I stayed up way too late last night trying to finish this!
But, alas, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I had to put it away for the night. And then finish it this morning.
I plan on just writing one review a week, but Violet Grenade was so good (and it was just released yesterday!) that I had to tell you guys about it.
Victoria Scott is one of my favorite people I follow on Instagram. Her passion for writing and the excitement she has about her books is infectious – and I love that she shares that with her readers!
Also, she liked one of my posts and responded to one of my comments. No big deal. I was really chill about it.
Violet Grenade kept me hanging on every word, so I guess now I have to binge read every book by Scott ever.
What I Loved
The whole plot is pretty bizarre. Domino is a homeless kid, struggling with demons from her past. She’s welcomed into a home for girls by Madam Karina, a motherly, older woman who sees Domino’s artistic abilities and potential. But things seem a little off when Madam Karina takes Domino to a tired town in Texas when she was found roaming the streets of Detroit.
Everything about the story keeps you guessing. The plot is easy enough to follow, but you’re always wondering what will happen next, and you’re never sure who you can trust.
Oh man. Domino is great. She’s funny, sarcastic, and makes the best metaphors. She’s confident but not, mature but still goofy – everything she says and thinks fits perfectly with her personality. Victoria was able to capture the mind of a 16-year-old girl on paper, which is crazy because so much is happening developmentally in girls at that time.
I also love how Domino faces paradoxes I think everyone faces in their own way.
We want attention and affection, even when we know we’re getting it in the wrong way or from the wrong person.
We want to be close to people, but not too close for them to see who we really are.
We want to set goals and dream big, but we want the comfort and security normalcy gives us.
Scott writes these struggles in a real and relatable way, which made me really connect and empathize with Domino.
Violet Grenade is written in first person, so we get a good idea of what’s going on in her head. Victoria chose the perfect POV for a novel like this. I don’t want to give away many details, but knowing Domino’s thoughts is vital.
Poppet and Cain
First of all, Poppet is the nicest person in the world. When her character was first introduced, I found her so annoying. She was like over-the-top nice. But, she turned out to be exactly who Domino needed. Poppet is super nice and way too trusting, but she fits well with Domino’s distrust and standoffish-ness (is that a word? Oh well).
Let’s pause just for a moment – I’m not huge into cute romances. I usually find them annoying and sometimes feel like they get in the way of the plot. But Cain is so sweet! And his struggles match so well with Domino’s that the romance makes sense. He’s the stability that she needs. And in encouraging Cain to forgive himself, she learns to do the same.
I am so appreciative of the trend in YA that focuses on mental health issues. It’s a controversial subject, and I applaud the authors willing to write about it. There’s something inside of people that yearns to connect, to have that “you, too?” moment. Literature does that for us and helps us understand ourselves better because of it.
I’m not sure if this was her intention, but Scott brings very real issues to light in Violet Grenade. She touches on multiple personality disorder, teenage homelessness, emotional and mental abuse, and sex-trafficking. These are tough things. But things I think we need be aware of so we can help find solutions and healing.
Violet Grenade is a strange little book, but if you like movies like Shutter Island or Split, or books like All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark, this one’s for you!