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Haven

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Overview

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 ...

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Haven

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cook’s first YA novel reads like a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers, and it will find a wide audience among female fans of gothic novels" —Booklist

"If you're looking for a refreshing and unique paranormal read, look no further because Haven is the book for you. Filled with interesting plot lines, well-developed, relatable characters, and a swoon-worthy romance, this a book that manages to have it all and more!" —Lauren, goodreads.com

"Haven is a riveting, exhilarating and spectacular new story from a promising debut author that I couldn't get enough of. Days after finishing the book, I still can't get these characters out of my head. Haven is a book I will read again and again!" —bookscompleteme.com

"Seriously sexy... Hand this one to fans of Gray’s similarly themed Evernight and to all the girls who have broken the bindings on their Twilight books."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"I love love love loved this book. I was hooked from page one. I'd give it 6 out of 5 stars! Haven is a definite MUST READ and a GOOD CHOICE for READING!" —Wanda, goodchoicereading.com

"X-Men meet's Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Twilight... had me hooked, and left me wanting more.
Haven was the perfect mixture of mystery, romance and paranormal. If you're a Twilight fan, or a Buffy fan, then you'll love this book. "
—Christy, thereaderbee.com

"The pacing and structure of this book are extraordinarily good. The suspense builds and the action gets more intense, as does the anticipation of the development of the relationship between the main characters.

For me, this is a perfect marriage of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Lauren Kate’s Fallen. This book has all our favorite qualities, all in one lovely, satisfying package.

Anyone who likes YA paranormal needs to read this. Seriously- now. Go get it."
—Paula, readinglark.blogspot.com

"With a fast-paced plot line, continuously unfolding drama, a bit of romantic anticipation and a few well-timed twists, Haven is bound to be a favorite." —New York Journal of Books

VOYA - Amy Sisson
In Cook's Haven, Violet McKenna arrives at Winterhaven, an exclusive boarding school to which she feels inexplicably drawn. Once there, Violet learns that her precognitive visions are not unusual; all of the students have psychic gifts, and the school's purpose is to provide a "haven" where they did not have to hide their abilities. Violet is immediately drawn to Aidan, a mysterious and charismatic student who seems equally fascinated with her. If this sounds familiar, it is because this book is rife with the same emotional button-pushing made popular by recent YA bestsellers such as Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. For instance, Violet and Aidan share a fated love; Violet wants to move their relationship to the next level but Aidan nobly holds back to protect her virtue and her assumed fragility; and Violet both loves and hates Aidan's bossiness and protection as she becomes the unwitting pawn in a long-standing supernatural feud. Lack of originality aside, Cook's prose is natural and smooth, and the boarding school setting is enjoyable, if slightly unrealistic in its lax application of rules. More importantly, the book's emotional threads are precisely what will make this book popular among teen girls. There are a few instances of profanity, as well as a scene in which Aidan suggestively licks Violet's wounds clean, that may give some parents pause, but this book's potential popularity means that it belongs in just about all public libraries. Reviewer: Amy Sisson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When Violet's stepmother leaves for a new city and a new job, the teen chooses to go to a boarding school. Her roommate, Cece, and her new schoolmates explain that Winterhaven is a school for people with psychic gifts. Violet has tried to hide her gift of precognition and hated it because she saw bad things happen to the people she loved. She starts to have visions about a boy to whom she is inexplicably drawn. Aiden is pale, gorgeous, aloof, can read minds, and has other "gifts." Sound familiar? Yes, he is a vampire. He is using the chemistry lab to find a cure for vampirism. While at a school dance with Violet, his research is destroyed. Someone is trying to stop him. Violet's visions show Aiden covered in blood, and she fears that she might be his killer. Should she risk her life and soul to save him? Cook uses well-known vampire lore and twists it a little to create her own vampire/psychic world. She also uses Violet's visions to foreshadow the plot and keep the pace of the novel. Violet is an average teen with special "gifts," but development of her personality and powers are lost to her immediate and overwhelming obsession with a boy she barely knows. Average paranormal fare that is aimed at Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series (Little, Brown) fans.—Samantha Larsen Hastings, Riverton Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews

What begins as a magic-school story turns into yet another star-crossed romance between vampire and hunter. Violet has always kept her psychic visions a secret, but at Winterhaven, her new boarding school, every student has a paranormal "gift." On her first day, Violet notices mysterious, aloof mega-hottie Aidan Gray, who reads her thoughts and speaks to her inside her mind. Aidan and Violet begin a slow courtship even as Violet grows closer to her three new friends, a healer, a telekinetic and an astral projectionist. Nearly half of the book's 400 pages pass before the two big reveals: Aidan's secret identity and the depth of Violet's own powers. Despite some dragging exposition, tension builds as Violet works to prevent her dark visions from coming true. Moments between Violet and Aidan crackle with sexual longing, though Aidan's refusal to physically consummate the relationship—as well as his taking charge of developing Violet's paranormal powers—often feels patronizing. A final sweeping fight scene provides needed resolutions while opening the door for a sequel. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442407602
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 706,703
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: HL640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristi Cook also publishes adult titles under the names Kristina Cook and Kristi Astor. Her YA novels include Haven, Mirage, Eternal, and Magnolia. Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at Kristi-Cook.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Haven


