by Victoria Scott
Release Date: May 16th 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Find It: Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Her name is Domino Ray.
But the voice inside her head has a different name.
When Madam Karina finds Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position at her girls' home in secluded West Texas. With no 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...and falling for Cain, the mysterious boy living in the basement.
But the madam has horrible secrets. So do the girls in the house. So does Cain. Escaping is harder than Domino expects, though, because the madam doesn't like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn't know about the danger living inside Domino's mind.
Madam Karina doesn't know about Wilson.
As most of you probably already know, I ADORE Victoria Scott! I’ve read (almost) everything she’s written, and I’ve loved them all!! So when I first heard about Violet Grenade, I immediately added it to my give-me-this-immediately-i-need-it-nowwwww list. Just recently I saw a video of Victoria discussing Violet Grenade, and how it was unlike anything else she’s ever read. She said it was dark and twisted… and that’s EXACTLY what it was!! This book was nothing at all like her other books… but I loved it just as much! In fact, this just may be my favorite one of her books to date!
Domino is living in an abandoned house with her friend. Homeless and without a job. When her friend is arrested and held on bail, Domino is desperate to get the money to free him. She runs into Madam Karina in an alleyway. Madam Karina offers her a place to live where she also has the ability to earn some income. Madam Karina acts quite interested in Domino, claims to see real promise in her, and eventually Domino decides to go with her. What other choice does she have, really.
Upon Domino’s arrival to her new “home”, she quickly realizes that this isn’t as promising as it seems. This is a house of girls who are told to entertain men who pay to spend time with them every evening. They are instructed to entertain these men however they want to: singing, dancing, talking… you name it, these girls do it. Whatever talents they have, that’s what they use. And whoever entertains the most men (and receives the most coins at the end of the night) receives the most income. They also move up in the ranks, where they receive a greater percentage of the proceeds and gain status among the other girls. Basically it all comes down to being a house filled with young girls all trying to one-up each other.
I have to say, this book is dark. Like, really, really dark. Probably the darkest YA book I’ve ever read. I read a lot of adult books that are dark like this, but I’ve never come across a YA one before that pushes the limits so much. I have to say, I really LOVED it! Though at times it did get a bit graphic for my taste, it was never over-the-top and bordered that YA line just perfectly. There’s also a mental illness element that creates a certain feel for the story. You see, Domino suffered a tragic past, and because of this she has a “protector”, you could call him, in her head that shields her from her horrible thoughts and memories. Wilson is his name, and Wilson doesn’t let her remember what she went through, and he also protects her and takes over her mind and body when Domino is extremely upset or in a scary situation.
Another thing worth mentioning… the ending! It was amazing!! I was dying to see how this story was going to turn out, and knowing Victoria’s writing, I knew it would be good… but not THAT good! It was intense, dark and dirty and even jaw-dropping. There were a few things left open, which normally bothers me… but this time, it was perfect. We are left to imagine certain things, and I really like that. (It also leaves this open for a second book, or perhaps a novella? Victoria? Please?) For those of you wondering, there was a bit of a romance as well, though it really took a backseat to the rest of the story. It was there, it was slow-burning, and it was hopeful… but it didn’t take over the story.
Though these girls were, needless to say, mean, malicious, and out to torture each other, Domino was able to find one friend among the group of evil dragons, namely Poppet. I adored the friendship that these two formed. Both in a horrible situation, being humiliated, harassed and tortured on a regular basis, these two stuck together through it all.
I feel like I could go on for days talking about this book. As you can tell, I really, truly enjoyed it. Despite my dislike for darker books normally, this one immediately took my attention and never let go. I was enthralled, to say the least, and I couldn’t stop reading. I think it’s safe to say that this is my favorite Victoria Scott book at this point, and it just goes to prove that this talented woman can write almost ANYTHING and have it be an incredible story.
Have you read Violet Grenade or have it on your TBR? Are you a fan of Victoria Scott? Which of her books is your favorite?