Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Haunting Violet

Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: August 1st 2011
Source: Bloomsbury Australia for review

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose. Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

From the very first page, I was invested in the lives of Violet Willoughby and Colin Lennox, an Irish orphan who was taken in by Violet's mother, Celeste. The beautiful language swept me off my feet and well, they say the rest is history... Violet has the true ability of contacting spirits and must use her power to solve a possible murder mystery, alongside her psychic mother who is really a con artist. Haunting Violet is an engaging story about a girl who wishes to find her happy ending without frightening spirits and meddling mothers, but with the boy who has been there for her since day one.

I love that Haunting Violet spent a lot of time on building and solving the mystery of Rowena Wentworth. It isn't a sub-plot that is occasionally referred to whenever we deviate from the romance, but in fact the other way around. I'm quite confident when I say that you won't guess the outcome of this mystery... Throughout, you'll pick out your favourite suspects and try to figure out their motives but Harvey manages to constantly surprise us as the novel progresses! As things take a turn for the worse towards the end, you'll be running a thrilling race to catch the killer and to make it past the finish line alive...

Xavier Trethewey is a wealthy man from a very respectable family, someone who Violet should be ecstatic about being courted by, and yet she cannot pull her thoughts from Xavier, the boy who has been by her side since she was nine years old. Whether he was putting toads in her bed or giving her extra morsels of his own food, he's always cared for her and doesn't believe someone like Xavier deserves her. He knows her as a person and values her inner beauty, rather than the outer beauty Xavier seems so focused on. It is quickly obvious to readers that Xavier will follow whatever his family says for the sake of their reputation, and that Colin is one hundred percent the right man for Violet. Even he doesn't believe himself good enough for her! Can I hear some "aww"s? Their relationship isn't blindingly sweet, but realistic and will really touch your heart with its genuineness and long-spanning history.

Haunting Violet is everything you could ever want in a young adult paranormal. The ideas are fresh, the characters interesting, the plot gripping and the relationships charming. Whether we're swooning over Colin, edging away from Xavier, giggling with Violet's best friend Elizabeth or throwing punches at her venomous mother, this novel will keep you thoroughly entertained and wishing for more. Having said that, the ending is perfect and will leave you with the tingles! A beautiful tale that I will happily read again.
Which cover do you like the most? At first glance, the Australian cover is obviously prettier, but the American cover relates to the subject matter... Thoughts?

Find Alyxandra on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Haunting Violet from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders

Definitely check out her website! She has many extras for Haunting Violet (other trailers, interviews, period pictures, graphics, etc.) as well as for her other books. Have you read the Drake Chronicles? Excited for Stolen Away? :)

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