R. J. Anderson, 2011 by Orchard, 416 pages.
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her.
Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having
murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a
mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving
difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one
minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into
nothing. But that's impossible. Right?
I enjoyed this book, but it is a tough one to review.
For most of the book, 16 year old Alison is in a mental institution because she claims to have killed he friend. She also sees and hears things that aren't really there and her family is concerned and scared about it. I found the mental institution interesting and authentic sounding, feeling like the author really researched this part of the story. I also really felt for Alison and what she's going through, curious about what really happened.
I also liked the other characters in the hospital and how things weren't glossed over with her family - that it was hard for them to have her there, that they didn't know how to relate to her, that her best friend changed how she felt.
Then, about three quarters of the way through the book, there is a twist. I won't say much, but it is a twist that changes the whole book. In one way, it was fun, but in another, it left me feeling betrayed.
Overall, I enjoyed Anderson's writing and she really pulled me in. I loved the exploration of Alison's condition and the acknowledgement that we all see things differently, some more than others. I am still torn about the ending.