  • I’ll never forget that first glimpse of Winterhaven as we pulled up the long, curving drive—gray stones bathed in the lavender haze of dusk, looking like an old European university, all flying buttresses and stone spires reaching toward the sky. Leaves in every shade of the autumn spectrum—red, yellow, orange, brown—littered the ground at my feet, crunching beneath my boots as I stepped out of the car and looked around. This was it—my new home, my new life.

Typically, I had just been dumped there as unceremoniously as had the luggage at my feet. My mom hadn’t even bothered to come along for the ride. Okay, technically Patsy is my stepmother, but since my real mom died when I was four and my dad married Patsy about, oh, two seconds later, she’s all I’ve got. She was always clear about her priorities, though—my dad, and her career, in that order. I think I made the list somewhere between the Junior League and Jimmy Choo shoes.

To give Patsy credit, though, she had made an effort to spend more time with me after my dad died. I thought we were making progress when she took an entire Saturday afternoon off and invited me out to lunch. But that’s when she dropped the bomb—she’d been offered a job in New York, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she called it. So less than a month into my junior year, Patsy gave me a choice: stay in Atlanta with Gran, or move to New York with her.

There were no other options, no one else to foist me off on. No living relatives except for Gran, my real mom’s mother. And as much as I adore Gran, I just wasn’t sure that she was up to having me move in with her and Lupe, her companion/housekeeper. After all, Gran was old, set in her ways. I didn’t want to be a burden.

And, okay . . . I’ll admit that there was more to it than that. Way more. I can’t really explain it, but once I saw that Winter-haven brochure in the pile that Patsy had dumped in my lap, I somehow knew that this was the place for me. I’d been so sure of it that I’d actually refused to apply anywhere else.

And so . . . here I was. Time to see if my instincts had been correct. I made my way up the stairs toward the largest of the buildings, the one marked ADMINISTRATION. Taking a deep breath, I pushed open a set of double doors at the top of the stairs and stepped inside, looking around a huge rotunda. On either side of me, two staircases curved up, like a swan’s wings. Up above was a stained-glass-tiled dome, a huge chandelier hanging from its center. Directly below it stood a bronze statue cordoned off by red velvet ropes. WASHINGTON IRVING, the plaque read. The school’s founder. Which, I had to admit, was pretty cool.

Letting out a low whistle of appreciation, I turned in slow circles, admiring the view. Wow. The glossy brochure hadn’t done this place justice. I hoped it was costing Patsy a fortune.

At the sound of approaching footsteps, I froze, my heart thumping loudly against my ribs. A tall woman with graying auburn hair came into view, smiling as she hurried toward me, her high heels clicking noisily against the black-and-white checkerboard marble tiles.

“You must be Miss McKenna,” she called out. “Welcome to Winterhaven, chérie. I’m Nicole Girard. Are these all of your belongings?” She nodded toward the two trunks the driver had left at my side before disappearing without a word.

“That’s it,” I answered, my voice a bit rusty. “I had the rest of my stuff shipped.”

“Very good. Just leave them there, and I’ll take you right up to the headmaster’s office. Dr. Blackwell is looking forward to welcoming you.”

“Great.” I tried to sound enthusiastic. Glancing back one last time at my trunks, I followed Mrs. Girard up the stairs on my left and down a long hall lined with portraits of stern-looking old men in suits. Former headmasters, I guessed.

Finally we stopped in front of a large, arched wooden door that looked like it belonged in a medieval castle. Mrs. Girard knocked three times before turning the brass handle. “Dr. Blackwell?” she called out, stepping inside with me trailing behind. “The new student has arrived.”

A leather chair swiveled around, startling me so badly that I took a step back and nearly tripped over my own feet. A man sat behind the massive desk, watching me. His hair was totally silver, but his skin was surprisingly smooth except for crinkles at the corners of his eyes—eyes as silver as his hair. With his wire-rimmed spectacles and a pipe between his teeth, he looked just like I imagined a headmaster should.

“Welcome, Miss McKenna. What a pleasure to meet you.”

“Th-thank you, sir,” I stammered.

“And how was your journey?”

“I think I slept through most of it,” I answered truthfully.

