Haven by Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Source: S&S GalleyGrab/Bought Copy
I have mixed feelings about Haven. There were some things I really enjoyed about the story, setting, and characters. But, there were a few aspects that took away from my enjoyment of the story as a whole.
I really liked that there wasn’t too much set up at the beginning. There was a little background on why Violet chose to go to Winterhaven and then it’s her first day and she’s meeting her roommate and starting classes. I have a thing for books set at boarding schools, so that was a plus for me. And also related to the setting, I loved that Winterhaven was set in Tarrytown, close to
, but still worlds away. New York City
The fact that everyone has an ability or something different about them truly made the school a haven for Violet; it allowed her to feel normal in her abnormality. Though, I wish it didn’t take Violet as long as it did to realize in exactly what way Winterhaven was different from a normal boarding school.
The secondary characters, Violet’s roommate and friends, were a lot of fun to read and it was easy to learn about the different types of “gifts and talents” through their scenes and conversations. I wish that there had been more scenes with Violet and her roommate.
My biggest issue with Haven (and judging from the reviews I’ve read, I’m in the very tiny minority here) was Aidan and the brooding loner/unattainable guy falls for the new girl trope. I just didn’t see the attraction of the “Aidan Effect.” And maybe it was the back and forth nature of their relationship: she likes him, she doesn’t, she likes him, she’s made at him, he ignores her, she forgives him, etc., but something about Aidan and Violet’s relationship didn’t sit right with me.
Time didn’t seem to flow smoothly, it jumped around – in one paragraph it was one day and in the next it was days or weeks later. I’m hoping that it was just a formatting issue, because if there had been some sort of separator or visual way for the reader to know that some time had passed, the issue would have been resolved.
The last few chapters flew by, since they were jam packed with preparations for fighting the Big Bad Evil. It was nice that the most kick-butt characters weren’t the stereotypical ones you would expect. The main story was wrapped up nicely, but there were inklings of what pieces might be continued in the possible sequel.
Haven might not have been for me, but I know that there are tons of other bloggers and readers who have loved it and will continue to love it. And the teens at my library will love it as well.
Plus, an author who has references to Neil Gaiman, Phantom of the Opera and Buffy in their book is definitely an author to watch.