A girl with extrasensory senses accidentally kills a classmate with her mind and has a mental breakdown.
Or so it seems.
This book took a little time to reel me in – despite the somewhat unusual setting of a mental hospital for 2/3 of the book, the story has all the expected trappings of powers-at-puberty: the pretty popular girl versus awkward loner, the token best friend, the token love interest…etc. But slowly, as the story progresses, it turns out that everything, everyone, is something other than what they seem. It is difficult to say much more than that with spoilers, but even approaching with a skeptic’s eye, this book will suck you in.
Anderson has a flair for description that captures the wondrous and sometimes frightening world of synesthesia, bringing colors and sensations to life in a way that will entrance even the dullest nonvisual thinkers (such as myself). It is this world that draws the reader in, more so than the alien landscape of…er, did I say aliens? No spoilers, but this book is science fiction – and though I don’t have the highest opinion of the genre, this book is very character driven and does not use the science fiction aspect as a cheap gimmick. Besides, Anderson’s colors are more fascinating than any far-off planet, and in keeping the story about people first and strange beings second, she has created a story that should cross the gap between people who don’t like science fiction and people who just want to read about cool weird stuff happening.