurses or other patients, those same reasons didn't hold true for Faraday. She was convinced she loved him, and she told him lots of things about herself, but she barely made any sort of effort to learn more about him. On the one hand, I figured this was just another sign that Faraday was using her. On the other hand, it made her seem hugely self-centered.

The explanation for both Tori's disintegration and the not-quite-right impression that Faraday gave me was a little too off the wall. I felt that portion of the book could have used more depth, and had a hard time shaking the feeling that none of it was real. However, the unexpectedness of it certainly did keep me reading right up to the very end.

All in all, this was a pretty interesting book, even if the romantic aspects completely turned me off.

 

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2012-01-13 00:00
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet - R.J. Anderson

Ultraviolet introduces us to Alison, a sixteen year old girl who finds herself committed to psychiatric hospital after what others believe was a psychotic episode. Alison is convinced that she murdered her classmate but she can’t explain how she did it or where the body is. Her fractured relationship with her parents make her reluctant to be honest with her doctor, but when a researcher arrives and with his tests uncovers what Alison has worked for so long to keep secret, she begins to discover some difficult truths about herself. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I had briefly heard of synesthesia in Raw Blue but Ultraviolet definitely piqued my interest in the subject even further. Alison’s unusual way of sensing things was described in such detail, I was absolutely fascinated. Alison’s character was extremely well developed, flawed in very real ways and her journey to understanding herself and accepting her abilities as well as her faults was beautifully written. 

The negatives for me was that the romance felt forced and weak and a little uncomfortable. I don’t think that it was necessary to the story and I think that it would have worked much better without it. The sci-fi aspects were also rather weakly done, in my opinion. Where Alison’s time in the hospital was intriguing and emotional, the direction the story then took was a bit dull in comparison. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Ultraviolet and would absolutely recommend it to anyone who would enjoy a beautifully written story that includes aspects of mental illness, sci-fi, and paranormal abilities.

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