“I do hope you were able to explore the city a bit before coming here. I told your stepmother there was no rush.”

“I did, thanks.” I had spent two weeks helping Patsy settle into her new apartment on the Upper East Side.

“Very good.” He nodded. “Thank you, Nicole. I’ll ring the bell when I’m ready for you to show Miss McKenna to her room.”

“Very well, sir,” the woman replied, then took her leave with one last smile in my direction.

Dr. Blackwell motioned for me to take a seat opposite him, so I settled myself into the chair across from his desk.

“Well, then,” he said, laying down his pipe and shuffling a stack of papers. “I have your transcripts right here. Quite impressive. Windsor Day School, advanced classes, honor roll. A fencer.” He took off his glasses and looked up at me. “Hmm, on the state championship team, it says.”

“Yes, sir. I’m recovering from an injury, though.” Almost out of habit, I reached across to rub my right shoulder.

“Well, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve quite a fencing program here at Winterhaven. Our instructor is an Olympic gold medalist. I’m sure there will be a place for you on the girls team.”

I shifted in my seat. At Windsor we’d had just one team— and I had been the only girl on it.

“As to your schedule, we’ve made some placements based upon your credits, but you’ll find our class offerings a little different here from those at Windsor Day. If anything doesn’t appeal to you, let us know at the end of the day tomorrow and we’ll make the necessary adjustments.”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine.” I took the page he pushed across the desk.

“Breakfast is served in the dining hall from seven till eight thirty, lunch at noon, and dinner from five to six thirty.” He shuffled through some more papers on his desk. “Let’s see, you’ll be in the East Hall dormitory. Mrs. Girard is house-mistress there, and her word is law. I’m sure I needn’t tell you that smoking and alcoholic beverages are strictly forbidden. Mrs. Girard will inform you of the remaining dormitory rules when she shows you to your room.”

I must have looked panicked, because he smiled a gentle, grandfatherly smile. “I assure you, they are nothing too strict. Now then, have you any questions for me?”

“Um, a roommate?” I asked hopefully.

“Ah, yes. You do have a roommate, and she’s eagerly awaiting your arrival. Miss Cecilia Bradford. I believe you’ll get on famously.”

I nodded, hoping he was right. I wanted to fit in. To blend in.

Dr. Blackwell steepled his hands beneath his chin, silently watching me for a moment. “I’m very sorry about your father’s death, Miss McKenna,” he said, startling me.

My stomach rolled over in my gut. Was that information there in the papers on his desk? It had happened two years ago, but it still felt like yesterday. I couldn’t stand to think about it, even now. Especially now. What doesn’t break us only makes us stronger, Gran liked to say, but it never did make me feel any better.

“Quite tragic,” the headmaster added. “Not something one can easily forget, is it?”

“No,” I muttered, dropping my gaze to my lap. It wasn’t easy to forget, especially when people kept bringing it up.

“I imagine that tomorrow will be a day of discovery for you. You might find yourself somewhat . . . surprised by what you find here at Winterhaven. If you have any questions or simply need to talk to someone, my door is always open. Figuratively speaking, of course.”

I only nodded in reply.

“Well, then.” He tipped his head toward the door. “Shall I ring the bell for Mrs. Girard?”

“That’d be great,” I said, standing on shaky legs.

“I hope your first night at Winterhaven is a pleasant one, Miss McKenna.” He extended one hand toward me as Mrs. Girard bustled back in.

“Thank you, sir.” As I took his hand, a shudder ran up my arm. His hand was cold—like ice—despite the fire crackling away in the fireplace behind him.

“Come now, Miss McKenna,” Mrs. Girard said. “If we go quickly, we might catch Miss Bradford before she heads down to dinner.”

With a nod, I picked up my bag and stuffed my class schedule inside, then followed her out. We seemed to walk forever, one corridor leading to the next, up one staircase and down another. How in the world was I ever going to find my way around this place?

Finally we entered what looked like an oversize, paneled study with a stone fireplace on one side, a wall-mounted television in the corner, and bookshelves taking up the opposite wall. Brown leather couches and chairs were scattered about.

“This is the East Hall lounge,” Mrs. Girard explained, “where you’ll have study hour after dinner each night. Other than that, it’s to use as you please. Vending machines are just over there, beside the mailboxes. Girls’ rooms are this way.” She motioned to the right, and I followed her into yet another hall, this one lined with group photos of girls, all wearing blue velvet gowns. About halfway down the hall we stopped in front of a door with the number 217 on it, and she knocked sharply. When no one answered, she produced a key from her pocket and turned it in the lock.

“Here we are,” she said.

