Do you like Night Vale? Do you like inexplicable creepy shit in small-town southern US?Go read Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Seriously, I cannot understand why the first I heard of this was it rocking up as part of the Humble Ebook Bundle just gone.
It is smalltown Texas. The Mayor is creepy and wrong. There are hidden doors, and keys made out of bone, and a very high body count.
Your protagonist, Hanna, is sixteen. She describes herself as biracial, bicultural, and manic-depressive. She is bilingual in Finnish and English. Her mum's an island girl.
The boy she ends up hanging out with is Latino. He is also bilingual, in Spanish and English.
Together, they fight
crime inexplicable creepy shit
, and meanwhile the Bechdel test gets passed every few pages.
Meanwhile, it's a book about abuse and parents and families and critique of the medical-industrial complex from the perspective of my personal is political
and teenagers negotiating (complicated, not always happy) sex lives and trust and duty and survivors' guilt.
It has content notes
for mental illness, self-harm, suicide, public executions, abusive parents, discussion of child sexual abuse, rape and torture (off-screen), involuntary commitment to inpatient psychiatric care (off-screen), and drug use. It's probably also worth flagging up that a slur used for newcomers to the town is "transy": it's short for "transient" (and this is made explicit) but I still flinched at it.
And in spite of all that I read it in one sitting
and want more now
. I am this close to e-mailing the publisher and suggesting they get Cecil Baldwin to read an audiobook version, because that is the best way I can think of to get it a much wider audience which it deserves