Haunting Violet

( 64 )

Overview

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the ...

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Haunting Violet

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Overview

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harvey (the Drake Chronicles) delivers a fun adventure in the form of a Victorian mystery novel that captures the feel (and the flaws) of the age. At the height of the Spiritualist movement, 16-year-old Violet's mother is a con artist, taking advantage of Spiritualists like rich Lord Jasper, to whose estate they've been invited. Violet and Colin—an orphan taken in by her mother—assist in the cons, but Violet is surprised to learn that she can actually see the dead, and that the voiceless ghost of a teenager named Rowena wants Violet's help in bringing her killer to justice. Other complications include Violet's attraction to Colin (which conflicts with her mother's social climbing), an upper-class suitor, and Rowena's bratty (and very much alive) twin sister. Aided by her gossip-loving best friend, Violet unravels a complicated series of secrets, endangering her social standing and her life in the process. Harvey's writing is witty and brings headstrong, irreverent Violet to life ("Never mind finding an eligible bachelor, I mean to find a murderer"). The mystery is relatively uncomplicated, but the social complications drive both plot and character development. Ages 12–up. (June)
From the Publisher
"Harvey brings together with aplomb all the quintessential elements of a classic Victorian gothic: the beautiful but fortuneless heroine looking for a better life, the rambling estate with too many secrets, the suspicious-looking death of yet another beautiful girl, and, finally, the promise of a sultry and forbidden romance… The ghosts are genuinely creepy, the leading men are deliciously swoonworthy, and the ending is appropriately happy, making this a perfect accompaniment to a stormy night and a nice spot of tea." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

 

"Harvey (the Drake Chronicles) delivers a fun adventure in the form of a Victorian mystery novel that captures the feel (and the flaws) of the age… Harvey's writing is witty and brings headstrong, irreverent Violet to life. –Publishers Weekly

 

"Harvey keeps the narrative moving smoothly and well as she weaves romance, suspense and even a bit of comedy into the story…. A well-paced, clever and scary supernatural-suspense story." –Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

In Victorian England, the daughter of a fake medium finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery when she starts seeing real ghosts.

Sixteen-year-old Violet has learned to pick pockets and set up rooms for fake séances, but she knows she'll be stuck in poverty if she doesn't marry a wealthy man. Fortunately she's beautiful, and her domineering mother's growing fame as a medium has brought them to the country estate of Lord Jasper, a devotee of spiritualism. Almost immediately, Violet begins seeing the apparition of Rowena, a wealthy girl who drowned the year before. It's clear to Violet, though, that Rowena was murdered and that the dead girl's haughty twin sister faces equal danger. Harvey keeps the narrative moving smoothly and well as she weaves romance, suspense and even a bit of comedy into the story. She portrays many of Lord Jasper's aristocratic guests convincingly as snobbish and uncaring, although a few befriend Violet. The author makes her fantasy believable by having Violet see not just one ghost, but roomfuls of them, both ancient and modern. Most endearingly, Violet's newly found ghost dog attaches itself to her as though it were a living pet.

A well-paced, clever and scary supernatural-suspense story. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This novel is a mixture of mystery and historical fiction, with added bonuses of mediums, ghosts, and teenage love, all set in the backdrop of Victorian society. Violet Willoughby has participated in her medium mother's fraudulent séances since she was nine. Now 17, she is used to seeing her mother scheme rich widowers and old men out of their savings, and she is skeptical about the supernatural. However, on a visit to the country estate of Lord Jasper, Violet encounters the ghost of a girl her own age who is seeking help. Violet must find out what happened to Rowena, who died the year before, and she must do so quickly, before Rowena's twin sister suffers the same fate. She turns to Colin, her mother's assistant and the one boy she's grown to love, to share her visions. Also, there is a chance that Violet could escape her mother's wrath by marrying a gentleman of means. This all could be jeopardized if her secret ability is known. With the help of Colin and a friend, she may be able to accept her strange talent, prevent another girl from dying, and save her chances for a future free of lies. Readers will connect with Violet, who is struggling with coming to terms with her self-identity.—Shannon Seglin, Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802798398
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 6/21/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,339,533
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alyxandra Harvey

Alyxandra Harvey is the author of the Drake Chronicles-Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud, and Out for Blood. She studied creative writing and literature at York University and has had her poetry published in several magazines. She lives in an old Victorian farmhouse with a few resident ghosts, her husband, hawk, and two dogs.

www.alyxandraharvey.com

www.thedrakechronicles.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 7, 2011

    A great ghostly read!