Stepping inside, I quickly surveyed the place. The room was surprisingly big, with two white wooden beds on either side of a window. The required desk and dresser were there beside each bed, and an open doorway on one side of the room led to what looked like a little sitting area, complete with love seat, chair, and coffee table. Not bad, I thought. It was actually pretty nice.

Mrs. Girard cocked her head toward the bare side of the room. “I’ll send the housekeeper right up with some clean linens for your bed.”

“Thank you,” I said, setting my bag on the empty desk.

“I see your trunks made it up here already, and your course books are there on the shelves.” With a nod, she rubbed her hands together. “Now, then. House rules. No boys on the girls’ floor, and vice versa. No smoking, no alcoholic beverages. You will find snacks and beverages in the lounge and the café. The housekeepers come on Tuesdays and Fridays, so I ask that you have your clutter cleared away on those mornings. No cell phones in the lounge, or anywhere else on campus, for that matter. They must remain here in your room at all times. No music so loud as to disturb your neighbors. Lights out by eleven on school nights, midnight curfew on weekends. I suppose that’s it for now. The rest can wait.”

There was more? I wasn’t what you’d call a party animal— not at all—but lights out at eleven seemed a little harsh, and so did the cell phone thing. I wasn’t used to going anywhere without my cell.

“Oh, and the restrooms and showers are just next door, on your right.” Just then the door was flung open, and a girl about my height wearing a pink robe and bunny slippers burst in, her hair wrapped in a towel.

“Oh!” She stepped back in surprise when she saw us standing there. “You’re here!”

“Good evening, Miss Bradford,” Mrs. Girard said. “I’ve brought you your new roommate.”

“You must be Violet,” she said brightly.

“And you must be Cecilia.” Deep brown skin, dark eyes, curly hair peeking out of her towel. She was beautiful, and I felt like a pale plain Jane in comparison.

She waved one hand in dismissal. “Oh, everyone calls me Cece. You have no idea how glad I am you’re here.”

Mrs. Girard moved toward the door. “Well then, I think we’re done going over the rules, Miss McKenna. Here’s your key”—she laid it on my desk—“and I’ll leave you two to get acquainted. You have your class schedule?”

I nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Very good. You’ll find a campus map on the back. Have a wonderful evening, then. And don’t forget, Dr. Blackwell and myself are available to answer any questions that might arise over the course of the day tomorrow.”

After she left, I turned my attention to Cece. She was standing by her bed, watching me curiously. “I cleaned out the closet and made sure your half was empty,” she offered.

“Thanks. The room is much nicer than I expected. Big.”

“Yeah, it’s not too bad, except for the shared bath. But you get used to it. And hey, at least it’s right next door.”

I cleared my throat, trying to think of something to say. “You’ve been here since freshman year?” I asked at last, knowing it sounded lame.

“Yup. Home sweet home.” She removed the towel from her head, revealing dark curls that fell just past her shoulders. “So you’re from Atlanta?”

“Lived there my whole life,” I said with a shrug. Same neighborhood, same house—just down the block from Gran, who’d live there her whole life. God, we were a boring bunch.

Still, it had been comfortable. If only Patsy had left well enough alone, hadn’t forced me to choose between her—the closest thing I had to a parent—and the only place I’d ever called home.

But she had made me choose, and I’d chosen Winterhaven. I tried to think of this as a new beginning, a fresh start. I’d reinvent myself—the new-and-improved Violet McKenna. No one here would know the names I’d been called—freak, weirdo. Half-jokingly, of course, but my friends had no idea how close to the truth they’d been, and how much that scared me. I was a freak, and I’d do just about anything to make sure no one here noticed it.

“Well, I’ve lived here my whole life,” Cece said. “The city, I mean. My mom’s family is from New Orleans, though, so we spend a lot of time down there. I think I’ve got some voodoo queen in my blood!”

“Now that sounds interesting.” I sat down on my bed, watching as Cece walked over to the sitting area and started picking up magazines that were scattered about.

“Just don’t let my mother hear you say that,” she called back over one shoulder. “So, what is it that you do?”

“You mean, like, fencing?”

“You’re a fencer?” she asked, carrying the magazines over to her desk and leaving them in a pile that looked in serious danger of toppling over. “You mean swords and all that stuff?”

“Yeah. I hear the program here is pretty good.”

“Oh. Yeah, sure. But I meant . . . you know . . .” Cece trailed off, shaking her head when I said nothing. “Never mind,” she said with a shrug, glancing up at the clock above her desk. “Crap, when did it get so late? I’ve got a student council meeting tonight.”

She hurried over to her dresser, pulling open drawers and haphazardly pulling things out. Minutes later she was dressed in jeans and a pink T-shirt, a touch of gloss on her lips. Very low maintenance—I liked that.

“So, you’re on student council?” I asked, just trying to make conversation.

