The Violent Season follows Wyatt, still grieving the loss of her mother, struggling to understand the violence in her town that comes every November and may have infected her best friend.
What was very interesting about The Violent Season is how it handles violence. Every November, there seems to be an uptick of violence that seems to infect the town of Wolf Ridge. It’s considered a rumor but is it? Statistically, violence does tend to rise in the winter months. Nights are colder and longer, and it’s as of a sort of darkness lingers in the air, infecting them. And the story does touch upon that. A year ago, Wyatt’s mother was murdered in her home, and Wyatt was the one who found her in a pool of her blood. Her death is still unsolved, and Wyatt struggles to understand why that happened. For her, the only explanation is the rumor that in Wolf Ridge, violence infects the townspeople in November. And now she fears this violence has infected her best friend Cash.
It’s fascinating how Wyatt struggles to understand the violence in her town. The closeness of the violence gives her a different outlook on her town. And now that her best friend Cash is exhibiting signs of violence himself, her senses have been heightened. This is a boy she grew up with, a boy she has known all her life and loved for most of it. And now, all of a sudden, she doesn’t recognize this. Much of the story revolves around Wyatt struggling to understand herself, her wants, and how violence can sneak up on anyone.
Walters uses the story to explore violence and how it exists but how it is also a choice. It focuses on how sadness and bitterness, when fed, can warp a person while facing the sorrow and guilt often saves a person. Focusing on that makes a compelling story.
Another powerful aspect of The Violent Season is how it deals with abusive and toxic relationships. From the beginning, we see how toxic the relationship between Wyatt and Cash is. Wyatt is so Why is hopelessly in love with Cash. She loves him with her whole being, but he mistreats her at every turn. He knows he’s not good enough for her but refuses to let her go. Yes, he cares about her on some level, Cash tells her he’s not good enough for her, but he does nothing to discourage her affection. Cash cares more about himself than anything. He feeds off her adoration, caring more about how she makes him feel than how he feels for her.
As the story progresses, we see Wyatt grow. Finally, Wyatt begins to understand Cash, who he has always been, the violence simmering below the surface. And once that pivotal moment in the story occurs, leaving Wyatt with this deep hollowness, her rose-colored glasses are shattered. Sometimes a rude awakening needs to happen to wake someone up, which is what happens with Wyatt. It forces her to see how toxic Cash is and allows her to begin to think of a way to escape it, to live for herself.
The Violent Season might make some readers uncomfortable. But the story is impactful. It shows the reader how feeding into the negativity can warp a person and how easy it is to lose oneself in a toxic environment.
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|Pub Date: October 5, 2021||Page Count: 288pp||Age Range: 14 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-7282-3410-6||Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire||List Price: $10.99|