Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Title:  Haunting Violet
Author:  Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher:  Walker Childrens
Publish Date:  June 21, 2011

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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?

My Thoughts:  It's the late 1800's and Violet is forced to work with her mother performing fake seances.  Violet hates lying to people and does not believe it ghosts at all.  Until she meets one while at a fancy estate outside of London.  Violet's mother is performing the biggest seance of her life and all their livelihood depends on how well they do.  Violet is shocked when she sees a young girl in her nightclothes, dripping wet and with bruises around her throat.  Violet is thrown into a dangerous game of murder and betrayal. 

I love historical fiction and think the author did an amazing job describing 1800s England.  The smog, the people and the clothing were all very realistic and at times I felt like I was right in the middle of the Lord's estate or the city streets of London. 

Violet was a great character.  She was strong, independent and had a love for books.  She is a great friend to Colin, Marjie and Elizabeth, even though she can't tell Elizabeth the truth.  I loved Elizabeth as well!  She was quirky, funny and romantic.  She was thrilled to be able to help Violet solve the murder of Rowena.  I really loved reading about Elizabeth.

Colin was, of course, the hot guy.  He was protective of Violet, sweet and had just the right amount of jealousy.  He wasn't the proper "rich man" from the peerage but I loved the romance that bloomed between Violet and Colin.

Celeste, or Mary, Violet's mother was a witch.  Not in the paranormal sense because she was actually a complete fraud but she was conniving, manipulating and downright mean!  I hated her but thought her character was very well developed.  You weren't meant to like this character and the author did an awesome job making sure you didn't. 

There was just enough romance in this book without being overwhelming.  The murder mystery was great (even though I had it figured out halfway through).  There were some good "scary" parts in this book as well.  This book was fast paced and a fun summer read. 

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