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 criticaland deadlyway.
About 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.
Read an Excerpt
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.”
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
A twilight knock-off but in some ways much better. My 1st read by this author and I was pretty impressed. I look forward to reading others and in continuing this series as well.
I liked this one. It was very much as it is advertised: X-men meets Twilight. The idea may not be original but it is executed in an interesting way none the less and I found it much better than other books of the same idea. I liked the characters and while Aidan's character is a bit aloof, I liked him better than I thought. I wasn't just interested in the romance of the story but the actual plot and thought it was so much fun! It reminded me a lot of Buffy and that's a good thing! Good book, can't wait for the sequel!
After the death of her father, Violet's stepmother informs her that she is going to boarding school. With a new high powered job, Patsy feels that it's the best thing for Violet. Given several choices, Violet is drawn to Winterhave in upstate New York.Winterhave is rather posh, and rather gothic, and Violet senses from the first day, that there is something rather odd about it as well. But she feels at home immediately. Upon meeting her new roommate, Cece, she feels that her life is going to change for the better.On teh first day of calsses, she hmeets Aiden Gray - the dark, brooding, and incredibly hot, aiden Gray. Aiden has the power to make all the girls at Winterhave weak in the kneeds just by being in their presence..including Violet. But there is something different about the way he stears at her from across the classroom. There is something different about all the students at Winterhaven. Violet begins to feel that she isn't as much of a freak as her old classmates thought, and that her gifts are not a curse. But will these gifts make her life, and those of her friends, more dangerious? Can she learn to control them to save her Winterhaven friends from an unknown foe?No racy contentFst pacedWell developed plot and charactersNot too much detail - gets right into the story - and sets a plausable sceneSuspensful and exciting!
While this book drags at some parts and I think the characters were a bit underdeveloped, I really enjoyed the story and the twists that went along with it. I hope that there is a sequel and we get to find out if a cure was ever found and whether Aiden and Violet get to spend their lives together quietly. Not a book that I would recommend for the beach or a long trip as I had to take quite a few breaks in it because I felt bogged down by the pace.
This book felt like a combination of other young adult novels; it was a mix of Twilight and The Sookie Stackhouse Series. It could have definitely had a stronger plot and more developed characters. It wasn't what I expected, with a slow plot and an abrupt ending. I guess if there's a sequel I will try it, but I wasn't too impressed with this book.
Apparently all YA books now are all the same thing. A girl starts in a new school, normally a boarding school, where she meets some new friends, she will feel accepted, she is not a freak anymore, and she will fall in love with the hottest guy in the school, who is also in love with her, but he is always keeping secrets because he wants to protect her. In less than a paragraph I just told you what this book is about. My first impression was good. I liked the way the author starts the story about Violet. Even though this part remembered me Fallen by Lauren Kate. I also liked the part when she discovers what is the main purpose of the school, something that also made me remember Dark Mirror by P.J. Putney, where the main character also has a "gift". Later comes the hottest guy, who is a combination of DanielFromFallen-EdwardFromTwillight. Like you see, this book is a big mix of different books. But hey, until here, I was happy with the story.What made me change my mind? Well... Too many cliches. After two hundred pages reading about Violet, who is worried why her two days boyfriend don't tell her what is going on, I just got bored. I can accept some similarities, but not a whole book full of them. Also, no development. Any. The story is about all the time how she met him, how she feels about him, why is he keeping secrets from her, and their amazing connection.Their romance, even though all the story is about it, it's weak. Not convincing. They meet and the fall immediately. No realistic, not even romantic. And later, the story turns in something completely different. SPOILER The main character Aidan is a vampire. OMFG! C'mon guys! The story looked really good, and now is catastrophic. Everything was good in a school of kids with special abilities. It was a good idea! What the hell is a vampire doing there? I thought for a moment that I had changed the book without noticing! That I was reading a different story or a really bad joke. I'm so disappointed. END OF SPOILERIn my opinion, this book doesn't even deserve a rating. I'm giving it just one star, because of the effort of the author, because it is not easy to write a book or create a story. 1/5
At first I thought that the premonition plot had been used way too much the same way but then I read more of it and became hooked. Because it's a SCHOOL of people with different powers ("We don't like to use that word"), I felt it was a different take on the overused storyline. I loved this book.
