Haunting Violet – Alyxandra Harvey

31 Jul

Series: N/A
ISBN: 9780802798398
Genre: Paranormal – Ghosts
Audience: Middle Grade / Young Adult
Overall Rating: 7/10

Summary:
Violet Willoughby finds it hard to believe in ghosts when she’s helped her mother make a living as a fake medium most of her life. But when the ghostly form of a girl with bruises around her neck appears beside her living twin, the supernatural becomes hard to deny. Violet must uncover the mystery of Rowena’s murder, labeled a tragic accident, before her prickly sister Tabitha meets the same fate. With a country manor house filled with guests – nearly all of them, including the host, suspects – Violet’s task isn’t an easy one, and Rowena becomes ever more persistent. This book will haunt you until it’s finished.

Plot:
This isn’t something that I would usually read, so I found the plot to be interesting and barely put the book down. It’s a fast read – the plot moves quickly, but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I actually ended up being scared a few times, but I put that down to my general fear of ghosts instilled in me after watching The Sixth Sense at far too young an age. Anyway. This book didn’t grab me, though. It was fun, it was a great mystery, I didn’t guess the bad guy correctly at all (there was a really nice scene to throw the reader off the trail, and it worked for me).

As you can probably tell from the shortness of this entry, Haunting Violet was good but not great. I didn’t feel particularly strongly about any of it. If you have it, I would say yeah, go for it. It’s not a waste of time. I think I’d recommend it for the beach. But if you’re looking for something absolutely spectacular, you may want to go with a different choice.

Characters:
Violet herself was wonderful. She was strong enough to be irritated with her mother, but not so strong – or perhaps restricted by her time period – to remove herself from her mother’s protection. She felt like the perfect balance of character, and I loved how she went from not believing in ghosts to having to believe in ghosts, and not being too whiny about it, either.

The supporting characters also made a great cast. Elizabeth was a great friend and a great addition to the pseudo-detective team. Colin was sweet and lovable, even if he could be a bit irritating sometimes being so over-protective. I felt like Violet’s love interest, Xavier, was very nearly unnecessary to include, but that was probably because I wasn’t rooting for him.

Of course, the one who stole the show was Violet’s mother. Not only is that simply in her nature, with her elitist, dramatic personality, but that elitist, dramatic personality was pulled off so well that – despite absolutely despising the woman – I couldn’t help but wonder when she’d come on stage next. Her development as a character was absolutely perfect, too. I loved her – in the I really, really hate her sort of way.

Setting:
Once again, anything set in the Victorian era will be compared to Sorcery and Cecelia. The dialogue and narration of this book therefore falls slightly short of expectation, but I thought it was far better done than the previously reviewed Girl in the Steel Corset. Violet and friends stick to the mannerisms and decorum proper for the time period – at least in my opinion. It made the setting feel more real.

The manor and when they’re in the city is all well described, too. And I particularly liked the séance scenes. I could see the room grow dark and the cold wind blow amongst people. I actually got scared when they brought out the spirit boards. I was quite pleased with the setting overall.

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