Saturday, February 11, 2012

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Release Date: 9th July, 2011

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 344pgs

The Story

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years partcipating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudelent 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 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?

The Review

A big thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a prize pack I won which included this book!

As a young adult author, I love Alyxandra Harvey's The Drake Chronicles and I'll read anything that has her name printed on it. When the news came round to say she was writing a young adult ghost story based in a Victorian society (a dear favourite era of mine by the way), I was absolutely thrilled to say the least and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. And not to mention it has such a beautiful cover, reminding me so much of Lauren Kate's Fallen covers. Now by the time I had the book in my greedy little hands, and rushed through the pages and came to the end, I have to say Alyxandra Harvey did an amazing job and the book was wonderfully written!

First of all, let's talk about the storyline. The plot - a great one at that - was thought out extremely well as it had just as many twists and turns that books are required to possess in order to keep you entertained, but it also had just as many romantic and haunting scenes that is a MUST in my book tastes. Another thing I came to realize while reading this book was that there was nothing rushed in the storyline, nothing that made me feel disappointed or found a 'lack of' in the characters themselves which came as a pleasant surprise since most young adult books have something missing in them.

One of the most important elements that stood out to me was the Victorian setting of HAUNTING VIOLET and the way it was written, both enriched with beautiful descriptions and handled with such realism that I could and would believe. While historical fiction may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is mine kind of flavour and for those who are not historical geeks, then you'll be surprised when you come to reading this book. With an essense of a Jane Austen novel, where women are controlled by their superiors and where men rule all, I regarded all of this Victorian society with great appreciation and I loved every moment of the descriptions . . . it was as if I was right there in the action and it was just . . . wonderful.

Now onto the characters. The main heroine, Violet, was my kind of gal. Seriously. She was strong both physically and emotionally. She knew what was expected of her for a girl of her age and in her society - to marry someone to give a young woman some worth in their lives. And of course, she stayed true to her beliefs throughout the novel and never faulted in those values. Despite her circumstances and her selfish and cruel mother, Violet remained strong and began to harness her ghost-seeing abilities with great courage and grace. What more could you want in a heroine? Colin on the other hand, the love interest in the story, is someone I loved completely. As soon as he entered the picture . . . I thought to myself, "Yup. You have me." My dear Colin is the poor boy whom cannot marry the girl of his dreams and he's the boy a mother in this era would definitely not approve of. Especially a mother who wants nothing more than money. But I could see through Colin without thinking of the 'poor' aspect. He's the Irish boy with a whole lot of heart. He's everything you want in a loving relationship. And he's a boy who will never walk away from the most difficult situations . . . even the ones involving ghosts. Damn. I want my own Colin too! As for the other supporting cast, the good and the bad, you'll enjoy the parts they play in this novel but more importantly you will love Colin because I can't praise him enough . . .

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed HAUNTING VIOLET and I recommend it to all who are already fans of Alyxandra Harvey or love a good old historical fiction with just the right amount of spiritual elements to keep you satisfied.

The Rating 4/5 stars


  1. OH MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN ERIN! I've had a copy of this for ages, why the heck is it still unread?! This sounds SO GOOD and everything you wrote about Violet and Colin already have me shipping those two. <3 And I love the historical setting!! It sounds like Alyxandra has really pulled off all aspects of this book and blended them into something absolutely delicious. Awesome review, so excited to read this!

    1. *Shakes head* You need to read this. It's one of my favourites from Harvey.

  2. I've been wanting to read this for a while. Obviously you know I live Harvey's Drake Chronicles but I haven't this yet. Everything you said about Colin, err, I mean the book. Yeah, the book *shifty eyes* makes me wanna read this more. Gotta live the boy mothers don't approve of, lol. Wonderful review Erin!!

  3. LOL. Thanks Rachel! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this book and Colin of course!

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  5. So glad you liked this because I adored Haunting Violet. Colin. I loved him. And Violet was such an awesome character too! I liked that she wasn't all wimpy and whiny and actually stood up for herself. Great review :).

    1. Yay! I loved Colin so much too. Yeah Violet was definitely the type of character to stand up for herself . . . thank god for that. :)

  6. Sounds great! I've read one of her other books and liked it, so this one is definitely on my to-read list. Awesome review.

  7. This is the only book I've read by Alyxandra Harvey, but I definitely enjoyed it. Like you, I thought the description of the Victorian era setting was fantastic, and Violet and Colin were so much fun!


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