Jan 11, 2011

*Review--E-ARC Haven by Kristi Cook*

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.

I received this E-ARC from Simon & Schuster.
Well I can honestly say that this was an okay read. Haven is Kristi Cook's debut in the YA genre and I had heard about it through the blogging world and it sounded interesting. And it was, mildly so.

I hate having to talk bad about books, it's really hard and I know everyone's opinions differ. So let me just state that this is my opinion. Others may find that they like the sound of the story, read and love it still and that's cool.

The book started off a little slow, I mean it did start with Violet going to the new school, but it took her awhile to figure out this big secret about the school. As the BOC says, everyone there has gifts, and for some reason it takes Violet a little while to realize this. A day really, and there were all these subtle hints at it too. I don't know sometimes I felt she was a little slow on the uptake.

The mystery elements were built up sort of well. Like the mysterious guy she has visions about, Aidan. It soon becomes apparent, to me at least, what his "gifts" are. But it takes Violet a little longer, again, to realize it, and then she doesn't really believe him right away. I mean that part was a little much in my opinion. That here she is at a school with kids with psychic talents and some are shapeshifters--not necessarily animal ones, but still. There are subtle hints to Aidan's identity that I was surprised it took her so long to figure it out and then to be in denial? After everything she's learned? That was a bit much too.

The book also jumped from point to point a little fast at times. In one paragraph Violet would be saying Spring Break is in two weeks...then blah blah. The next paragraph jumps to her coming BACK from spring break. While it wasn't hard to follow it was just some serious time jumping in my opinion.

There were a few other surprises towards the end as well that were somewhat shocking. But also felt forced in some ways. I just don't know what to think of it really.

Violet was an okay character as well. Sure I thought she was a little dense at times, like she should have realized something was off here and there. But I can understand in some ways why she wanted to cling to the reality that she knew. But since that reality was already challenged and forfeited earlier on I thought she would be more accepting of other surprises.

And there is a romance between Violet and a certain character, but it definitely rings too much of another novel that kind of irritated me a bit. I mean in some ways it is just the standard paranormal YA love thing, but still it was too much like said other book in my mind.

Overall I have to give the book 2.5/5 stars. It wasn't horribly dreadful. I just got annoyed a little too often with certain things. I really hate having to talk bad about books, especially new ones, but Haven really just wasn't my style. It did have its good parts occasionally but not nearly enough for my liking.


  1. Thanks for an honest review. I haven't heard much about this book, I might still have to check it out to see what I think.

  2. I really must check out Rachel's other series (like this)! They look so badass!

  3. Jessica,
    How did you read these eARCs from S&S? On your PC?

    I haven't read any of their eARCs because I can get them on my Kindle and I have the original iPhone that doesn't let you upload any documents to it via USB. AND I'd read them while at work but I can't install any software on my PC and these eARCs require the Adobe Reader thingy. :(

    Email me directly if you found a way around this issue! (thecozyreader @gmail.com)

  4. I was never very intrigued about this book.... but Im sorry you didnt enjoy it so much =/

  5. Now that I have a NOOK I have to look at how E-arcs work... I am so new to this part of reading!


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