“Yep, you’re looking at the newly elected junior class president,” she said with a grin, grabbing her keys off her desk and stuffing them into a pocket.

“Cool,” I said.

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Is it cool? I swear, sometimes I think I’m headed toward total dorkdom.”

“No, it really is cool.” Actually, everything about Cece seemed cool, which made me feel like an even bigger loser.

She paused by the door. “I feel terrible just leaving you here, fifteen minutes after you walk through the door. Want me to call some of my friends, ask them to come over and show you around?”

I shook my head. “No, I swear I’ll be fine. By the time you get back, I’ll have everything all unpacked and organized.”

She bit her lower lip, then nodded. “Okay. I guess I’ll go, then.”

“Go,” I answered with a laugh, shooing her out.

As soon as the door closed behind her, I looked around with a sigh, surveying the blank side of the room—my new digs, such as they were. I’d never shared a room with anyone before, much less a bathroom. It was definitely going to take some getting used to, but I had a really good feeling about Cece.

I couldn’t resist the urge to go over to her desk and straighten the magazines, though. Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone. Yeah, we were going to get along just fine.

Across the room, my cell phone made a chirping sound. Hurrying back to my own desk, I dug around in my bag till I found it. I expected a message from Patsy, checking to make sure that I’d arrived safely and all that. Instead I found a text from Whitney, my best friend since the very first day of kindergarten, when we’d trooped into our classroom and found our cubbies, conveniently alphabetized by first name, right next to each other. We’d sort of started to drift apart lately, mostly because she’d left Windsor for a performing arts school freshman year. She had new friends, new interests, and I had gotten increasingly busy with fencing. Still, she’d always been a phone call away. She still is, I reminded myself.

I scanned her message—asking how it was going so far—and smiled. At least someone cared. I sent her a quick text back, promising to e-mail her as soon as I got my laptop set up.

If I could find my laptop, that is. I glanced down at the trunks that held nearly all my earthly possessions, and sighed. Time to start unpacking.

Morning came far too quickly. Still in my pajamas, I winced at the sight of my bloodshot eyes staring back at me in the mirror.

“You’re going to miss breakfast if you don’t hurry and get dressed,” Cece said, eyeing me from across the room as she pulled on her shoes.

“I know. I just . . . I didn’t get much sleep last night. New bed and all.” I’d actually lain awake most of the night, only drifting off somewhere near dawn.

“I’ll wait for you,” she offered.

I weighed my options. I could go down now and face the crowd—get it over with. Or I could enjoy some quiet time alone and pull myself together. Ultimately I took the coward’s way out. “It’s okay, you go on ahead. I just need some coffee.”

“There’s a coffee machine in the lounge. At least, they call it coffee. Personally, I think they’re using the term a little too loosely.”

I had to laugh at that. “The way I feel right now, just about anything will do. What time’s first period?”

“Eight forty-five. What’s your first class?”

I hadn’t even glanced at my schedule yet. “Let me see.” I grabbed my bag and rummaged through it till I found the sheet Dr. Blackwell had given me. “First period, Hackley Hall, Corridor A, Room 312. Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain.” Wow, that was a sophisticated-sounding course for high school.

“That’s an advanced-level class,” Cece said, wrinkling her nose. “You must be a brainiac or something.”

I just shrugged. I’d been called worse.

“Anyway,” she continued, “Hackley Hall is where all the junior- and senior-level classes are held, and it’s the building just behind us. Here, give me your schedule and I’ll show you on the map.”

I handed it over along with a pen and watched as she scanned my class list, turned it over and circled a big rectangle on the map, then drew a line from what must be the dorms to the circled building. “There you go,” she said, handing it back to me. “After that, you’re on your own. Your classes are all more advanced than mine. But I’ll save you a seat in the dining hall at lunch, okay?”

“That’d be great. Will I get lost trying to find my way there?”

“Nope. Just follow the hungry crowd.”

“Gotcha.”

Grinning, she stuffed some notebooks into a pale pink backpack. “I just know you’re going to love it here,” she said, pausing by the doorway.

God, I hoped she was right.

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    Oh, bother

    I can honestly say that ever since Twilight came out, the originality of YA paranormal romance novels have dropped considerably. Yes, Twilight was a huge hit, with fangirls squealing over mention of "Edward" or "Jacob" - but really? I'm becoming tired of these poorly disguised Twilight imitations. Violet is Bella, no rocket science there. New girl, a bit awkward, fits in right away, yada yada yada - oh look, here comes the mysterious, ridiculously handsome hottie! Seemingly off-limits, every girl's dream come true - cough cough Edward cough cough. Aidan and Violet fall for each other under mysterious circumstances, the boy is overprotective, the girl is exasperatingly dense, *insert groan here* I picked up this book in hopes of a more original story with lovable, unique characters. Big disappointment there. This book was a bit of a pain to read, and the whole time I was sighing. I would NOT recommend this book to readers in search of originality - 'cause you sure as heck aren't going to find it here.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Unoriginal and Poorly Executed.