    Haunting Violet's cover is absolutely gorgeous! Purple of course is my favorite color. Though aside from that, the cover is quite fitting for the story once you've read it. It features main character Violet ,hence the color of the cover,laying in water, which is decoratively adorned with water lilies. However, it is unfortunate that the paper used to print the cover on is bland. A shimmering and reflective paper would have enhanced the beauty of the cover to an entirely different level.

    What many readers do not know from reading the summary is that Haunting Violet takes place during the year 1872, thus making it a historical paranormal romance for young adults. Violet Willoughby is the only daughter of a fraudulent medium. Along with her are her mother, who believes that her work fraudulent medium work is purely charitable, Colin, an Irish orphan , and Marjorie, a maid-of-all-work rescued from a brothel. Readers will find themselves in Violet's point of view, witnessing the trickery both she and Colin are forced to ensue to make the fraudulent seances appear realistic to the paying spectators. Despite her mothers constant reminder that what she does is purely charitable and reassuring for the mourners, Violet sees it only as a new way for her mother to scam people of their money. Their journey eventually arrives at Lord Jasper's home, a wealthy gentlemen with an open mind towards the spiritual and supernatural. Violet's mother instantly jumps at the chance to impress everyone with her charade and bodes Violet and Colin to come along. Though what is not expected is that Violet would encounter a real ghost, one of Tabitha's sister Rowena. Not only that but Violet also discovers that she has the gift that her mother's been faking the entire time; the gift to see the spiritual world. Immediately, Violet, Colin and her new friend Elizabeth find themselves racing through their days trying to solve the murder. You see, someone murdered Rowena, though the families claim it was an accidental drowning. Rowena won't rest until Violet has found her murderer and this of course causes quite a bit of danger for our leading lady. Additional to the gruesome and sometimes hilarious ghosts portrayed in Harvery's Haunting Violet, there is also mystery and romance. The romance, however, is very slight and in no way destroys the original aim of the plot.

    I found myself enjoying Harvey's Haunting Violet very much. The refreshing tale of ghosts, murder, mystery and romance all taking place in the late 1800's was very exciting and fun to read. A recommended read for all young adults.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    3 1/2 Stars

    3 ½ Stars:

    I really wanted this book to be a great read; something that pulled you into the characters' world and wouldn't let you go. After all the rave reviews I read about it, I thought for sure it would be great. While I won't deny that Haunting Violet was a good book, in my opinion, it just wasn't that great.

    The premise of the book, a 17-year-old girl in Victoria Era England who starts seeing ghosts and has to solve a year old murder mystery, had me intrigued. I am a complete sucker for the supernatural. The mystery and supernatural aspects of the book were done very well. Not only am I a sucker for the supernatural but I am also a romance junkie, and that's where this book let me down.

    I'm the type of person who likes to see a romance grow between two people, how else is the reader supposed to appreciate and understand how the hero and heroine feel about each other? The romance between Colin and Violet just..was. It was very abrupt. There was no build up, no explanation of their feelings about each other before they suddenly realized they loved each other. It was like the author was too busy writing the mystery that she didn't focus enough on the romance part. We also didn't learn much about Colin's past, which I was curious about.

    All in all, it was a good read with a few flaws. Violet was a very likeable character, as was her friend Elizabeth. There were scenes that made me laugh and some that freaked me out. Although this book didn't exactly pull me in, it was a good ghost story and I would recommend Haunting Violet to a friend.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Not bad

    The book wasnt bad. Some parts were great, and interesting. But some parts were sort of boring and confusing. That might have to do with the fact that im only 13...
    Id say that if you like mystery and ghosts, you should get it.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Enjoyable Read

    Ever since I saw the beautiful cover and the intriguing synopsis for Alyxandra Harvey's Haunting Violet, I have been dying to read it, as if there is one thing I love its well-written historical fiction, especially if it involves something supernatural as well. Thankfully, this book perfectly fit the bill!

