Ultraviolet Catastrophe by Jamie Grey
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars
Ultraviolet Catastrophe is one of those books that intrigued me just from reading the summary. Then I read the first sentence of the book and I was hooked. I mean, when something starts “You know your life is never going to be the same when your mom pulls a gun at the shopping mall” it is bound to be good.
First, I will say that I am in no way knowledgeable enough to even know whether the science in this book made sense but….it kind of did. It definitely plays an important role in this book but if you are at all like me and science challenged, don’t be intimidated.
Lexie is the main character and sixteen years old. She has recently found out that her parents have been drugging her under the premise that she has ADHD when really they have been giving her something that will suppress her IQ. When she finds out, of course her world gets flipped upside down. Lexie also finds out at the same time that for the last 10 years, her parents have pretended to hate each other for her protection and now that she is in danger, they make the decision that she will move in with her father who has been pretty absent for the last 10 years. Lexie is immediately enrolled at Quantum Technologies (QT) where the students are scary smart and her father works as a scientist.
Lexie’s character is believable which makes the story believable. She is starting a new school where the kids aren’t very welcoming and she struggles with fitting in. At the same time she is trying to do what she can to make sure people don’t question why she is at QT. It is clear some people at QT are threatened by Lexie but there are also those that are immediately drawn to her.
This leads me to Asher…who I loved. He is the resident genius and it doesn’t hurt that he is nice to look at. The first description alone won me over…
“dark hair, tousled like he’d run his hands through it a few times.” And his eyes…”were a startling shade of blue that made me think of the sky at dawn.”
Add to this the fact that he is charming, nice and wears funny t-shirts like this…
I love nerdy characters and the fact that he is swoony on top of that, only improves my opinion of him. Don’t get me wrong. There were times that I wanted to shake him but I also had to remember he is 16 and teenage boys don’t always get it.
I enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Max and Zella helped moved the story along and Amy was definitely interesting. Although the adults played a critical role they seemed to have very little influence on the progression of the story. The exception was Dr. Danvers. I won’t give anything away here but she definitely played an important role and I found it interesting how Grey tied it all together.
I do wish we had gotten a bit more backstory on Asher’s mom. He was clearly affected when she reached out to him but other than a mention of it and him reacting; I wasn’t sure where it was supposed to lead me as a reader.
I loved that these kids were smart….and I suppose not just smart, mega smart. Yes the science plays a major role in the book but don’t let that scare you away. This book has an interesting premise, a fast paced, solid story and some great characters. If those things interest you at all, definitely check this one out when you can.
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