    Haven was a extraordinarily dull and frustrsting read. The main character Violet and main "swoon-worthy" male protagonist Aiden were carbon copies of Twilight's Bella and Edward... and as equally annoying. Violet could not have been more grating on the nerves if the author tried. Aiden's interest and persual of her simply because of her resemblance to a past lover is ridiculous. The plot was poor and has been way overused. I was honestly glad when I reached the last page in the book. It was a struggle to read to the end and I wouldn't recommend Haven to anyone.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lackluster

    Kristi Cook initially intrigues the reader with a haunted, psychic heroine and a mysterious, apparently mesmerizing hero. Her writing strongly evokes the Gothic setting of Winterhaven and brings Violet's world vividly to life. Unfortunately, the novel quickly descends into predictability. The narrative seems to skim the surface of possibilities, showing only episodes and leaving out the background action that would give the story depth. The promise of developing Violet's mysterious and heretofore uncontrollable abilities is what initially drew me into the novel, but this aspect was mostly abandoned in favor of another typical paranormal romance.

    Aidan's secret becomes clear within the first few pages, making his cryptic remarks frustrating and Violet's obliviousness exasperating. They're both angst-ridden and seem to fight in every chapter. It is difficult to buy the rapid romance when they are so hot-and-cold, and the reader isn't shown many of the moments where they actually bond. Their relationship feels imbalanced: Aidan is always so cold, controlling and dispassionate that it is difficult to warm up to him as a character, while Violet is left in tears, blaming herself. I do appreciate that Cook doesn't sugarcoat the realities of Aidan's secret, and adds a few promising elements to the typical lore that I would like to see further developed in future novels.

    ~Review thebookishtype[dot]blogspot[dot]com

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    Not that great at all..

    At first, this book was interesting. I was intrigued by what Violet's gift would lead to. When Aidan came in I was even more interested. But the book quickly fell. It was dull and I truly just read it because I couldn't find another book to read. I didn't finish this book so there could've been some amazing ending but I highly doubt it. This book lacked detail and I sadly don't recommend it.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    It called to me like Winterhaven School...

    I started reading this book for free while browsing through Barnes and Noble. One iced skinny vanilla latte and an hour later, my Nook notified me that I was done my hour and could come back tomorrow or buy Haven. Duh! I bought it..and promptly finished the book the next day. Loved the story...how it developed..and the characters too! Can't wait to see what happens in the next book...I'm hooked!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Dont read this it will save u a lot of time

    Thats all i can say... and that i hated it

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Is this Haven? No, it's the Aidan effect

    You'd think that the whole "private school + new girl + magic" theme would get old, and after Hex Hall you might be afraid to try another book in that genre, but let me assure you that Haven may be an option to keep you from going through withdrawals after devouring Demonglass whole! I thought Ms. Cook's vampire mythology was pretty unique - and I liked how she made it so scientific that it could almost be curable! Questions are still left unanswered, but purposefully since this is uncharted territory after all. What happens to the 100-year-old vampire when he or she is cured? When you say "reverse" does it mean actually aging so fast to catch up to your actual age - or will it simply allow the aging process to resume itself? Beyond the intriguing food-for-thought, I did enjoy the "Aidan effect" on Violet and her classmates. It was rather cute, if not unfair for everyone since Aidan had the abilities to read their minds at any given moment. He was rather adorable, even though he was rather frustrating at times like a typical specimen of the male persuasion. Towards the end, Haven got a little Buffy-esque. I was afraid that it would seem over-the-top since it seemed to come out of the blue, but it actually worked out okay. We all could use a little more Buffy in our literature anyhow, and Violet and her friends remind me fondly of the Scooby Gang. Haven didn't make me laugh nearly as much as Hex Hall, but I really enjoyed getting to know this new private school and can't wait to find out a little more about the Haven secrets!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Driiiink Diet Coke....waaah~

    Twilight set the bar as far as YA Paranormal romances are concerned. Alot of other novels like this one, fail to try and push themselves to the next level. Why is Aiden so attracted to Violet (stupid name) in the first place? So she looks like his ex...thats hardly a reason to pursue someone romantically. What's that Violet? Not a whole school coincidentally where every one as special abilities! And all your friends are practically the same person? This novel also heavily endorced Diet Coke, every single chance our heroine sat down to enjoy her meal. These types of premises in novels treat teenagers like they're stupid and have no logic or common sense.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    Good book but the plot is not original.

