Title: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
Published: June 21st 2011 by Walker Children
Challenge(s): Support your Local Library
Grade rate: A-
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?
Haunting Violet is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Harvey and I think I can now say I’m a big fan as I loved this book. It definitely falls in the “can’t put it down category”. Maybe my fascination has to do with my love of historical romance novels, and this book almost qualifies as one. I felt like I was wearing a familiar and comfortable pair of slippers. *sigh*
On with the review… Violet is a charming character. She is beautiful, pragmatic, not conceited and with a strong sense of morals and self-preservation. Violet had a difficult life and an abominable mother, I don’t know how she turned out to be such a good person with such a bad role model, but then again, she had Colin. I loved Colin. He is not only handsome, but resourceful, loyal, and he really cares for Violet and more important, he accepts her the way she is. I really enjoy Violet’s best friend, Elizabeth (lovely name, right?). She is also very loyal and open minded about the “Spiritualism” and loves a good adventure as well. I really came to hate Violet’s mother and I don’t know what it is about Lord Jasper that I quite can’t trust.
The plot was excellent and unpredictable. I certainly didn’t suspect any of it (although I have to admit I usually don’t!). It is a combination of paranormal / historical romance / mystery, it actually reminded me a little of both Amanda Quick and Julia Quinn writing style and plot building. The writing was easy to read and follow, the story line and setting was introduced nicely and the pacing was perfect. I only problem was that the ending was kind of abrupt and it left the story wide open for a sequel. What happens now with Violet and Colin? Can they have a future together? How would Violet handle her new-found ability? I can’t find any indication that Haunting Violet has a sequel, but it certainly should. Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top? I know I will start reading The Drake Chronicles soon!
About the Cover: I really like the cover, the significance of the river and the lilies is evident in the story. The girl in the cover looks “haunted”, I liked how delicate she looks and the colors as well.