Tuesday, February 22, 2011

READING: Haven by Kristi Cook

Haven by Kristi Cook

Publication date: February 22nd, 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Rating: 2,5/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011

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.
Haven unfortunately left me feeling disappointed, and rolling my eyes most of the time while reading it didn't help much, either.

I cannot think of one word that could describe Haven. I can think of three, though: lack of originality. 
In my opinion, Haven is a combination of scenes taken from very popular YA series, like Twilight and Vampire Diaries. To make it perfectly clear, when I say "taken", I by no way mean stolen! These small pieces obviously drew Cook's eye when she read them and thought that it'd be awesome to change them a little bit(some were left almost exactly the same!)and add them all in one book, thus very easily ensuring a YA audience. Apparently, this infamous YA recipe has worked really well for her, seeing how many people loved this book. 
Me? Not so much.

Pretty much every aspect of Haven left me with a "Meh.So?" comment. 
I didn't find Violet's character interesting, or Aidan's or any of the characters, for that matter. They weren't obnoxious or anything, but they were so bland you just couldn't bring yourself to like them. And what was with all the crying?? Doesn't matter what was going on, "Violet felt hot tears blurring her vision". I mean, she cried at almost anything! That's a recurring theme in YA books lately and I don't like it one bit!
Needless to say I didn't detect even the slightest spark, attraction, chemistry whatsoever between Violet and Aidan. That off-and-on-again situation made me feel like they didn't like each other all that much, in the first place.
The ending was also kinda meh(see?). We kept hearing of Violet's visions about Aidan's impending doom and how it was of the outmost importance she trained because these guys that were coming were so bad ass like nobody's business, but in reality nothing like that ever happened because the fight of all fights was 3 pages overall! And after that battle of obviously epic proportions(NOT), the next morning Violet wakes up only to learn that everything had been resolved and settled.
That's some of the reasons why I didn't enjoy Haven. What was the worst for me though, was its complete unoriginality. It was exactly like every other Twilight clone out there and I am not a huge fan of clones of any kind. It's called "creative" writing for a reason, people!

However, there were some parts in Haven I did like.
I liked that Cook regarded vampirism as a disease, with a possible cure and everything. I like the cynicism in that. 
I also liked the scene with the licking. 
Ewwwww, guys!Get your minds out of the gutter right now!That's SO not what I'm talking about!Anyway, it was a sweet and sensual moment and the only time the possibility of anything serious happening between Violet and Aidan, ever crossed my mind.

All in all, despite its OK first half, Haven let me down big time. However, I do believe that hardcore "Twilight and co." fans, will love this one. So I guess I can safely recommend it to them. 
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  1. Ooh...another fill in the blanks YA? No thank you! Sorry it felt like a repeat to you. I haven't decided whether or not I'll be reading this one yet, but I'll definitely be taking your opinion into consideration!

  2. @Natalie Yeah, I thought it was as unoriginal as they come.You should give it a try,though.You never know, you might like it :)


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