    For Violet Willoughby, she is starting to become sick of the life she has been given. She cannot stand watching her mother constantly trick people into giving their money over for her so-called séances, which are the definition of fake, as well as dragging poor Violet and Colin, her mother's young assistant, along for the ride. Better yet, she is also tired of her mother constantly telling her to marry a rich man when all Violet really wants to do is find someone she truly loves, someone who will let Violet be Violet. However, everything changes when Violet and her family are called to Lord Jasper's house to help conduct séances for his guests's entertainment. Soon enough Violet is involved in a murder mystery involving a snobby, elitist society girl and her dead twin sister who Violet is actually able to see. Will Violet be able to save the day before someone else is killed? Or will Violet soon become shark's bait herself? And will Violet ever be able to get out of her mother's plans for the future? Only time and more pages can tell in this mystery that will have nearly any reader thinking, "Who did it?"

    From start to finish, I adored and rooted for several characters in Haunting Violet including Violet, of course. Strong yet sweet, Violet is a girl who has her head on her shoulders but yet isn't afraid of letting her heart lead her way sometimes. It was always fun to see Violet interact with the different society people, and for Violet to allow for her talents in spiritualism grow also, as this portion especially allowed for Violet's coming of age. I also adored the addition of Colin, Violet's adorable Irish love interest, as well as Elizabeth, Violet's hilarious and headstrong best friend.

    The plot of Haunting Violet was also intricate. Not only because of the complex murder mystery subplot, but also because of the sprit powers Violet possessed. The murder mystery especially kept me turning the pages, and even though I had a basic gist of who the murder was for a portion of the book, I still managed to be a little surprised at how everything turned out in the end. I also loved Violet's romance subplot. Not only because it developed in a realistic speed but also because it wasn't a main focus of the story.

    Lastly, Alyxandra's writing was great in this. I had only read one book by Alyxandra prior to this (Hearts at Stake, the first in the Drake chronicles), and while I enjoyed her writing in that one, it took an even better turn in this book. I always felt like I was right there with the characters in the 1870s because of her descriptions, and her characters never failed to jump of the page and come to life. The only aspect I was a little shaky on was how I felt she modernized some of the dialogue between the characters at times.

    Full of adventure, mystery, and romance, Haunting Violet is the perfect summer read. Best of all, it contains a solid, standalone ending, and what's not to love about that?

    Grade: B+

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    A good ghost/mystery story!

    First of I just love Alyxandra Harvey, she has fast become one of my favorite authors. I have read all the books so far in the Drake Chronicles and I was a little curious about how she would fair writing about ghost instead of vampires, I wasn't disappointed.

    Violet hates what her mother does and she only goes along with it because she has no choice. The only upside to it is having Collin there with her, her long time friend. Collin was taken in by Violet's mother when he was young and raised up to help her with her trickery. Violet's mother claims to be a medium and has Violet and Collin help her to fluff it up a bit with tricks.

    Violet and her mother get invited to a Lord's estate to put on a spiritualist show for some rich people. The only thing is, Violet is now actually seeing a ghost. It's the ghost of a young lady who died the year before. This ghost is pretty persistent in trying to get Violet to help her, but Violet doesn't want anything to do with her. She doesn't believe in ghost, not after watching her mother all these years. This ghost does some wild things to make Violet finally believe, and once she excepts her real ability she starts seeing more ghost. She confides in her lifetime friend who believes her and they try and find out what happened to the young girl. Danger lurks near as they try and find out what happens and it could lead them into harms way.

