Monday, April 4, 2011

Review of Haven by Kristi Cook

Release Date: Feb. 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 416 pages
Author Website: http://kristi-cook.com/
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.

Review: I have read a few paranormal books set in boarding school and even though I have liked most of them, they all sort of morph together because the setting and often the plot are so similar. I was expecting Haven to join the rest of the boarding school set, but I am happy to say that I was wrong. It does have similarities of other books out there, but it has enough other elements to make it memorable on its own.

Violet is the new girl at a posh boarding school who feels out of place and insecure. She also has a secret, an extrasensory ability that causes unusual episodes that she is ashamed of, and is hoping to make a new start where nobody has seen her act like a ‘freak.’ At Winterhaven, she meets awesome friends who embrace her and are supportive. She learns that she is not a freak and that other people at Winterhaven also have interesting talents, some of which I have not seen in other YA books. Violet starts out with some room for growth, and she does throughout the book.

There is a lot of tension between Violet and Aidan, sexual and otherwise. They argue quite a bit and have a hot and cold relationship, something I was not crazy about, but I understood the reason for the conflict. I loved Aidan’s character. I have stated before that I love the silent, brooding type and Aidan is that. What I really like is that he is not perfect like many other YA guys. He has flaws and makes some less than optimal decisions but he has a purpose, a good one that goes beyond just getting the girl and making out happily ever after.

Haven is a great debut for Kristi Cook. The plot is filled with conflict, mystery, romance and a nice mix of science and paranormal. Ms. Cook’s website says there will be a sequel to Haven and I am looking forward to more of Aidan, Violet and all their friends.

Content: Language (including the F-bomb), some violence, lots of sexual tension between Violet and Aidan

6 comments:

Yani {AvidReader} said...

I have been really wanting to read this one!! I have heard good things about it but I bought so many other books recently =/ its gonna have to wait

Cait said...

I really want to read this! But like Yani I have too many books in my TBR pile

Cheree said...

Thanks for a fantastic review. I really can't wait to read this.

KM said...

I'm not a huge fan of the silent, brooding hero...but the rest of the book sounds great. Thanks for the review! :)

Jenny said...

I'm jealous you've gotten to read this one before me! I've been wanting to read it for a while but I'm swamped and suffering from slow reader syndrome. Great review tho. You make it sound like a fun read and I trust your judgment. Thanks for reviewing it!

Karen said...

Sounds like fun! I love the boardschool books (when they are done right)!

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