Last week, I finished a book that was sort of a hybrid of X-Men and The Hunger Games (Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi).  Purely by chance, this week, I finished Haven by Kristi Cook, a book that’s a bit like X-Men meets Twilight.  (Maybe the universe is telling me that I need to have an X-Men movie marathon this weekend.  I’m okay with that.)  In any case, one of these books was new and different.  The other…well, the other was extremely predictable and easy to put down.  If you’ve read my review for Shatter Me, you can probably guess which of these two books was my favorite.

In Haven, readers are introduced to Violet, a teen girl with strange abilities.  She’s always been an outcast, but she has a good feeling about her new boarding school, Winterhaven.  She’s drawn to the place, and she soon learns the reason why.  Winterhaven is a school for others like her, students with special “gifts,” psychic and supernatural abilities that mark them as different from those outside the school.  Inside the school grounds, they are safe and can learn to hone and control their talents.  Violet can finally share her ability–disturbing visions of the future–with others, but she doesn’t see how she can control these visions…or stop them from coming true.

As Violet adjusts to life at Winterhaven, she encounters the most intriguing guy she’s ever met.  (Of course she does).  There’s something about Aidan Gray that draws Violet in, and it appears he feels the same way about her.  But his emotions seem to run hot and cold.  One minute, he’s completely crazy about her.  The next minute, he’s doing his best to push her away.  How does he really feel about her, and why is he so determined that Violet keep her distance?

Violet isn’t sure what’s going on, but she is certain of one thing:  Aidan is playing a starring role in her visions, and the future doesn’t look good.  Why is Aidan covered in blood?  Who is threatening her friends?  Why does she see herself killing the boy she’s come to love?  What do these visions mean, and can Violet find a way to stop them before it’s too late?  Read Haven by Kristi Cook to find out.

I must admit that Haven was not a top read for me.  It was simply too much like Twilight for my tastes (even though Violet was a bit less needy than Bella Swan).  There was always this push-pull between Violet and Aidan that, in many ways, mirrored the Bella-Edward relationship.  Can he suppress the urge to bite her?  (Oops.  Kind of gave it away that Aidan’s a vampire.  My bad.)  Will the kissing go too far?  It’s been done.  I did like Aidan’s interests in science and possibly finding a cure for his “disease,” but, all in all, the story was very predictable, and the resolution was a bit anticlimactic. 

If you’re set on reading about boarding schools for teens with special abilities–and X-Men is not your thing–I would go with Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall books (Hex Hall and DemonGlass) over this one.  If, however, you decide that Haven is the book for you, be prepared for a sequel as well.  The second book, Mirage, is set for a summer 2012 release.  For more information, go to http://kristi-cook.com/.

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