** spoiler alert ** ...I loved the cover! It is truly aesthetically pleasing to any book reader. It's the reason I picked up the book. The book itself, was disappointing. I'd just like to say now that the book has nothing what-so-ever to do with the cover. I was hoping for something more and I had high expectations from everyone else's reviews. Sadly I thought it was too much like Twilight. Strange hot guy, girl who's "special", and the first meeting where they "connect". I was so disapointed when I found out I had read half the book to read another vamp. book. Their conversations were lacking and the book had dialogue I, nor any of my friends would say. Aidan and Violet's relationship included studying, a few dates and kisses. Even when Aidan keeps leaving and ignoring her, they fall in love. It felt as if it was more lust than love. She even ditches her friends for Aidan. ...I did like some parts of the book. It's a more different twist on vampires and psychic gifts. I liked the plot, but I wished Cook would have embellished it a bit more. Over all, I'd give it a 3.5 and recommend the book for vamp. fans. Just get it from your library, if you're not sure.
Warning: Spoilers followApparently my capacity for books with vampires in them is infinite! I was willing to bet that I wouldn't enjoy Haven, because I thought I'd had my fill of vampire-mortal Twilight knock offs, but I was wrong. Here's why I liked it: I liked the "gifts" possessed by her friends, and liked the idea of an X-men like kind of school where those who are different can be accepted. It's a universal theme, and what's not to like. I liked that even within this haven, there was still a scorned group, the shifters, and that Violet did something about that when the opportunity arose. I liked the reaction of her friends when Violet first starts seeing Aidan; their curiosity and their teasing because it seemed completely natural. Gifted or not, budding love inspires the same reactions. I also liked that later on in the book, there was an explanation for why they Violet was so instantly attracted to Aiden. Some reviewers have criticized the speed with which they fall for each other, but it is explained once you know more details of a Sabbat, and I liked that too.I liked the source of the conflict; that someone, Julius, would be threatened by someone and act on it, without even checking out the details to find out if a cure really would be a threat to him. The science geek in me even liked the idea of vampirism being a parasitic disease. So, even though there were multiple similarities to many other vampire romance in a school novels I've read, Evernight comes to mind first, I still enjoyed reading this one, and am willing to be that the YA readers at my school do as well. I'm betting that once it is borrowed, I won't see if back on the shelf until the end of the year.The thing I didn't like at all was the cover. Usually, I can look at the cover after I've read a book and discern why certain features have been chosen, but in this case, I'm completely baffled. There is NO significance or reference in Haven to a butterfly resting on a closed book. On the back of the cover, there is, what looks like, a huge moth, which again has NOTHING to do with the book. I'm seriously annoyed by the choices on the cover. I don't give "book jacket" assignments to my students, but if I did, and one of them handed in the Haven cover, it would be an epic failure.
