Face a traumatic past and find the courage to return home.
The antagonist in Max’s story is a man named Eric Dalton. We meet Eric officially at the end of the book when he finally has to face the law for what he has done to Max and many others. However, he is immensely present throughout the entire book living in Max’s mind. For a large part of the story, every move Max makes is a product of the mental damage caused by Eric and her abduction. Even after she is rescued from his grasp, the trauma inflicted by the murders she witnessed, her sexual assault, and his obsession with her drives her away from her family, her sanity, and even her birth name. Eric comes to life in Max’s flashbacks throughout the book and ultimately creates the battle between her and her past.
3- Breakout Titles
When Violets Fade
4- Comps(Young Adult Fiction #ownvoices Mental Health)
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
The subject matter in this story is intense and straightforward. It’s a comparable because the audience that was moved by this book will also connect with mine given the parallels. Both have unfaltering descriptions of a young girls story of sexual abuse, mental abuse, and how she copes.
Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This story is a comparable because it focuses on the everyday life of teens who have had trauma in their lives. It can be seen in their behaviors, reactions and breakdowns. Although my book is explicit in its descriptions of trauma and abuse, it’s focal point is largely how the main character reacts to the world around her.
Seven years after being abducted at eleven-years-old, a young woman must confront her demons and reignite the strength inside her to fight for her happiness and a second chance at life.
Inner conflict- Max feels a deep depression riddled with PTSD because of her abduction by Eric Dalton. In the story, she has many triggers that cause flashbacks such as a screaming woman, a song, and being touched. She reacts by clenching her fists and digging her nails into her palms as she closes her eyes and fails to escape the memories. It leaves her feeling exhausted, dirty, and worthless, thus creating a mental state that she needs to overcome in order to return home and realize she’s worth loving and deserves a happier life.
Primary conflict- The primary conflict is finding and bringing Max home. She was presumed dead by most everyone, but after her best friend Anna stumbles across her in NYC the conflict becomes clear. A traumatized eighteen year old girl with PTSD is loved deeply by her family, but her own self loathing keeps her from even considering returning home. The climax is the market chapter where Max is unexpectedly recognized by her father and she quickly realizes that she can’t run from her past anymore. The falling action after Max is brought home is her participation in therapy, being around people again, getting used to being home, and getting used to interaction with her father. In the final part of the story the antagonist, Eric Dalton, is convicted after Max’s riveting testimony. She begins to find peace with what happened to her and she starts to allow herself to love and be loved.
Secondary Conflict- The secondary conflict is Max finding the strength to testify against her abuser and face him after years of running. Like most victims, facing her abuser brings out a vulnerable state that immediately pushes her away. After escaping an experience that rendered Max powerless, she does not want to feel that pain ever again. The courtroom scene is the moment Max gets to truly and in complete detail say what happened to her. You feel her anxiety and fear, but a sense of unexpected hope washes over her as well.
The story begins in a quiet small town in Pennsylvania called Swiftwater. The town is full of trees, flowers, and in the spring time where our story begins, the sun peeks through the leaves just enough to highlight the beautiful nature. This scene will feel like it is absolutely unimaginable that something horrific would happen here. A pristine, colorful, peaceful neighborhood.
After Violet goes missing, her father and family friends rush to the police station. Like any police station, the walls are lifeless, floor worn down, a boring, plain police office. The quick shift from a perfect family environment to a gloomy, dark and barren place is apparent and the book’s mood will shift considerably.
Next we find Anna in New York City. Fast paced, big city life in a giant office building where her dreams are coming true. The office will be illuminated by bright fluorescent lights and shining white walls with beautiful photography lining them. The bright and inviting atmosphere in her office will serve as a stark contrast to the dirty subway station where Anna finds her missing friend. Pale yellow walls littered with graffiti and unkept concrete floors lead Anna to Max only minutes after leaving her simple and safe work environment.
The apartment in Brooklyn where much time in the book is spent, has to look completely wrecked to match Max’s inner turmoil. Things are broken, don’t match, and the place appears nearly empty. Paint is peeling off the walls, floor boards sticking up, rusty appliances, and all the makings of a barely livable space.
In Swiftwater after Max is found, the old home she returns to is much more consistent with her transformation. Darker tones than the house before, but still clean and peaceful. It should reflect that Max has a darkness in her that won’t go away, but that is going to be a part of her new, more secure and confident self.