Published February 27, 2018 by Dial Press
I was pretty excited to read this novel. I actually started to get nervous at how excited I was. I thought that if I built it up too much in my head that I might be let down. But I wasn’t.
In my opinion, this was a phenomenal read!!
Venus Black is a high school student. Her teachers often told her mother how wonderful it was to have Venus in their class. Her mother wished that Venus was “ such a pleasure” at home too. Venus wonders why her mother never questioned that there may have been a reason why she was the way she was at home. Venus believes that one small choice, action, or event; can change the course of your entire life. She wonders what small thing may have changed the course of her own life..
“if I could change one key detail, I would never have seen what I saw or done what I did that terrible February night”
Because you see, Venus has committed a horrific crime that has landed her in jail and torn her family apart. Venus doesn’t deny that she did do something awful…but she refuses to say why she did it. But one thing Venus will say is that it’s her mother’s fault.
None of what’s happening now feels real. Just a few days ago, Venus was hanging out by her locker at school, gossiping with her friends. Now she’s been labeled a violent offender, locked up with girls who will beat her up if she looks at them sideways. On top of everything else, she finds out that her developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo has gone missing. She knows he must be scared and she’s horrified that she can’t go out to help look for him. Venus adores Leo. Although he’s seven, he acts around three or four. Sometimes he makes noises and rarely likes to be touched. He often ignores people completely…
“But Leo’s always just Leo to me.”
But now he’s gone. And now all Venus hears over and over in her head…
“It’s because of what you did”
Five years later, Venus is released from the Juvenile Detention Centre. She wants to be somewhere else….somewhere no one knows who she is or what she’s done. So with a suitcase of old clothing and a new name, Venus is off in search of a new life. But in order to get a new life, she may have to let go of the one thing that helped her through these horrible years.
But if she lets go of that anger then she may have to face the past, the feelings, and the guilt. Venus is afraid she’ll fall apart or that she’ll be betrayed again. But with the help of some unexpected new friends, Venus may actually be able to finally stop running from her past and hiding who she really is.
But it will still take a HUGE leap of faith for her to come back….as Venus Black.
WOW! What an excellent read. I REALLY enjoyed this DEBUT novel.
The novel takes place in the eighties which I thought worked really well. I LOVED knowing what was going on inside the character’s minds… especially Leo’s and Tessa’s. There wasn’t an overload of violence, which I appreciated. Some situations may still be triggering to some readers though. It’s definitely an emotional read, but I feel like the author handled sensitive situations extremely well.
A story about betrayal, love, family, and forgiveness.
Well written and easy to follow, I thought the story flowed well, and I was happy with how it all came together in the end. I think that different readers will take different things from this novel. But in my opinion, this is a wonderful young adult novel that many readers of all ages will enjoy.
“My Name is Venus Black” was an honest and engaging read with a great plot and relatable characters. I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to read this novel, and I’m really excited to see what Heather Lloyd writes next!
I’d like to thank Random House/Dial Press and Heather Lloyd for giving me the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for my honest review.