Jessica's Reviews > Haunting Violet

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
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Sep 01, 11

it was ok
bookshelves: paranormal-romance, ya
Read in July, 2011

Recently I read a writer's blog challenge about stakes. The stakes in a novel must be high to encourage a reader to want to finish the novel. Obviously, low stakes make for a boring novel. Most of the stakes presented were in the following format: so-and-so must do ______ OR ELSE ______ happens. Well, let me tell you about the "stakes" in this novel. Violet must find out who murdered Rowena or else... Well, I'm not really sure what will happen if she doesn't. Obviously, a murderer walks free, but this doesn't really affect Violet. So who cares? I guess maybe you could say she's investigating because it's the right thing to do, but she's not. She just wants a ghost to leave her alone. The whole book fell flat for me. I found little calling to finish this book except for the fact that I rarely leave books half-read.

Violet's mother is a fake medium in the late 1800's, and she uses Violet and a boy she found on the streets, Colin, to help her scam people. They are fairly successful and are invited to a spiritualist house party. At this house party, Violet begins to see spirits of her own. Mainly, she sees a young girl that was murdered a year before on the property. Violet decides to try to find out who murdered Rowena (this is about three chapters). There are parties. There is a lukewarm romance. There is a semi-love triangle that was really forced. Her mother is scandalous. Violet might find out who her father is. (But who really cares, why was this even in the book?)

That summary probably even makes the book seem more interesting than it is. I genuinely think that in the hands of a better writer, the book would have been not-half-bad. Maybe still not good, as the plotting left much to be desired, but at least not terrible. In fact, I'm surprised to hear that Harvey has other books. The editing was very poor in the novel as well. How in the world can an adult writer or an editor confuse "past" and "passed." There were several errors in the book, but this was the most egregious. More than once, a character "swept passed" another. Ugh.

Finally, the characters were poorly done. What little characterization was present was akin to the old adage "telling not showing." Not to mention I found little to like about most of the characters.

Oh, and the mystery is obvious.
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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra Thank you I have no time


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