Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: June 21st 2011 by Walker Childrens
Summary: 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?
Thoughts:Haunting Violet is a beautifully written, well crafted novel that's part historical fiction, part ghost story and part romance.
Violet does not believe in ghosts. Why would she? Ever since she was a child, she has helped her mom scam people into believing that her seances are real, when they're nothing more than mere parlor tricks. And now that she's older, her mother wants to showcase her as a lady, hoping to snag Violet a nice rich lord. But the thing is, Violet isn't interested in any lords, not even the wealthy, handsome Xavier. Though Violet knows (especially with the class differences) Colin is off limits, she can't help herself from stealing kisses from him. They've grown up together, her mother has taken him under her wing and Colin has always been there for Violet. How could she not fall in love with him?
As if romance, relationships and potential wealth isn't enough to deal with, Violet begins to see ghosts. No, not the fake spirits her mother creates, but a real, actual ghost. And apparently, where one appears, others will follow. Violet must then begin to figure out why these spirits are here, how they got there and help them in any way she can. Worst of it, if these spirits were murdered, then she has to figure out who the culprit is before the killer strikes again.
I'll be perfectly honest. I've never been a huge fan of historical fiction, nor ghost stories in general. What first drew me to Haunting Violet was the cover. I mean, it's beautiful but also adds a sort of hint that something cryptic yet enticing may be in store. Well, kudos to the cover designer because she/he nailed it! From the pacing to the plot, every little piece of the story fits perfectly together and weaved this story that I ended up liking more than I thought I would.
One thing I loved is the fact that while the story is set in the 1800s, it doesn't READ like a historical fiction novel. Even the dialogue read like actual people talking rather just the fancy "this is how the people in the 1800s speak." I think the way historical fiction is written is what normally draws me away, but luckily, this wasn't the case with Haunting Violet.
I adored Violet as the main character. So many female characters nowadays make such silly, idiotic decisions that make me want to scream and pull my hair out. Not Violet. She's strong, has morals, and while she knows that what her mother does is wrong, she also knows that family is important.
Also, I think I'm a sucker for forbidden love, especially when it involves something like class. From the minute Colin was a child, I was immediately drawn to his character. His kindness, quirkiness, charm and overall presence is just a breath of fresh air. And the relationship he builds with Violet? Wow. Every time they kissed, I felt like my heart melted into a pile of goo. Swoon? You betcha!
Overall, I found the Haunting Violet to be a fun, different read that I really enjoyed. At times, the pacing can be a bit slow, but that never lasts long. If you're a fan of a good mystery novel, with a beautiful Victorian yet Gothic setting, and well developed characters, I would recommend checking out Haunting Violet. It's so much more than just a pretty cover!
*To win a copy of Haunting Violet, leave a comment below and tell me one of your favorite ghost story/novels is.
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*Ends July 19th.
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