From the cover:
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.
When Violet McKenna's step-mom, Patsy, decides to take a job in NYC, it's up to Violet to either stay with her aging grandmother in Atlanta or move to New York...and pick a boarding school there. When Violet sees the brochure for Winterhaven, she's inexplicably drawn to the school and chooses it instantly. At Winterhaven, the reader is introduced to a cast of characters with special gifts, including Aidan--the ultra-hot boy that everyone loves but no one can seem to "get." Well, apparently, he was just waiting for the right girl--Violet. The novel follows Violet, Aidan, and her friends through a seemingly ordinary high school boarding school existence..until it suddenly becomes not quite so normal. Plot twists and turns are around every corner. With a good blend of the unexpected and predictable, the story is one to get lost in.
Cook is a new YA author for 2011 and I'd say that she's debuted on quite a good note. This story really had it all--a solid plot, a cast of likable characters, a swoon-worthy love-interest, and a little life-death action on the side. While I'll be the first to admit that Cook's story wasn't overly original, I thought she did a good job making it her own and adding enough twists to make it interesting. It was definitely a well-written storyline that pulled me in. It was a read that I simply couldn't put down once I started. (Ask my husband. I think he was a tad annoyed.)
The main character has the "cluelessness" trait that I have found to be quite prevalent in this genre right now. There are so many clues that lead you to the obvious (and even not so obvious) conclusions that she just didn't get. Cook pens her as another very intelligent young woman with little common sense. If you've read other YA paranormal romance, you know what I'm talking about. I think authors need to give their female teenage characters a tad more credit...but maybe that's just me.
At the opening of the novel, I was a tad worried that the book was going to be too much like other books that I've read in the genre lately. However, I will stand by this book and say that in the end it was a good book in its own right. The comparisons may be legit, but I felt that Haven was able to stand its ground as a well-written story with well-developed characters.