    I keep promising myself that I am going to take notes and write down the characters names so I don't forget them but again I didn't and I can't remember some of the names and its driving me crazy. :( Violet is a great MC, she is brave, strong and has a great sense of humor. She can have a bit of smart mouth which makes her a fun character. She is also very determined once she finds out that someone else could be in danger. Collin is a few years older than Violet and has always been her protector and friend. He also knows he doesn't have any money or place to go to offer to Violet, so he tries not to interfere much when she is being courted by a rich guy (name I can't remember). He is very cute and I love the way he is always looking out for Violet. It has some great secondary characters as well that really makes for a great book.

    This book was sort of like a mix between ghost story and murder mystery and very entertaining. The storyline has a good pace and its a very fast and easy read. I would recommend it for anyone who likes historical, ghost stories with a twist.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    VIOLETSONGS STORY CHAPTER TWO

    Winter arrived early that year. The nursury was cold and damp. Try as she might, Violetkit could not make herself be completely warm or completely full. It seemed as if there was never enough of anything. Leafbare was not easy. On the fateful morning, Violetkit awoke as usual. Hungry and cold. She tried cuddling closer to her siblings, but they squirmed and sneezed too much. Harvestkit mumbled in his sleep " Food...Food..." and Violetkit was reminded of her own hungriness. Where was her mother? She looked around and saw her mothers spot in their nest empty. " Perhaps she went for a walk." Violetkit decided. Soon, she heard wails from outside. Disturbed, she peeked outside. There, in the clearing was Daisyhaven all wet and limp. " Mama!" She cried running foward slipping between grasps and paws. She nuzzled her but Daisyhaven didn't respond. " Whats the matter with Mummy?" Viiletkit screeched. Suddenly she was picked up by a shecat named Shinepelt." Hush kit, your Momma isn't here anymore."
    "Then where is she?"
    " Starclan."
    " Cant I see her then? Cedarstar sees Starclan"
    " It doesnt work like that sweetie. But Daisyhaven will always watch over you"
    " So shes.....dead.?" Asked the kit already knowing the answer.Violetkit began to wail. " Mommy! Come backk....." Violetkit thrashed against Shinepelt, but the tabby warrior held firm. Violetkit swung her head and saw her father collaspe into his grief, starting the wails all over again.
    Violetkit could barely speak as she asked," Why?...How?"
    Sadness and exhaustiom crept into Shinepelt's mew. " She was hunting alone. Chasing something across a pond that wasnt completely frozen over yet. She fell in and couldn't swim......" Shinepelt stopped at a loss for words. After a moment, she spoke her voice a dead whisper. " Why? We will never know. But she died a loyal warrior and is safe in Starclan. Alright? " . But Violetkit had not heard. Sbe had been with her mother. Wondering what would become of her and her siblings.
    d

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book!

    This book had a very entertaining story. It had elements of mystery, supernatural, romance, comedy, history, and more. I've already recommended it to friends. It reminds me of the movie "The Awakening" and also reminds me a bit of Jane Austin type novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Good Book

    This book takes place during Victorian times in England; it involves a mother being a fake Medium to provide for her and her daughter, and also involves a boy who latches to the mother to help her fake séances. Good story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Excellent not-too-scary ghost story!

    16-year-old Violet has been forced to be an assistant to her mother, a fraudulent medium. But something goes awry in their con, because suddenly Violet is seeing real ghosts. One in particular needs her help to bring her murderer to justice.
    Setting is 1850s England

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Best book I think I will ever read!

    I fell in love with this book just when I looked at the cover. Once you read the nook, and find out who Rowena is, you will atomaticaly see the resemblence.
    Once you start reading the first page, it pulls you in. You go along with Violet, a 16 year old girl who doesn't believe in ghosts because her mother is a "spiritualist" who does "seances" with grieving people to get money by "contacting" their dead relatives. Violet's mother likes to think she is better than anyone else, so of course she would need a servant boy, Colin. Colin has lived with Violet and her mother for a very long time. He would play pranks on Violet like putting an earthworm in her cucumber salad. But, over the years Violet has become fond of him and, like any good paranormal romance, Colin, after you mentaly begging him, finally kisses Violet.
    This book will have you lauhing, gasping, and even crying at times. The detail that the author put into the ghosts, how Violet reacted to them, and how Collin fixed it had me on edge at all times. It is so realistic that I wish they would turn it into a movie!
    All in all I think that tis book deserves at least 100,000,000 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Haunting Violet is an entertaining blend of history and fantasy with likeable characters and just the right dose of romance.

