Author: Dia Reeves
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 01/05/10
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Love can be a dangerous thing...
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.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
This novel was strangely twisted, in a great way. I've never read a novel before in which the main character had a mental illness. Hanna has bipolar disorder which leads to mood swings and hallucinations, and in my opinion, the author did a very good job describing her illness and it's symptoms without making Hanna seem so "crazy" that it was unbelievable. The town of Portero and its residents made Hanna seem almost normal. Everyone wears black except for the Mortmaine, who wear green, and Hanna, who only wears purple. There are monsters called lures lurking, and doors that open to portals, and keys that residents are given to protect. The paranormal elements of this novel are like nothing I've ever read before.
Pace: 4.5 Stars
This novel was on the longer side, but you wouldn't know it while reading. Chapter after chapter flew by, leaving me on the edge of my seat. It was so strange and twisted, I couldn't put it down. Hanna was impossible to predict, which made the twists and turns in this novel even more mysterious and surprising. Although she went on a few tangents along the way, they always tied into the plot, even if you didn't realize it until much later.
Characters: 4 Stars
Hanna was a great main character. Although she has bipolar disorder which leads to hallucinations and mood swings, the author never let it define her. The mental illness shaped her as a person and affected her desires and decisions, but her world didn't revolve around her symptoms and her pills. It did make her a very unpredictable character, but in a town like Portero, she fit right in. Wyatt was also an interesting character. As a member of the Mortmaine, he helped protect the town of Portero from lures and other dangers. The relationship between Wyatt and Hanna has as many twists and turns as the rest of the novel, and felt very real. Hanna's mother was not what I expected, and her actions were sometimes more shocking than her daughter's. Hanna's father and step-mother didn't have large roles, but there could've been a little more detail given about their characters.
Cover: 4.5 Stars
The cover model for this novel is perfect! Her skin tone is exactly how I imagined Hanna's would be, and it's wonderful to see that instead of a white model that would possibly "sell better." There have been quite a few white-washing cover scandals over the past year or so, and this cover is a great example of portraying the main character's race. The purple that is rippled across the cover is very eye-catching. Plus, it's the only color Hanna will wear because it was her father's favorite. The purple of the cover also looked like fabric, which Hanna had plenty of because she made all of her own clothes. The red little touches of red work well with the purple, plus it was a color she associated with her mother during the book. The font choice for the title works very well. The script looks like it could be Hanna's handwriting, plus it flows well with the purple ripples on the cover.
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this novel for my own reading pleasure.