Haven by Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: February 22, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal
The Story: 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.
My Review: Violet is an incredibly likable character who has struggled her entire life with how to hide the awful visions she has of her loved ones getting hurt. It's not until she arrives at Winterhaven that she realizes there are others like her and she can finally begin to be herself. She makes great friends and even begins to fall for the hottest guy in school: Aidan. In fact, he's so hot that he's been said to cause "The Aidan Effect" - which no girl at Winterhaven is immune to.
Despite the fact that Aidan and Violet have an intense connection from the start, she knows that Aidan is keeping something important from her. What she doesn't realize is that his secret is a deadly one and it's not just Violet who should be worried.
Haven is a rare breed of book that took me by complete surprise. I enjoyed this book from the very beginning but somewhere around the half way point the story really sucked me in to the point of no return. This book has a little bit of everything that makes a book incredible. There are psychics of every imaginable kind, fun friends, mysterious secrets, a hot lead guy, a surprising villain and so much more.This is not your typical one dimensional young adult paranormal book.
Without giving away any spoilers to the plot, I will warn you that there are some comparisons between Haven and another well known book series out there but do not let those comparisons fool you. Aside from a few minor details, this book is nothing like those and I can promise you the storyline in Haven stands on it's own two feet very well. I can't even tell you what you'd be missing if you chose not to read it for that reason.
The story was very well paced, the characters totally believable and lovable, and the story was gripping, intense, full of surprises and incredibly told. The tension between Aidan and Violet was sexy without overdoing it. Haven is a thrilling ride from cover to cover and a book I highly recommend. I didn't want this book to end and now that it has I am going crazy thinking about the possibilities for book two.
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 and I'm now anxiously awaiting news of when we can expect the second book in the series. Haven is a book I will read again and again!