    The book would have been better had I not already went thru the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse Novels. In comparision Haven in inferior.
    It appears to me that the author created a book that more or less combined the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse Plots. So if you like these novels you will like Haven.
    Again a good, fast read but not an original and the author is not as talented.
    I DO NOT LIKE COPY CATS!!!!
    Please do yourself a favor and do not waste you money.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't waste your money

    I've never written a review before, but this book is so bad, I had to review it. It's a very hard read. It starts off really slow, and then descends into a semi-interesting story line about psychic type abilities, which is what drew me to the book in the first place, but then of course it turns into yet another extremely melodramatic vampire romance to the point that it draws you out of the story, so you're actually looking at words on a page (versus inciting the imagination) and rolling your eyes at the dialog and clichés. The heroine Violet is annoying and truly unbelievable. I could imagine her character at age 12 or 13, but there's no way a 16 or 17 year old would behave the way she does. It was torture trying to finish the novel, and the main story line builds up to a total of 5 pages, which should have been expanded, and lot of other stuff cut out that was wholy unnecessary. Her characters besides Aiden were rather unremarkable, since she didn't flesh them out well enough for you to really care about them. I'm so frustrated that she could have written an excellent story with what the synopsis describes the plot line to be, but it's just a souless story that skips around and focuses on melodrama between Violet and Aiden. (If you want to read good Vampire Romance, read L.J. Smith - she also has the Dark Visions series which is a great psychic type focus trilogy, and they're amazing).

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Volumptious Precog. Meets Vampire of Her Dreams!

    Dear readers of YA fiction, I'm so happy to let you know that "Haven" is great fun to read and relax with! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I can recommend it without reservation to both tweens and teens, as well as YAs. Of course, those of us who like to enjoy a soft read into the realms of the psychic and paranormal will love it, too. Violet, the darling primary character, is a girl not too full of herself or too involved in her ability to forsee the future through dreams/visions. In fact, her ability scares her and makes her a sort of outcast at school. She's just an ordinary girl; however, being an orphan also leaves her in the extraordinary position of needing friends and someone to care about her. When her step-mother gives her a choice of boarding schools, Violet is drawn inexplicably to Winterhaven. Arriving at her new school, Violent finds there's something odd about it and the students and faculty... She's not quite sure she "fits" here, either. This alone makes her a bit vulnerable, but when she meets Aidan, a gorgeous and mysterious boy in a couple of her classes, she's smitten...so is he. Thus begins Violet's adjustment to Winterhaven, and its adjustment to her! Kristi Cook is the perfect writer for this genre. She carefully balances the fanciful, the dark, mysterious ebbs and flows of the paranormal, and love interests of the many. Teens and tweens will find her book all they need to set them daydreaming! Characters are fully drawn with quite thoroughly decided relationships to each other. Each one has specific "skills," personalities, connections that are well defined, and can stand alone. In that they are interesting in and of themselves, it makes for a wonderful cast for Kristi's second novel in this series. Aidan will take your breath away. Ms Cook leaves no stone unturned to make him the vampire of your dreams. Golden haired, glistening-slivertoned eyes, a hunk if we've ever read of one! He's sensitive and manly at the same time. Oh, give me room to fall...I'm falling!! I'll take one, please... This is a book that's perfect for a quiet weekend. Why not this weekend? Both you and your special girl(s) will love it. Just don't leave it laying around before you've finished it. Deborah/TheBookishDame

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    Highly Recommended~ YOU MUST READ IT!!

    This book is perfect for teens and for anybody who just loves suspense and romance!!! I finished this book in two days because thats how perfect it is!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Perfect! Wonderful in Every Way!

    It took one page, and I was hooked! This book is fantastic! It is adventurous, sweet, funny, mysterious, and yet completely relatable. The writing is phenomenal, and the story in ingenious. I love that it takes place at a boarding school, and the characters are so fun to read about! Check out Mirage, the sequel as well; it is just as amazing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    Recommend!

    I recommend this book to anyone who just wants an entertaining story. It's not a classic and not the next american novel, but that's okay because it entertained the hell out of me. I loved it. I kept it on my nook until last summer and I read it cause I didn't have anything else to read, and I was sorry I waited. I read it in a day and a half. I recommend. Be entertained!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Loved it!

    Absolutely loved it--can't wait for the sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty Good Book Review brought to you by Shae Haven was actua

    Pretty Good Book

    Review brought to you by Shae

    Haven was actually a pretty good book. It’s well written, it keeps you guessing about what is going on. It starts with a little background history on the main character, Violet. I really like when books start out with this. I like going into the story feeling like I know the main character. For the first part of the book, it’s all about Winterhaven.

