Format: EBook, 300 pages
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Victoria Scott, author of books such as Fire & Flood, and Salt & Stone, returns with Violet Grenade, a story that is dark, gritty, & engaging. It is a story that is stunning brilliant in the way the author interweaves her story between Domino Ray, and Wilson, a character who will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. 17-year old Domino Ray lives on the streets. She desperately wants wants a home of her own, and a safe place where she won't have to worry about where she gets her next meal.
But, there is more to Domino than meets the eye test. Domino, you see, has a dark secret that lurks just under the skin waiting to pop out at any moment. After her closest friend is caught by the police, Domino realizes that she has to find a way to make money quickly to spring him from jail. Riding on a white horse she comes in the form of Madame Karina. Karina, it seems, has a place called "Home for Burgeoning Entertainers." Domino's acceptance of Karina's offer takes her from Detroit to Pox, Texas.
Upon arrival in Texas, Domino finds herself in a secluded farmhouse where a brothel of girls are billed for anything, and everything & must entertain in order to make any money to pay off their debts. Each girl can work their way up the rank which includes Carnation, Daisy, Tulip, before going to the dark side where anything is possible, including sexual services. This level is where Domino & readers will find the Lily's and the Violets, as well as the girl of the house, Lola. The higher you go in rank, the more of a profit you make. Each rank is filled with cutting, backstabbing, and manipulative girls who have no desire to make friends.
The most intriguing parts about Karina's home, are Poppet, and Cain, as well as the dangerous secrets which lie not only with Karina, but with other characters as well. Poppet is the most adorable character in the book. Poppet quickly becomes Domino's only friend in the house. She may not be the most talented, but her desire to help Domino, concreted her way into my heart. Cain and Domino play off each other extremely well. Domino and Cain each have deep, dark secrets that bring them close together in finding a way to change their fates.
As Domino explores the house system, and how to rise up through the ranks, she also has to deal with Karina who may be charming one minute, but the devil in a black dress the next. There is also Angie who has some interesting scenes in the book which bring Domino's situation to the seriousness it really is. But, along for the ride is Wilson. What can I say about Wilson that isn't spoiler-y? Hmm. He's a protector of sorts. He loves violence. He could be an alter-ego of Domino in some fashion. He has protected her from some of the worst things that a human being can be subjected to, and kept Domino safe. He makes this book fun, dark, and twisted. Just the way I like it.
Violet Grenade will make you question how many young girls have been taken off the street by those like Madame Karina who makes them feel as though they will be safe. Later, they discover that they are caught in an inescapable situation. If you try to run, well, let's not spoil what happens. I do often wonder how many girls disappeared while trying to escape from those like Madam Karina, Eric, and Hodges. How many have tried to escape brutal pimps, or sexual slavers, or traffickers and not been seen or hear from again?