Note: There are no spoilers in this review.
The book starts off intriguingly enough, with a 16-year-old girl who is the only survivor of a plane crash, and who remembers nothing – not even her name. The hospital personnel start calling her Violet because of her unusual eye color, and soon arrange for a nice foster family, the Carlsons, to take care of her until she gets her memory back.
Before that happens, Violet keeps encountering a boy named “Zen” (for Lyzender) who tells her he is trying to save her from evil enemies, and that she must come away with him. But she doesn’t know who to believe or who to trust, with the exception of the most (and possibly only) appealing and fully realized character in the book, 13-year-old Cody, Violet’s foster brother.
This initially promising set-up quickly degrades thanks to improbable and not well-drawn explanations that attempt to clarify who Violet is and where she came from. We meet some cardboard characters, discover plot complications that don’t really hang together, and are assailed by developments that are far-fetched or just plain silly.
Evaluation: Can you believe it? Book One of a trilogy that I just won’t be pursuing….
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013