12 March 2011

Book Review: Haven by Kristi Cook

Release Date: September 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Edition: Hardback, 416 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommended? Yes.

Buy the Book: Amazon US | Amazon UK

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. Goodreads Page
A boarding school for people with psychic abilities? Heck yeah, X-Men! Was that your first thought? Well, it certainly was mine! When I saw the synopsis for this book, I was honestly expecting Professor X or something of the like to roll down the halls in his wheelchair. Alas, Haven doesn't have as much in common with X-Men as I thought. 

The plot starts off rather slowly as we learn about what Violet's life was like before she found Winterhaven, and how she came to be at an elite boarding school. We read about her going through the process of moving in, making new friends, discovering that Winterhaven is packed full of psychics, and most importantly - that Violet has an instant connection with the hot, loner dude. (*Sigh*)

The time frame for this novel was a little jumpy. One moment we were in October, and then what seemed like two paragraphs later it was suddenly Christmas break. I understand that nothing happened in between, but still.. I feel that perhaps the timing could have been better, or the jumps could have been made to seem less abrupt.

Right in the middle of the book there is a FLAMING HUGE surprise that no one told me about. Book bloggers, you've done amazingly well by keeping this quiet - I applaud you! I wasn't expecting it at all (okay, the thought did cross my mind, but I thought that this was a book about psychics!), and while I was a bit hesitant about it to begin with, I did enjoy where it lead. 

Violet was a mediocre main character, with not many flaws or strengths, but she was likable enough. It was interesting to watch her going about her day-to-day life at Winterhaven, and some of the comments she made were quite funny. She was such a worrier, though! It was really weird to see people call her "Vi", because that's my nickname! I've never met another Vi before... but anyway, I'm getting distracted again!

Aidan was everything a lead male should be. Hot, broody, tall and mysterious. You know the type, I'm sure. His instant connection with Violet is never fully explained, and I do wish that this had been touched upon. (*Sigh*) This happens far too much in YA literature. I won't mention the "T" word, but I'm sure you all know what I mean.

Violet's friends were lovely and funny. It was really nice to read about them, and when they used their powers! I think that they could have been introduced a bit more gradually, though, to give the reader a chance to get their head around all the new names. But that may just be me being slow, as usual!

Overall I really did enjoy this book. I loved reading about the old boarding school, and I liked that I was so surprised by the plot twist! I'm not sure if this book is going to have a sequel, but I feel that it would work well as a standalone as well as in a series. 


  1. a book about a girl with psychic abilities, a hot loner dude and a kick ass surprise in the middle?... um, yes please! I think I'll be adding Haven to my TBR pile :) great review!


  2. I'm reading this one at the moment, but I'm still unsure of how I feel about it. I'm not that far in, though, so we'll see how it turns out. Thanks for your thoughts on it!

  3. Diana - All sound very good, don't they? ;) Thank you!

    Stephanie - I look forward to seeing what you think of it :)

  4. "I won't mention the "T" word, but I'm sure you all know what I mean." haha that cracked me up! But I know what you mean.
    I keep meaning to pick this one up. Especially since I love boarding school books.
    And now I really want to read it to find out what this twist is!
    Great review :D

  5. I love books about boarding schools as well :D
    Thank you Jessica <3

  6. The pace sounds a little slow to start but I'm happy it picks up and there's a surprise - ooooh I like that - just like Christmas presents.

  7. Okay now I'm dying to know what the twist is. I'm going to have to find this soon.


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