Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloombury Teens
Release Date: June 21, 2011
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?
Other than being slightly scary (unless you want to creep yourself out, don’t read this at night), this book was really, really good. I can’t remember the last time I read a ghost story, and it was really refreshing, different from most other YA fiction book that have been published recently. Looking at the cover, I wasn’t sure if I would like it – creepy covers don’t usually interest me – but this one was excellent. I’m glad I read and listened to all the good reviews out there from other bloggers.
What the summary doesn’t tell you is that the book takes place in the 19th century – ball gowns and high society, etc. and that it all happens in England. Now, rereading the summary, it sounds a lot more interesting, right? Intrigue, gossip, reputations, and all that pulled together into a ghost story? Love it. I especiallly liked the fact that it all started out as a sham that Violet helped her mother with, and then it escalated into Violet’s true gift.
The romance in the book was sweet, but tinged with danger, too. High society peerage really clashed with the slummers and even just the middle class over marriages, wealth, and bloodlines. It made for a lot of plot twists and mystery, and it wasn’t just Violet’s romance. I mean, who has time for kissing boys when a ghost wants you to find her murderer?
My favorite characters were definitely Elizabeth, Violet’s best friend, and Violet herself. The misadventures of the two girls, especially considering the setting, made me laugh constantly. You don’t really expect high society girls to go all Sherlock Holmes, now, do you? The fact that it was so out of context made for a very entertaining book, despite the creepy spirit visions, possession, and murders that are also in the book.
The was Harvey intwined several different moods into the story really makes it appealing to a lot of different audiences. I’d say that pretty much anyone could pick up this book and find a part of it that they enjoyed, and the majority of them could enjoy the entire book. I would definitely recommend this book to YA readers.