Author: R. J. Anderson
Publication: Carolrhoda Books; 1 edition (September 2011)
Description: "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 wakes up in a mental institution. As she pieces her memory back together, she realizes she's confessed to murdering Tori Beaugrand, the most perfect girl at school. But the case is a mystery. Tori's body has not been found, and Alison can't explain what happened. One minute she was fighting with Tori. The next moment Tori disintegrated--into nothing.
But that's impossible. No one is capable of making someone vanish. Right? Alison must be losing her mind--like her mother always feared she would.
For years Alison has tried to keep her weird sensory abilities a secret. No one ever understood--until a mysterious visiting scientist takes an interest in Alison's case. Suddenly, Alison discovers that the world is wrong about her--and that she's capable of far more than anyone else would believe.
My Thoughts: Wow! This story didn't go where I thought it was going to go. But R. J. Anderson took me on a fantastic journey. We begin with Alison in a mental hospital after suffering a breakdown. She believes that she killed a schoolmate by causing her to disintegrate. We see Alison learning to deal with the other patients and with her psychiatrist. We also learn about her life before the hospital. She has a poor relationship with her mother; loves her father but feels that he is ineffectual. We learn about her relationship with her rival Tori (the girl she thinks she killed).
But mostly we learn how Alison sees the world. Letters and numbers have colors, and sounds, tastes and smells. Her senses seem cross-wired and very strong. Her psychiatrist keeps thinking that Alison has a mental illness. It is not until Sebastian Faraday comes to the hospital and begins working with Alison that she learns more about the way her senses work and realizes herself that she is not mentally ill.
Faraday is the key to the left turn that the story takes from a standard teenage problem novel to science fiction. I enjoyed the whole journey. I think that readers who enjoyed Across the Universe by Beth Revis would also find this one interesting. Alison is a fascinating character that you just have to root for.
That day I'd learned that my mind didn't work the same as other people's--that perceptions I took for granted could seem incredible or even frightening to them. So I couldn't talk about the color of three, ot whether triangles tasted better than circles, or how playing Bach on my keyboard made fireworks go off in my head, because people would think I was crazy.I received this eARC from NetGalley for review. You can get your copy here.