Haven by Kristi Cook (NY: Simon Pulse, 2011).
When Violet arrives at her new boarding school, Winterhaven, she immediately feels a sense of home and peace she's never experienced. Her father recently died and her stepmother got a new job in NYC, so Violet had to choose--stay in Atlanta with her grandmother or enroll in a prep school from among the brochures her stepmother handed her. The moment she saw the classic, wooded setting of Woodhaven, she knew she'd belong there. She'd always shyed away from relationships because she feared other people knowing her secret: that she has horrible visions that often predict dire consequences for those she loves. Deaths, accidents, illnesses--she's seen them.
Little does Violet know that Winterhaven has its own secrets. Everyone there, students and staff, has some sort of psychic gift. This is both frightening and deeply comforting to Violet, who now finds herself part of a community rather than a self-imposed outcast. She doesn't have to worry about revealing her visions because everyone can do something and talks about it openly. She quickly makes friends and even crushes on the mysterious Aidan. Her crush takes a serious turn almost immediately as she begins having troubling visions of a frightening future event for Aidan that she can't quite understand, and she feels compelled to help him. He seems to feel drawn to her, too, but frustratingly their relationship develops in jumps and starts as Aidan draws her closer and then pushes her away. Will he let her help?
Haven suckered me in with its setting and the wonderful device of having an entire school full of psychically gifted students and teachers. I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel a lot. Violet is somewhat insecure, in an annoying way, and Aidan was predictably aloof. About one-third of the way through the novel I figured out what was going on with Aidan and nearly stopped reading. But there are a few twists that make the novel worth finishing. Overall, I enjoyed this one and do recommend it for teens, ages 13 & up.
Stopping by Bookstores on a Summer Afternoon - This past weekend my husband and I drove down to Nashville, TN for a long weekend. We had a ton of fun and one of the things I wanted to do was stop by one...
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