Title: Night Vision
Author: Ella West
Genre: YA thriller
Length: 180 pages
Published by: Allen and Unwin
Source: won from the fabulous Cait at Notebook Sisters (on behalf of the fabulous Allen and Unwin Australia!)
Viola was born with a genetic condition that makes sunlight deadly. In the dark of night, when most teenagers are tucked up in bed, Viola has the run of her parents’ farm and the surrounding forest. She is used to seeing hidden things through her night-vision goggles, but one night she sees something that could get her into a whole lot of trouble…
Viola has always believed she would be dead before she was twenty, but now she must decide just how far she’s willing to go to help her parents keep their beloved farm. Is it okay to steal from a thief? What if the thief might be a killer? And what if the killer threatens to come after her and her family?
WHY IS IT DIVERSE?
Our main character, Viola, has XP, which means it is impossible for her to go out into the sun – basically it’s like sunburn in fast-forward. If she goes out for even a short amount of time, she will get skin cancer and probably die. I mean, I joke about being allergic to the sun, because inside is infinitely more exciting than outside. But it takes, like, at LEAST twenty minutes for me to get sunburnt (and even that is ridiculously short.)
XP is a disease I’d never heard about, and it was lovely to have that represented.
I loved a lot of things in this book.
For example, the descriptions of how Viola lives her life. I mean, she gets up at like dinner-time. And then when everyone else is asleep, she ROAMS THE WORLD. That’s pretty cool. Actually, not really – I’d be too scared of the dark (plus it would be cold!). Viola is way braver than me. I’d just be picturing bad dudes jumping out at me.
Yesterday I was banging on about how OH MY GOD okay I didn’t realise the gif did that scary thing at the end. Breathe, Emily. Okay. I’m good. Just…don’t look up “scary gifs” on Tumblr, okay?
So I was banging on about how there needs to be more diversity in speculative fiction. And I completely forgot to mention this book! Which is a shame, because it’s spec-fic and includes a diverse character. Which is cool. Plus it was set in New Zealand, which is cool too. (they’re our sheep-loving neighbours, after all)
PLUS. MUSIC. Viola plays viola (hehehe). I play piano, which is like the easiest instrument out there, but I could identify with Viola and her doubts about whether she’s actually good.
I have rarely read a more real book. That sounds weird, but it’s true – everyone in this book felt real. And that is commendable. It was told in a really simple style, and Viola felt like an actual person, and it’s really just a very nice book. Plus it’s quite short – a nice, quick and easy read.
It’s interesting, fast-paced, informative and you should read it. I liked the descriptions of Viola’s life better than the central plot, I must admit. That didn’t interest me as much. Viola interested me!
Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties