Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Haven - Kristi Cook


                  HAI! Here I am, back with another review about a pretty intense book that I think many of you will enjoy! ;D

      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. More info over here.
                Well, then. This incredibly cool novel by Kristi Cook fell into my [computer’s] possession when 1)My friend told me about it and 2)It was available on Simon and Schuster's Pulse It website. Initially, I was skeptical because of the description above; a troubled teen with a secret psychic ability moves to a new school and finds true love – as well as true secrets. Kind of predictable, right? However, I’ll admit that I am a total sucker for these kinds of YA romance novels, no matter how grossly cheesy they get. *shrug* I never said my taste in books made sense. Don’t worry though, this novel is definitely not that extreme in its cheesiness – and I mean that in a good way. =)
          *SPOILER IS HERE* First, I’m going to address the most critical issue first – many people think this book is extremely similar – if not IDENTICAL – to the global YA vampire phenomenon, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. And it is true, BUT ONLY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. Okay, yes, the new girl has a connection to the hottest guy in the school (who has never shown any interest in the opposite sex until she came along), and this guy has some totally bad-butt secrets; like the fact that he’s a vampire and can read minds.

Does Twilight’s setting occur in a place where EVERYONE has cool psychic abilities; where the heroine doesn’t have to hide behind the act of normalcy?
Does Twilight’s main female character have impossibly talented friends (NOT family) who can do freaking stuff like telekinesis (moving objects without touching them), detaching spiritually from their body, diagnosing bodily ailments, etc., who are actually there for her when needed and can kick BUTT??
And does the male hottie (with awesome blonde hair and stormy blue-on-blue eyes) have REAL flaws and imperfections in his personality, making him a more tangible and relatable character, as opposed to being impossibly perfect?
                I can tell you right now that NO, Twilight does NOT have ANY of these elements, which makes Haven by Kristi Cook distinctly different from the popular vampire saga. Even the paranormal folklore about vampire is different; Cook’s vampires are complete with fangs, human blood diets and magical elixirs – very different from the sparkly vegetarian ones (but don’t worry, Cullens. I still love you guys!)
                All in all, Haven is a very enjoyable read, with just the right amount of teenage angst, romance, mystery and action. And I must say, although it was quite predictable, the storyline was incredibly entertaining and suspenseful, and I’m definitely going to keep my eyes and ears open about a sequel!! =D
 - sm:)e .

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