Mesmerizing, exciting, romantic, thrilling, and radically cool, Haven is the BEST paranormal romance since Twilight. In fact, it's BETTER than Twilight. Haven leaves an open ending for sequels, and this reviewer hopes the sequels prove equally as satisfying. (You heard it here first--I think movie rights will be sold and the movie will be a HUGE hit with teens).
Violet is strangely drawn to a boarding school in New England, and soon finds out that Winterhaven (Haven) is a paranormal school: there are shape-shifters, precogs, werewolves, astral projectors, and, yep, good ol' vampires. What makes this story different is that some vampires are actually working toward a "cure" for their sickness.
Enter Aidan--who is smoking hot and way sexier and more charming than Meyer's Edward Cullen. Violet is a strong female protagonist and a worthy warrior--fierce and confident--more likeable than whiny Bella Swan in the Twilight series. Aidan and Violet, with the help of a handful of super-friends (think The Fantastic Four, but uber-rad), face off against the biggest threat to their kind.
Readers who loved Twilight and Shiver, will devour this book and its sequels. 401 pages Ages 14 and up
Highly, highly recommended grades 9-up. Mature grade 8 readers--with caution, Aidan and Violet are quite sexy but not explicit.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist Texas
Visit her YA novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/
Violet McKenna is a self-proclaimed "freak" who, due to family circumstances, is forced to move from Atlanta to New York with her stepmother. Once in the Empire State, Violet enters Winterhaven School, a boarding school in the Hudson Valley that she was "drawn to" in a way she cannot explain. As soon as she settles into her new life, Violet finds out the school's big secret: everyone at Winterhaven has some kind of supernatural power, whether it's telekenesis, clairsentience, astral projection, or, in Violet's case, precognition. For Violet, learning of her school's special students is somewhat comforting. Now, she doesn't have to be a freak who can see the future. She's just another student who happens to have a special power.
But all is not perfect for Violet at Winterhaven. She is immediately spellbound by Aidan Gray, a mysterious and beautiful classmate who spends most of his spare time in the school's chemistry lab, working on a secret experiment. He rarely gives his fellow classmates the time of day, so everyone is surprised that Aidan is just as bewitched by Violet as she is by him. But Aidan harbors a very dark secret, one that puts his life in constant danger, and Violet is drawn into his world despite her own misgivings and her ever more powerful visions of Aidan's death.
Haven is indeed a pageturner. It's highly readable. It is the first book in a planned trilogy, and Miss Cook certainly leaves enough loose ends to justify a sequel. Haven will fit comfortably into Barnes and Noble's "Teen Paranormal Romance" section. Fans of Twilight will find Haven, if not original, then at least satisfying. (Book does contain some strong language.)
Recommended by Stacy Nockowitz, Librarian,Ohio