Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: Living Violet by Jamie Reed

"Love indulged the masochist"
 -Jaime Reed, Living Violet
  • Publication Date: December 27, 2011
  •  Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Kensington
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

Samara Marshall has never understood the attraction women seem to have to her co-worker Caleb Baker, besides his violet eyes, Caleb is pretty average. Yet all of the women who enter Buncha Books can't keep their hands of him and when people start dropping dead in Samara's hometown of Williamsburg, VA she learns that Caleb has his own secret; he is being possessed.

This novel does a lot of things differently from the usual YA paranormal. Our male love interest isn't  all chiseled cut jaw gorgeous and  Samara, the female protagonist, is half black and half white (although this whole characters being half-ethnicity is getting tiresome for me why can't they just be completely Black, Asian , Hispanic Etc.) and there isn't a lot of instalove.

Samara and Caleb's relationship has an interesting dynamic as she is the only woman not susceptible to the pull Caleb's inner demon has to women. She is sort of pushed into this role of having to help and protect Caleb from other women. And when Caleb's family comes in to town it is the job of Sam to protect her own family and Caleb. This is a departure from most paranormal romances, Samara is the stronger one while Caleb desperately needs her help.

In interviews, Reed has said this novel is satire, but I'm not sure where the satire ends and the real story begins. One of the background elements running through this novel is that there is this book saga called Specter that is essentially  this world's version of Twilight and Samara  heavily criticizes this book. However, instead of being genre savvy about what is happening around her, Samara seems to have Genre Blindess to the whole paranormal romance thing.

This novel's biggest pitfall is some of it's writing. I cringed get over the use of slang in this novel, it sounded like an adult trying to sound like a teenager and it kind of took me out of the book. The slang in the narration didn't really fit into the way the character actually spoke.

While this novel does a lot of things different, it isn't exactly groundbreaking. A good story if you are looking for a more diverse YA series with a new kind of supernatural creature. I will probably read the next one as the end of  Living Violet sets up for an interesting sequel.

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