Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway: Acts of Violet

By Melissa Amster

Back in 2020, Margarita Montimore's twisted time travel novel, Oona Out of Order, made its way to my favorites list. So when I saw that she had a new one out this year, I was eager to check it out. Thankfully, Acts of Violet did not disappoint and it was a fascinating page-turner.

Nearly a decade ago, iconic magician Violet Volk performed her greatest trick yet: vanishing mid-act. Though she hasn’t been seen since, her hold on the public hasn’t wavered. While Violet sought out the spotlight, her sister Sasha, ever the responsible one, took over their mother’s salon and built a quiet life for her daughter, Quinn. But Sasha can never seem to escape her sister’s orbit or her memories of their unresolved, tumultuous relationship. Then there’s Cameron Frank, determined to finally get his big break hosting a podcast devoted to all things Violet—though keeping his job hinges on an exclusive interview with Sasha, the last person who wants to talk to him.

As the ten-year anniversary approaches, the podcast picks up steam, and Cameron’s pursuit of Sasha becomes increasingly intrusive. He isn’t the only one wondering what secrets she might be keeping: Quinn, loyal to the aunt she always idolized, is doing her own investigating. Meanwhile, Sasha begins to experience an unsettling series of sleepwalking episodes and coincidences, which all lead back to Violet. Pushed to her emotional limits, Sasha must finally confront the most painful truths about her sister, and herself, even at the risk of losing everything.

Alternating between Sasha’s narration and Cameron’s podcast transcripts, interspersed with documents that offer a tantalizing peek at Violet herself, Acts of Violet is an utterly original, propulsive story of fame, deception, and forgiveness that will make you believe in magic. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I love how the story felt like a puzzle that needed to be solved. The pieces were delivered in different ways and it was up to the reader to figure out what really happened. I loved the use of emails, articles, and podcast episodes to paint a picture. I also enjoyed getting to know Sasha and wanted to see what was really happening when she had her sleepwalking episodes. The signs she kept receiving were so fascinating too. I felt bad for her with being forced into the spotlight when she didn't want to be, and when it was clear that her relationship with Violet was tumultuous. However, I was hoping she'd be able to find Violet somehow. 

The characters were so quirky and interesting, and the dialogue felt genuine throughout. I was also able to easily visualize people and places the entire time. 

The only thing that didn't work for me was the way some things were explained, like we're expected to understand how any of that even worked. I don't want to go into detail as to not spoil anything. You will need to have a suspension of disbelief to appreciate this novel for all it's worth, as there's a lot of elements that feel like fantasy to me. I was reminded of The Night Circus during some of the magic descriptions.

I love that Rocky Horror was referenced a couple of times and she even mentioned Magenta at one point. I played Magenta in front of the screen at a local theater when I was younger. 

Overall, a worthwhile and enjoyable read!

Movie casting suggestions:
Violet: Emma Stone

Thanks to Flatiron for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy for a lucky reader!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends July 10th at midnight EST.

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Nancy P said...

Cutting a woman in half!

Mary Preston said...

I find magic kind of creepy.

Maria Malaveci said...

The act of disappearing!

Lindsey said...

Disappearing act always amazes me the most.

Nancy said...

Making a huge thing - like an elephant - disappear always amazes me. The magician sawing a person in half amazes me too!

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Mary C said...

Disappearing act

Katherine said...

Definitely cutting someone in half!

bn100 said...


Cherisse said...

The disappearing act all ways gets me.