    Winterhaven is the boarding school that Violet is just starting to attend in the first chapter of the book. The students all have psychic gifts, and I really liked finding out what every one’s gifts were. Violet doesn’t know the school is special. Violet meets a group of girls right off, and they get along really well. I like the fact that she ends up with close “friends” instead of just one new friend, on the first day of school, that is so typical. They all have different gifts, and after they help Violet figure out that the school is special, they let her know what each of their gifts are.

    The books goes on with normal teenage school stuff happening. Violet meets a boy, and they start dating. I felt like I was getting comfy. Enough was going on to where i wasn’t bored, but there are a few spots in the first half of the book that drug on. Then all of a sudden, vampires are added to the story. I love vampire books so I was drawn in a little more. I always get a little weary when it comes to Vampire books though, because YA vampire books can be so similar, and that’s very irritating to me.

    With Haven though, I don’t feel like this is one of them. Violet finds out she is something bad ass, and she can do way more than defend herself. So she is not spending the whole book needing protected. Other than those few dry spots, it’s pretty packed. Violet has “visions” that show danger is coming.

    I felt like the last half of the book was too rushed. They are just sitting around worrying about the danger. Violet decides she is going to need her friends help and starts making plans with them, and this only takes a few pages. The action is only a few pages, one of the bad guys is someone you don’t suspect, and someone saves the day that comes out of no where. I did really like how a werewolf comes into the story at the very end, because this is going to be a series, and that means that werewolves will be something fresh to explore in the next book.

    I really did not like the ending. It was really rushed. I felt things were thrown in that made no sense. I realize authors like to do this when they are trying to leave a book open for the next in the series, but I didn’t like the ending to Haven. It was a good book though, and I am left excited for the next book in the series.

    This review and more at openbooksociety dot com

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Aiden¿s the new Mr. Big! Haven is not only a must-read for Sex and the City fans, but for fans of friendship, paranormalcy and an exciting forbidden love story!

    In honour of Kristi and her lovely Facebook speech to bloggers, I’ll start my review with: "OMG! I *loved* this book! It was awesome!" and I am not making fun of her, I mean it!

    Without much talking and explaining Kristi Cook let’s Violet, our protagonist, arrive at her new boarding school Winterhaven. As Violet adjusts to her new school, we learn more about her character and past. She is a very likeable character and I easily made friends with her. Unlike other heroines she is a very reasonable character.
    Her love interest and male protagonist Aiden introduces himself as the anti I-better-stay-away-before-I-hurt-her supernatural and continues showing up at every possible occasion to meet Violet.
    Just as much as our heroine I enjoyed the regular contact with him and appreciated the very short time spans between their meetings.

    Where other novels take place in a time span of maybe two weeks with the first day the lover’s meeting each other, day fourteen them being through every possible conflict, Haven skips time periods without further interest in their relationship and continues the story at relevant points. Haven covers a time span of several months and so creates a reasonable relationship with believable feelings.Violet and Aiden have their ups and downs, romantic, steamy, sad situations, moments of denial and realization.

    At a school of unusual gifted children, they both stick out for another special ability or characteristic. I was surprised to find out what they both are, that nature destined them to be enemies. Their love has to fight against a constant fear of loosing their feelings for each other which makes it so exciting.

    I am a fan of an ordinary school setting combined with a good portion of magic and paranormalcy. At Winterhaven school there are plenty of exceptionally gifted children, everyone’s got a psychic talent from telepathy to telekinesis or other spiritual talents. I hope to discover many more talents in the next book.

    Although I hadn’t expected to meet certain supernatural creatures in Haven I didn’t get bored by their presence. First I almost felt disappointed by finding out one of the many secrets about Aiden but in the end I pretty much enjoyed the cool new elements Cook invented.

    In my opinion, a very good novel is always marked by a very good writing style. Cook applied a writing style that supported the story very well. Although I noticed several word repetitions, I find Cook’s writing just right.

    My interest in Haven was rised by a little bookmark sent by the lovely Loni @ A Casual Reader, so I was very happy to receive an eARC of it later. Haven kept me up all night and in bed reading all next morning. I couldn’t help it, each new chapter lured me even deeper into the magical flow of Haven.

    THE VERDICT

    Haven tells the story of Violet and Aiden, which is romantic, sexy and sad to all extents. You are a fan of the supernatural, difficult love affairs that aren’t destined to exist? Then you should visit the Winterhaven school yourselves to believe its magic!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Nice book!

    Really cool book - Made it kinda a cliff hanger on the ending. It's a real good romance book for teens. I would really like to have a sequal for this book! I'm keeping my finger crossed!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended - Loved it!

    Amazing story line with fascinating characters. Could not put it down - read it in a day. Just awesome!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    LOVED IT

    Its really cool and i love the fact the girl can kick butt.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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