"Love...can be a dangerous thing.
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas, in search of a new home. But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects.
As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe."
I heard about this book after author Karen Mahoney mentioned on Twitter that it was one of the best books she'd ever read. I checked it out, thought it sounded interesting so bought it. I wasn't disappointed!
I was hooked from the very start, Hanna creeping through the dark, looking for her mothers house, the mother she's never met, and having a conversation with her dead father. Color me intrigued, and it only got better and stranger from there. Her mother doesn't want Hanna around, but Hanna makes a deal with her: if she can't make a place for herself in town (make friends etc) within two weeks, then she'll leave. And so Hanna starts school in an attempt to find that place in Portero. But almost instantly she begins to realise that Portero may just be stranger than her.
I completely love this book. It's fast paced, dark, funny, serious and you're never sure what's going to happen next. Or if what is happening, is actually happening. Is it reality or in Hanna's head? Hanna is forthright, brash but with a sensitive side. Mostly, she desperately wants to belong, to be loved, for people to see her as normal again. In a genre filled with sappy, weak 'heroines' who care only about The Guy loving them, Hanna is a breath of fresh air. She's a very different character to anyone I've read before and her issues are very real. There is a love interest in this book and while he's a big part, he's not the main focus. Hanna's attempts to get her mom to love her are heartfelt and painful, but very well played out. Wyatt (the love interest) is tough and smart, thought not so much when it comes to girls. Which is very entertaining.
This book wouldn't be for everyone. It's definitely up there on the strange and crazy scales. But it's a well written story with plenty of action, interesting characters and lots to get your teeth in to. I had a very, very hard time putting it down. It is a stand alone book, but I will definitely be looking out for other books by this author! A great read, would highly recommend it. 9/10