Tuesday, 12 July 2011

REVIEW: Haven by Kristi Cook

Author: Kristi Cook
Pages: 416
Genre: YA - Paranormal
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Synopsis (Goodreads)
 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: 3 out of 5 stars
Violet McKenna has moved from Atlanta to New York with her step-mother Patsy to attend a new boarding school – Winterhaven. She feels drawn to the school, and on arrival makes friends easily, captures the eye of the school heart-throb and is excelling in all aspects of her subjects, when she finds out the school is a form of safe haven for teens with special abilities, a school with ‘secrets’ she is bewildered but feels a sense of belonging, something she hasn’t felt in a long time.

Violet has had unusual visions since she was a child foretelling the future and often leaving those she cares about injured or dead so attending Winterhaven and having her first vision about another student, Aidan without knowing the meaning behind them is frightening for her.

She feels an inexplicable draw to Aidan Gray, he is somewhat of a loner and very different to the other students but pays attention to her; he has his reasons for this which we find out later in the book but there is a mystery about him no-one really knows but he reveals his past, his secrets and fears to Violet.

I like Aidan and Violet as a couple but their on again off again relationship drove me batty! I enjoyed that they could communicate telepathically and I also liked the storyline behind what she will become and what he is (I won’t give spoilers).

The book flowed easily, it was well written with an interesting storyline but there were a lot of similarities (for me) to other YA novels, during certain scenes I kept thinking of ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘Buffy’ and of course ‘Twilight’. If you can get past this, which I did it was actually an enjoyable book.

I enjoyed the secondary characters and the relationship she had with her new friends – Cece, Kate, Sophie and Marissa was really sweet, they all formed a nice bond and stuck together when it was needed, I just wish there was more development to each of them which I hope will be covered in upcoming installments.

Haven has a great mix of paranormal characters with well defined abilities, and the way they were bought together at Winterhaven was enjoyable, the action at the end was brief but there was a form of resolution.

I will be reading the next book in the series where I hope Aidan finds a cure for what he is working on, this part of the story was unique and explained well.

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