Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Haven by Kristi Cook

Title: Haven
Author: Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal Fiction
Pages: 416
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

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.

My thoughts:
I was looking forward to reading this book because it had to do with psychic abilities.  Little did I know that I was diving face first into yet another vampire romance.  I can cross Haven off of my wishlist because, truthfully, I didn't like it enough to buy a copy of my own.  

The story begins in Winterhaven, a boarding school that drew Violet in after her dad's death.  She gets settled in, makes friends almost immediately, and catches the eye of the hunky mysterious Aidan Gray.  Though she seems to have everything under control, she holds one huge secret from everyone.  Ever since she was little she's had visions- usually of bad things happening to people she cares for.  With a little help from her friends, Violet comes to realize that everyone at that school has a "gift", whether it's telekinesis, shape shifting, astral projection, mind reading or precognition.   

Though Aidan has never taken interest in any of the other girls at the school, he and Violet grow closer once their professors ask him to help her catch up on her studies.  From that point, there's a spark and a romance ignites.  They're drawn to each other for reasons they can't explain and throughout the story, there's plenty of tension between them.  

My favorite part of the book didn't even take place in Winterhaven.  It was when she took the weekend to visit her step-mom in Manhattan.  She got lost in the city, her body intentionally moving the opposite direction of where she was supposed to go, her first vision of Aidan coming true.  This is one of the parts where you realize how much Aidan cares for Violet despite knowing her for such a small amount of time.  He teaches her about his past and reveals his true form to her.  For some reason, these parts were incredibly romantic to me.

Though the rest of the story was predictable, it was entertaining from the middle to the end.  I feel like I've read something very similar to this book before, though.  It was published in 2005.  Twi...something.  Oh right.  Twilight.  I couldn't help but groan when I started seeing the resemblance.  I've already read Twilight.  I own it.  I don't need to read another version of it over and over.  I understand that's what is/ was popular with the YA readers after 2008, but please think of something more original.  All the similarities were there.  Girl goes to new school, mysterious boy takes interest, mysterious boy misses classes constantly, mysterious boy saves girl from thug in alley, mysterious boy and girl fall in love, mysterious boy and girl fight over their differences, mysterious boy and girl battle evil man.  *sigh*

Overall, there were some things I loved and some things I really didn't care for.  I loved the references to Buffy and Neil Gaiman's "Stardust".  I loved that Violet's friends had dirty minds and talk like most teenagers do with each other.  I also loved- as cheesy as it is- the bond between Aidan Gray and Violet.  So maybe it wasn't a refreshing new book that swept me off my feet and made me fall in love.  I still thought it was good, so I give it a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.    

1 comment:

  1. Hm, yeah that sounds like the type of book I'm tired of reading. Thanks for the review!