Haven by Kristi Cook
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Received from publicist for honest review
Summary: Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven. At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet's horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical--and deadly--way.
My Review: Who loves books that take place in boarding schools? Me! Me! Winterhaven, established a delightful addition to the ever-growing amount of homes for supernatural students. Cook's fluid writing style and receptive characterizations created an immediate comfort level that carried throughout most the novel. The only flaw I experienced, especially during the middle, was the obvious supernatural clichés. But, in defense of Kristi's debut, it is hard nowadays to spin a repetitive concept with a fresh approach. The introduction into Violet's world was easy going and amusing. I really liked her ability to roll with the punches even when her visions started to creep into her daily activities. Being able to see future visions of family members in danger is one power I'd never want to handle. So, my sympathy for Violet's hardships escalated as time went on.
The feeling of acceptance from her new roommates was just the right medicine for Violet's depressed state after her father's death. Each one of their personalities contributed something eccentric to the mix. I actually wished the novel followed them around, instead of Violet falling for the mysterious Aiden. At first, I didn't quite understand the deal behind Aiden's trance like power over all the girls. However, once his secret was revealed, everything started making sense. Unfortunately, his supernatural being wasn't very special. The thing that gave this story an edgy sadness was the unnatural connection between the two. The unforeseen gifts that Violet learned about herself helped build an exciting opening for a seemingly action packed sequel. I look forward to continuing the simmering war between the supernatural forces whose goal is to stop Aiden and Violet from happiness.
As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
For more info on Kristi, visit her sites: