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Haunting Violet Hardcover – June 21, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens; First Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080279839X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802798398
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Harvey brings together with aplomb all the quintessential elements of a classic Victorian gothic: the beautiful but fortuneless heroine looking for a better life, the rambling estate with too many secrets, the suspicious-looking death of yet another beautiful girl, and, finally, the promise of a sultry and forbidden romance… The ghosts are genuinely creepy, the leading men are deliciously swoonworthy, and the ending is appropriately happy, making this a perfect accompaniment to a stormy night and a nice spot of tea." –The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Harvey (the Drake Chronicles) delivers a fun adventure in the form of a Victorian mystery novel that captures the feel (and the flaws) of the age… Harvey's writing is witty and brings headstrong, irreverent Violet to life. –Publishers Weekly
"Harvey keeps the narrative moving smoothly and well as she weaves romance, suspense and even a bit of comedy into the story…. A well-paced, clever and scary supernatural-suspense story." –Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Alyxandra Harvey is the author of the Drake Chronicles-Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud, and Out for Blood. She studied creative writing and literature at York University and has had her poetry published in several magazines. She lives in an old Victorian farmhouse with a few resident ghosts, her husband, hawk, and two dogs.


More About the Author

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women's rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are 'The Wood Wife' by Terri Windling, 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she's smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.
Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

Customer Reviews

I really loved this book to bits that I couldn't stop reading until the last page.
Book Whales
I also adored the addition of Colin, Violet's adorable Irish love interest, as well as Elizabeth, Violet's hilarious and headstrong best friend.
Haunting Violet was my first novel by Alyxandra Harvey and I quite enjoyed her writing--it was very readable and she can tell a good story.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Megan B. on July 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
3 ½ Stars:

I really wanted this book to be a great read; something that pulled you into the characters' world and wouldn't let you go. After all the rave reviews I read about it, I thought for sure it would be great. While I won't deny that Haunting Violet was a good book, in my opinion, it just wasn't that great.

The premise of the book, a 17-year-old girl in Victoria Era England who starts seeing ghosts and has to solve a year old murder mystery, had me intrigued. I am a complete sucker for the supernatural. The mystery and supernatural aspects of the book were done very well. Not only am I a sucker for the supernatural but I am also a romance junkie, and that's where this book let me down.

I'm the type of person who likes to see a romance grow between two people, how else is the reader supposed to appreciate and understand how the hero and heroine feel about each other? The romance between Colin and Violet just...was. It was very abrupt. There was no build up, no explanation of their feelings about each other before they suddenly realized they loved each other. It was like the author was too busy writing the mystery that she didn't focus enough on the romance part. We also didn't learn much about Colin's past, which I was curious about.

All in all, it was a good read with a few flaws. Violet was a very likeable character, as was her friend Elizabeth. There were scenes that made me laugh and some that freaked me out. Although this book didn't exactly pull me in, it was a good ghost story and I would recommend Haunting Violet to a friend.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Woodard on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved Haunting Violet. It was an amazing paranormal mystery that I just loved. Something that the summary doesn't mention is that it takes place in the 1870's, which makes it historical fiction, but it really worked well and I loved it. Violet is a really unique girl. She was strong and smart. She was always reading too, which made me like her more. Her mom was a crock and she kept on coming up with new schemes and ideas for what to do. Colin was such an awesome guy. He was such a sweet guy and wanted the best for Violet. He was definitely swoon worthy. Elizabeth was a smart girl too and a good friend to Violet. The plot of Haunting Violet was quick paced and full of mystery. There were several creepy scenes in the book from the ghosts as Violet tracked the murder. Harvey's writing was gorgeous. I enjoyed every moment of this book. Harvey really knows how to write and I am excited to read more from her in the future. I highly suggest that you read this book as soon as possible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ever since I saw the beautiful cover and the intriguing synopsis for Alyxandra Harvey's Haunting Violet, I have been dying to read it, as if there is one thing I love its well-written historical fiction, especially if it involves something supernatural as well. Thankfully, this book perfectly fit the bill!

For Violet Willoughby, she is starting to become sick of the life she has been given. She cannot stand watching her mother constantly trick people into giving their money over for her so-called séances, which are the definition of fake, as well as dragging poor Violet and Colin, her mother's young assistant, along for the ride. Better yet, she is also tired of her mother constantly telling her to marry a rich man when all Violet really wants to do is find someone she truly loves, someone who will let Violet be Violet. However, everything changes when Violet and her family are called to Lord Jasper's house to help conduct séances for his guests's entertainment. Soon enough Violet is involved in a murder mystery involving a snobby, elitist society girl and her dead twin sister who Violet is actually able to see. Will Violet be able to save the day before someone else is killed? Or will Violet soon become shark's bait herself? And will Violet ever be able to get out of her mother's plans for the future? Only time and more pages can tell in this mystery that will have nearly any reader thinking, "Who did it?"

From start to finish, I adored and rooted for several characters in Haunting Violet including Violet, of course. Strong yet sweet, Violet is a girl who has her head on her shoulders but yet isn't afraid of letting her heart lead her way sometimes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Welling on July 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My First Impressions: I really wanted to review this novel because I love historical fiction, ghost stories and anything paranormal. This novel promised all of that plus more, so I decided to give it a go.

The First 50 Pages: Alyxandra Harvey does a fantastic job setting the scene with great attention to historical detail. It was obvious to me that the writer did a great amount of homework to prepare for this book. Despite that, I felt as though the first 50 pages were a bit dull. It contains so much scene work, a bit too much for my taste. There were some points where I just wanted to pull my hair out and scream, "Just get on with it already!" But it is definitely full of mystery and even though it dragged a bit, it was intriguing enough I wanted to stay with it.

Style of Writing: The author has a unique style of writing which I found hard to get into at first. I'm actually not sure what to call it. If I had to put a name on it, it would be past-tense, first person writing. Everything is told through the eyes of Violet, but in past tense. It was almost as if Violet was telling the story as a much older Violet. At least that was my impression of it. I'm not a huge fan of the First-Person style, but with this particular book, I think it works once you get use to it. I had more of a problem with the author modernizing some of the language. Some of the language used was way too modern for a Victorian Era setting. That really irked me a bit.

Characters: The author has the tendency to throw all of the characters in your face without explaining all of them, who exactly they are, details about them, and any background information the reader needs to know. There is a lack of character development a more experienced author wouldn't have missed.
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