BOOK REPORT for Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

Cover Story: Pretty Deadly
BFF Charm: Caution!
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Unreliable Narrator
Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude
Anti-Bonus Factor: Awful Grownups
Relationship Status: Friends?

Trigger Warning: Violet Grenade features scenes of attempted assault, abuse, and bullying, and touches on very dark themes of death and murder. Some situations might be triggering for some readers.

Cover Story: Pretty Deadly

I’ve always wanted a subversive vase like this! (Unsurprisingly, I can get one on Amazon.)

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The Deal:

Domino Ray has been living on the streets of Detroit for a while now, stealing what she can to survive. But when her only friend is arrested, Domino must find a way to make his bail. Enter Miss Karina, a mysterious woman who runs a “home” for girls like Domino, girls with nowhere to turn.

Domino travels to West Texas with Miss Karina, but soon she realizes that the home isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. She resigns herself to working hard, regardless, so she can make the much needed cash. Soon, though, Domino realizes that she can’t just gloss over Miss Karina’s secrets.

But Domino has secrets, too. Specifically, one named Wilson, who lives in Domino’s head...and gets really angry when someone wrongs her.

BFF Charm: Caution!

Domino’s a strong-willed young woman who knows how to get what she wants, and will do pretty much anything to get it. She’s fiercely loyal to the people who get close to her, even though it’s a struggle to do so, and would fight—likely to the death—for them in a heartbeat. But she’s severely broken, thanks to a disturbing youth and a horrible mother, and walking a razor’s edge between living a normal life and letting the monster within out. I honestly don’t know if I could handle tiptoeing around her, always worrying if the next thing to set her off would be the last straw.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

At Miss Karina’s, Domino meets Cain, a quiet, mysterious boy who might have just as many secrets as she does. It takes a while for the two to warm up to each other, but their dark parts just might call to each other in a good way.

Talky Talk: Unreliable Narrator

Violet Grenade is told from Domino’s POV, but as the story unravels, so too does Domino. Pieces of her past fall into place as she’s forced to come to terms with who she is, and as she figures out the truth about Miss Karina’s home. Domino’s an extremely grey character, but she’s all the more fascinating for it; so, too, are the other characters in the book. No one is entirely good, per se, but the “good guys” know right from wrong, and are willing to go to great lengths to set things right. In Violet Grenade, Victoria Scott has created an engaging, twisted world that feels believable—in a Criminal Minds kind of way. You’ll find yourself rooting for Domino and Cain, even when you know the truth about their pasts.

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude

Cain doesn’t say much when he and Domino first meet, and they get to know each other very slowly. He’s pretty protective of her, however, even from the start, and that surprises everyone who knows him (and possibly even himself).

Anti-Bonus Factor: Awful Grownups

With the exception of one person, all of the grownups in Domino’s life are terrible. Especially her mother.

Casting Call:

Dove Cameron as Domino

Relationship Status: Friends?

You weren’t at all what I expected, Book, and I’m not so sure I’m right for you—I’m not really a badass, as much as I wish I was—but I totally appreciate that you are strong enough to get shizz done. We can totally hang out, just maybe when things have cooled down a bit for you.

Violet Grenade will be available May 16.

Mandy lives in Austin, TX, where she's a technical writer by day and a pop culture junkie by night. When she's not ensconced in a book for Forever Young Adult, Mandy can be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.