Friday, November 17, 2017

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

I read an ARC of Haunting Violet, and I always feel a little weird reviewing an ARC as I know that final edits will be made before printing. This allows me to be a little more lenient.

Haunting Violet is a ghost story that I think will appeal to teen girls. I like ghost stories, so I enjoyed it, and I am way beyond my teen years. Haunting Violet is set in 1872, and Violet's mother is a professed spiritual medium. She is a beautiful woman and a good actress, so she is able to fool everyone. Violet and their young servant Colin, assist with the seances, and while Violet doesn't feel good about lying to people, it is how her mother supports them. Her mother has a terrible temper, so Violet does as she is told.

During a seance, Violet is visited by a ghost, but she doesn't want her mother to know that she really can see and hear ghosts as her mother will make her become a spiritual medium. As the haunting of Violet becomes more severe, she works hard to keep her mother from finding out that she has the gift that her mother pretends to have.

The story is good, as is the suspense. I liked the friendship between Violet and Colin, and between Violet and Elizabeth. Issues of class and gender are brought up and handled well without taking power from Violet.

Some of the real seance scenes were a bit over the top, but I think teen readers will enjoy them. As a person who believes in and has seen spirits, I wanted it to be more like my own experiences.

I like the resolution of the story and felt the pacing of the book was right on. This book also has a cool cover that will appeal to the intended audience.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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