Anna Soliveres’ novel, Violet Storm, is seemingly indiscernible from other dystopian teen literature, joining the ranks of Hunger Games, Divergent, and more aptly, Starters with a world-weary, somewhat crotchety, female protagonist dealing with a mystery that has the possibility of changing the scope of her entire world. There is, of course, the inevitable love triangle between the boy she understands implicitly and the boy she grudgingly must work with, yet neither relationship out-weighs the importance of familial bonds or ongoing political intrigue.
Where Soliveres’ Aeva shines is in her personal passions. Too often in texts like these, the young women placed in the position of revolutionary leaders (whether by choice or otherwise), seem too stoic and single-minded, completely at odds with the complexity of a real-life teenage girl. Aeva’s hobbies, interests, and personal motivations remain forefront; sometimes taking precedence in a very realistic and fascinating way in the midst of her mission. Although the depiction of Aeva in many ways relies on a very gendered and simplistic view of power, there is the potential for greater discussion later in the series regarding the implications of ‘soft’ power. Aeva’s natural athleticism and bull-headed approach to problem-solving is put at odds with the world she finds herself forced into. I look forward to seeing how Aeva reconciles her personality with her new role and am especially hopeful that the later novels will put less of an emphasis on the silliness of ‘feminine’ pursuits, such as fashion and makeup, as Aeva starts to learn how to use her role in a more dynamic way.
Although the writing is at times simplistic to the point of hindering the effectiveness of the complex and enchanting world-building, Violet Storm is a delightful read and well worth the effort. I devoured it in one sitting and have since recommended it to many friends and coworkers. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released, I’m sure I will love it just as much!
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