    I've heard many great things about Alyxandra Harvey's Hearts at Stake series, but Haunting Violet is my first actual encounter with her writing. If her first series is anything like her latest novel, then I can definitely see the appeal. In Haunting Violet, Harvey seamlessly weaves history and fantasy together to create a suspenseful and slightly spooky tale.

    The Victorian era is one of my all time favorite historical periods, and I love that Harvey decided to use it as a back drop for her latest YA book, Haunting Violet. This time in history is known for its obsession with the supernatural, and Harvey takes advantage of this by setting a real supernatural encounter within the frame of a swindler's hoax. It's obvious that Harvey has done her homework, as her construction and description of the (fake) seances that take place in the book are detailed and realistic. Including everything from a pair of bellows strapped under a dress to create a "otherworldly" breeze to throwing powders in the fire to make it rise and change colors, Haunting Violet shows the reader just how much the senses can be tricked into seeing that which isn't really there.

    It also didn't take me long to bond with the main character, Violet. Growing up nearly dirt poor, Violet's entire survival is based around the carefully constructed shams her sometimes abusive mother puts on for members of the upper class. Her only comfort is found in her mother's assistant, Colin, an Irish orphan whom Violet has been friends with since childhood. Because of Violet's unfortunate lot in life, combined with her unwavering perseverance and determination, I instantly sympathized with her, which made me fairly invested in the story line from the beginning.

    For those of you who are fans of romance, don't worry, Haunting Violet has a bit of that as well. What I enjoyed about the romance in the book was that it developed from a longtime friendship, and it didn't just suddenly manifest between two people who barely knew each other. One of my biggest pet peeves in YA literature is that I frequently find the romance to be immature and completely unrealistic. I'm happy to say that Haunting Violet was quite the opposite.

    It's not set in stone, but it sounds like Harvey has already written a sequel to Haunting Violet. Whether or not that sequel will eventually become available to the public probably depends on the readers' response to the first novel. As for me, well...I'd definitely be up for seeing some more Violet in the future!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I was really looking forward to this book. I love the author's Drake Chronicles series. Will I was a little disappointed in the end, I think it was something I should have expected.

    I honestly thinks it because of medium/spiritualism idea that I didn't like this much as I had hoped. I've read a couple others that dealt with this and I didn't particularly like them a lot either. I'm not sure why. I think I was thinking the ghosts would control more of this story than the seance sittings. By, the time they become more the focus of the story, it was already more than half way though the book. And that first half was really slow for me. The last 100 pages were my favorite, but it was almost too little too late.

    I did like Violet. You can tell she really hates what she does, but feels she has no other choice. Her mother is constantly making her think she owes her this. Wow, she was one wicked women. I also thought the ghosts appearing to her was really well done. I think the mood was correctly portrayed (who wouldn't be terrified by a dead girl suddenly appearing, dripping water, and covered in bruises). I was a little curious as to why she could suddenly see them. I understood that it was latent talent, but what triggered it? I also really like her friends Colin and Elizabeth. But, the rest of the cast of characters were actually hard to keep up with. There's a lot of them.

    I might have to avoid things that deal with the spiritualism movement in the future. It's just not something that appeals to me. I think I would have liked this book more without that. I do think plenty other will like it though!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Enjoyed it!

    This is a well written teenage paranormal romance/murder mystery, set in Victorian times. The believable and poetic scene descriptions brought the story to life in my mind. The characters are appealing and vivid. I liked it and quickly read two more of this author's offerings!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    It was ok

    I liked the pre-read but it wasn't as good as Tuck Everlasting,now that was a good book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    Wtf

    All u childish brats need to read a book and get off reviews. You are messing up the ratings. Grow up already!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Rose

    Whos on?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Bo

    This is Nami. My description is at larry res. 1

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013

    Liss

    Thts wat i thought

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Highly recommended.

    Great story a dwell developed characters!

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