Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
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.
Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at VictoriaScott.com.
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As soon as I saw the title and cover of Violet Grenade, before I even knew what it was about, I wanted to read it. We're taught not to judge a book by its cover, but the cover of this book is a thing of beauty, I couldn't wait. The only thing I'd say is that the premise gives away far too much of the story. I was quite shocked when I started to read, and realised that I already knew quite a bit of the direction the story would go in, so my advice would be to avoid reading too much about this book before you read it! Except for my review, you should read this, obviously.
Domino - she is such a strong main character, her voice is clear from the first page. There is some mystery to her, with information drip fed in a way that gives you just enough, and keeps it interesting. I still could never have imagined the darkness this story gets into, which is some of its brilliance. Although Violet Grenade seems to be contemporary, it has a timeless air about it, it could be set at any time in some ways. In a similar aspect, there is a hint of magic, although technically there aren't any supernatural elements, it feels like there's something under the surface.
The characters are overall very well written, and strong. In terms of interesting villains, there are few better than Madam Karina and Mr. Hodge. Until the very end I couldn't decide whether Madam Karina was genuinely a vulnerable, sympathetic person who was a little unhinged, or whether she was a manipulative, terrible person. We follow Domino through this journey of not knowing either, seeing everything through her eyes.
As I mentioned earlier, Domino has a mysterious backstory that we find out along the way. The dark, brooding, love interest carries some dark secrets too, with a story that complements Domino's well, without being too similar. Sometimes Cain does seem a little too...romance hero-y, especially in Domine's descriptions of him, though it does sort of fit here.
When it comes down to it though, what I loved most about this book, and what really kept me hooked, is Wilson. I don't want to give anything away about Wilson, I'll just say that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who/what I thought he exactly is. I love his voice, and I think now that possibly we all have a little bit of Wilson inside of us.
So if you want an easy, simple romance try something else, however, if you want something more intense, with moments of serious darkness, that make you wonder what you would do in some extreme situations, read Violet Grenade.