Review: Living Violet

Living Violet (The Cambion Chronicles #1) by Jaime Reed
Release Date ~ December 27, 2011
Dafina ~ Kensington
ISBN13: 9780758269249
ARC won from: Kensington Teen

Goodreads Synopsis:
He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Living Violet doesn't conform to typical YA stereotypes with an interesting premise and realistic cast characters. The unique paranormal aspect was one of the coolest ideas I've read in a long time, and readers who are getting tired of reading the same old paranormal YA will appreciate.

  1. Flawed, diverse characters:
    Living Violet gets bonus points for not having a ridiculously good-looking, god-like male love interest. Major bonus points. Caleb's interesting, but only because of what makes him so unique. He's far from perfect though, and regardless of what the back cover says I didn't find him nearly as charming or ideal as he was made out to be. And there was something truly refreshing about that. Samara is an interesting character as well, and I love that Jaime wove in some discussion on race as well, and I liked Sam's independent, determined attitude towards everything live threw at her.

    SUPER EXTRA BONUS POINTS: Samara's parents love her, and that love and affection shines through in so much they do and how they act with her. Their relationship with Samara, and with each other, was something to make this one stand out from other YA books. I liked this, it mixed things up a bit from what I'm used to reading.
  2. New kind of paranormal:
    Living Violet shares some similarities with the ideas behind X-Men and even seems to have some inspiration stemming from mythology (I thought of sirens personally), but makes all of it its own to come up with something completely different.
I really wasn't the biggest fan of the writing style; most  of the time it felt overly descriptive and unnecessary, and at times those descriptions were way too much. There ended up being a few times where I was laughing at something that really wasn't supposed to be funny. There were too many times when I just couldn't take the writing seriously, and I found it distracting from the overall storyline.

"I took a shower, hoping to wash away the past twenty-four hours. I'd never delved into such spirituality before, but this tilted cubicle became my temple, a place of peace with healing waters of absolution."

Besides that interesting depiction of taking a shower (among other similar paragraphs), I found this to be a fresh take on YA paranormal that defeats most existing stereotypes of the genre.

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Mocha ღ Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) said...

Excellent review, Brenna! I sneaked in the first few chapters when it first arrived but had to set it aside because I got very confused. It just didn't seem to make very much sense to me in the beginning. I'm hoping it gets better.

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BookLuvr Mindy said...

Great review!

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Brenna said...

Wendy, some parts of it are very odd. I think the biggest struggle for me was the writing style- there was a fair amount of unnecessary description.

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