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Friday, August 26, 2011

Prep School for the Psychic Crowd! "Haven" is a fantastic YA novel by Kristi Cook

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
For:  Teens, YA readers
Pages:  401
Book 1 of a series

From Author, Kristi Cook's Website:

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.

“Cook’s first YA novel reads like a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers, and it will find a wide audience among female fans of gothic novels”

Such An Absolutely Cool Playlist!

If you’ve had a chance to read HAVEN yet, you might be wondering about that iPod that Violet gave Aidan for Christmas–what songs would be on his “favorites” playlist?

 What kind of music would a guy like Aidan like to listen to?
So….I give you AIDAN GRAY’S OFFICIAL PLAYLIST!  Or, “music to read HAVEN by.”  Something like that!  Some songs on his playlist have real meaning for him (for example, “October” by Broken Bells–Aidan’s birthday is in October, and it’s also the month that he first meets Violet.).  Others are on his playlist simply because he likes them.  And others, well…you’ll figure it out if you’ve read the book!  But the songs–and their order–kinda tell a story.
Hope you enjoy it!

Oh, and I’ve listed it at iTunes–so if you follow the link, you can find the entire playlist at iTunes, listen to samples, buy a song or two or even the entire playlist!  Here’s the LINK.

1.  Waiting for the End — Linkin Park
2.  And She Was — Talking Heads
3.  October — Broken Bells
4.  Young Forever — Jay-Z (featuring Mr. Hudson)
5.  In the Aeroplane Over the Sea — Neutral Milk Hotel
6.  Little Lion Man — Mumford & Sons
7.  Should I Stay or Should I Go — The Clash
8.  Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) — Green Day
9.  Bodies — Drowning Pool
10.  Let it Bleed — The Rolling Stones
11.  The Only Exception — Paramore
12.  A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under — WHY?
13  I Wanna Be the One — Fun
14.  Like Dylan in the Movies — Belle and Sebastian
15.  Bittersweet Symphony — The Verve
16.  Better That We Break — Maroon 5

The Dame Gives A Proper Review:

Dear readers of YA fiction, I'm so happy to let you know that "Haven" is great fun to read and relax with!  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I can recommend it without reservation to both tweens and teens, as well as YAs.  Of course, those of us who like to enjoy a soft read into the realms of the psychic and paranormal will love it, too.

Violet, the darling primary character, is a girl not too full of herself or too involved in her ability to forsee the future through dreams/visions. In fact, her ability scares her and makes her a sort of outcast at school. She's just an ordinary girl; however, being an orphan also leaves her in the extraordinary position of needing friends and someone to care about her.

When her step-mother gives her a choice of boarding schools, Violet is drawn inexplicably to Winterhaven. Arriving at her new school, Violent finds there's something odd about it and the students and faculty...  She's not quite sure she "fits" here, either.  This alone makes her a bit vulnerable, but when she meets Aidan, a gorgeous and mysterious boy in a couple of her classes, she's smitten...so is he.  Thus begins Violet's adjustment to Winterhaven, and its adjustment to her!

Kristi Cook is the perfect writer for this genre.  She carefully balances the fanciful, the dark, mysterious ebbs and flows of the paranormal, and love interests of the many.  Teens and tweens will find her book all they need to set them daydreaming!

Characters are fully drawn with quite thoroughly decided relationships to each other.  Each one has specific "skills," personalities, connections that are well defined, and can stand alone. In that they are interesting in and of themselves, it makes for a wonderful cast for Kristi's second novel in this series.

Aidan will take your breath away.  Ms Cook leaves no stone unturned to make him the vampire of your dreams.  Golden haired, glistening-slivertoned eyes, a hunk if we've ever read of one!  He's sensitive and manly at the same time.  Oh, give me room to fall...I'm falling!!  I'll take one, please...

This is a book that's perfect for a quiet weekend.  Why not this weekend?  Both you and your special girl(s) will love it.
Just don't leave it laying around before you've finished it.

4 stars for a fresh and fun YA novel

*Please see more information and special links at:

Deborah/Your Bookish Dame


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