Hardcover, 416 pages
February 22, 2011
One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.
But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.
Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.
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.
Source: E-galley, Publisher