Tuesday, 17 January 2012
REVIEW: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
The last thing Violet expected was to start seeing and hearing the dead for real. But now she is haunted day and night by the ghost of a drowned girl who won't let her rest until her murderer is uncovered. Violet must use her talents to unravel the mystery surrounding the girl's death - and quickly before the killer strikes again...'
Ah, I remember the day I received this book clearly - I stepped foot in Waterstones, and my mother saw this very book sat on one of the many shelves they have in the store. She picked it up, gave it to me, and said 'I want to draw something similar to that cover'. And that, dear reader, is how I acquired Haunting Violet.
I'd never heard of this book until that moment, but as soon as I read the description on the back of the book (I believe it is called a blurb), I couldn't wait to read it. And so, as soon as I got home I began my quest to read all 344 pages of it.
I'm not going to lie - I read two chapters of the book and didn't really enjoy it. So, it got put on my windowsill and stayed there gathering dust for about four months until 2 days ago when I decided to pick it up again - and it is now one of my favourite books of all time.
Haunting Violet is set in the Victorian era, a time that has always fascinated me - however, I've always thought of Victorian teenagers to be boring, and very prim and proper. This book, although a work of fiction, definitely made me think otherwise. My favourite characters are Violet, Colin, Elizabeth and Tabitha. I think most people would find the characters to be very relatable to their own lives, regardless of the obvious time difference.
Poor Violet has to deal with her mother being a fraud, her new found ability to see, feel and hear ghosts and a ghost that won't leave her alone until Violet uncovers her murderer. Top it all off with the problem of whether she should marry the rich and respectable Xavier, which would make her mother happy, or the orphaned crossing boy Colin who would make her happy, then I imagine she was in quite a muddle.
Elizabeth is Violet's best friend, a girl who is desperate to be who she wants to be, rather than who her mother wants her to be. I thought Elizabeth was the funniest character in the story. There isn't really much else I can say about her, other than she is madly in love with one of the men staying in the same manor house as herself and Violet.
I love the fact that the book has a very unique plot, it covers a few different genres - it has some horror scenes, some funny scenes and it's a romance too, I love books set in Victorian times, and I love the fact that the killer of the murdered girl that haunts Violet turned out to be someone that I never suspected, as usually I'm pretty good at guessing who killed/stole from/lied to who. Also, I liked that it contained historical facts that were presented in such a way that fitted in with the plot brilliantly.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone that likes ghost stories and historical fiction, and I think it's suitable for ages 13+ :)
(PS: Please read the post below! It's just an update thing that I wrote just before the review :) )