I think this review is somewhat spoilerish, so read at your own riskThis book started off so good, I was enjoying it so much and then I realized I've read this story before and loved it even more. Haven follows Violet McKenna as she enters a prep school called Winterhaven. Of course Winterhaven is not just any prep school but also has teens with special powers as students. Violet herself is able to have visions of the future about people she cares about, like her father and her friends. When she begins to care for Aidan Gray, the moody beautiful boy all YA books have, he of course beings to start in her visions. The pacing in Haven is very good, and it surely tries to put a twist in the paranormal teen fiction. The fact that Aidan is looking for a cure for his ahem condition is very novel (that is if you haven't read The Passage by Justin Cronin or the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater). The problem of this book lies in the similarities with another very popular YA book. Let me give you some hints. Mind reading, blocking your thoughts, mood controlling, and visions of the future, a moody beautiful boy with a dark secret and the ever present speech of you-should-stay-away-from-me. Sounds familiar? If it does then you might have guessed what Aidan's secret is and you, like me, have read this story already. I was mostly disappointed by the time I found out about Aidan, and there on had to force myself to continue reading because similarities between Haven and that other book. I kept reading only to discover that Violet resembled someone in Aidan's past, sounds familiar? Then you've read this book too or perhaps watched the show? Anyway, when it comes to both Aidan and Violet, or them as a couple I mostly was left blank. I didn't like them or hate them, they were just meh.There were basically two elements that are somewhat novel in this book, the prep school setting (which I doubt is that original in YA) and Aidan wanting a cure. Except that there's no reason for Aidan to want that cure, at least not before meeting Violet (and he did start working on that cure before meeting Violet). Aidan's can control his bloodlust, except with Violet. Why? It's never really explained. I think the author just didn't want to go to the smexy stuff. Aidan being what he is doesn't seem such a bad curse to be honest, the author doesn't a good job at telling you why it is curse; in fact, the author makes it really attractive with all the super powers. Aidan even has an elixir that allows him to walk in the sun, and not sparkle. In the end this book is Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and Buffy all rolled into one, so read at your own risk. Personally, I found it a turn-off, but who knows, if you're not tired (unlike me) of this genre then it might be good for you. I had a really hard time rating this book for this reason, it wasn't that I didn't like it, I just found it unoriginal.Will I read the next one? Only if I get an ARC, or library, definitely won't be spending money on it.Rating: 2.5/5Cover Commentary: Unless I missed something, there are no butterflies in this story.
Loved this book and all of its characters especially Aidan and Violet...
This was similar in some ways to another series out there. On that note I must say, we as readers read a lot of books that are similar to others out there. I loved the idea that Violet has always felt different because she has a secret she could tell to no one. Once she gets to Winterhaven School she immediately realizes she¿s not alone. Everyone else has these same secrets and she fits right in. That is until she meets Aidan Gray. She is immediately drawn to him and yet at the same time she knows he holds an even bigger secret. The character were realistic enough. The supporting characters were believable and charming and added the extra spice to the story. This was a very quick and easy read. It has all of the elements to grab you and hold you from the beginning. Any teen or adult who loves the young adult paranormal genre will enjoy this. This is Kristi¿s debut novel so we need to keep an eye on her to see what she gives us next.
I have to say that I did enjoy this read. There were parts where it reminded me of some other popular paranormal book(s) that I won't name, but if you read it and you've read the other(s) ¿ I'm sure you can distinguish from there. However, this didn't deter from the read at any point because, let's be honest, you're always going to be able to find similarities between books.Haven was a fairly quick read for me. I don't think that it was so much page volume as much as that the story did draw me in. Violet is a wonderful protagonist that was very easy to relate to and actually like ¿ which is a gift in itself. There are so many stories where the main character is whiny, spoiled and just not likable ¿ I'm glad that's not the case with this one because it makes the story that much harder to read. AND, another bonus ¿ her friends were just as likable. I think this is the first read I've read this year where I haven't had some kind of ¿bad friend¿ complaint about the secondary characters. Definite kudos there. The love interest was just as swoon-worthy as you can imagine, though I think the chemistry could have been shown a little more to make the romance more believable. I need reasons to believe that an attraction is there, I don't just like being told that it's there and just accept it.The plot and storyline were great. Kristi did a good job of putting cliches together in her own original story and I definitely respect her for that. Her writing was clear, smooth, and overall just easy to read. There was just enough description and action to make it a wonderful read. The climax, I think, was the shortcoming of the book. I would have liked a little more action in that part of the story, but it was enough to quench. After reading Haven, I was left with some questions. I don't know if the author meant to do that or if it was something that was just skipped over, but the questions I have aren't anything that I'll lose sleep over ¿ just common curiosity.Overall, Haven was a good read that will grab your attention and keep you turning the pages. The plot's good and the characters are even better. I'd recommend this for any of my paranormal romance lovers that like young adult novels.