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Lovely, dark, and deep
2018
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Summary
What would you do if the sun became your enemy?

That's exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity -- an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn't just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her.

Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He's a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life -- and love -- as deep and lovely as her dreams.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-When Viola faints from a reaction to the sun, she is saved by Thor, aka Josh, the boy who tried to sell his comic at her bake sale booth. After she is diagnosed with solar urticaria with polymorphous light eruption, a rare condition with no cure, her crisis manager parents' reaction is to manage the situation, but Viola doesn't want her life to change. She dreams of attending NYU in Abu Dhabi and becoming a foreign correspondent to bring increased attention to the causes she campions through her successful bake sales. Viola tries to continue living as normal a life as possible by starting a relationship with Josh and working on her college applications, but her reactions become increasingly severe-not just from the sun but from all light emitting sources, including her phone and computer. After a particularly bad episode that lands her in the hospital, Josh leaves, blaming himself, and Viola withdraws into the basement where she can be safe, shutting herself away from everything and everyone. Teens will want to read this for the romance and rare medical condition, but they will stay for the sympathetic protagonist who must come to terms with her changed reality. For readers interested in learning more about photosensitivity, Anna Lyndsey's Girl in the Dark: A Memoir provides a look from the inside into the realities of a similar condition. VERDICT Sure to be popular and recommended for all collections.-Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Viola Wynne Li has it all worked out. She'll have a great senior year, graduate from high school, attend NYU (Abu Dhabi campus), and become a foreign correspondent. It's all she has ever wanted; she even writes articles on the different causes she supports with her series of fund-raising bake sales they serve double duty as practice for her and information for her customers. Then she is stricken with a severe case of photosensitivity, where even the light from her phone can burn her. Fortunately (and unfortunately) for Viola, her parents are crisis management experts, and they go right to work. In spite of the blackout shades, hideous UV-blocking clothes, and a hat the size of Saturn's rings, Viola is determined to pursue her dreams, not to mention Josh, who has come to her rescue numerous times. When it looks as if her condition is not going away any time soon, Viola realizes she has to start turning away from closed doors and look for some open windows. In Viola's fresh, often funny first-person narrative, her sense of humor buoys her most of the time, and even though she faces a scary uncertainty, she does it with flair. Readers won't be able to help but root for Viola in this moving, empowering book about a teen recalculating her well-laid plans, all in a vivid voice.--Scanlon, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
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