Haven by Mary Lindsey // Book Review

“He didn’t miss them. He didn’t miss any of his life, really, especially the last year. Time had simply been a bookmark, something that held his place while he waited to finish the story.”


Rain has lived on the streets with his mother for his entire life and has had a troubled past. But when his mother suddenly dies, Rain is sent to live with his aunt in a new town where he is immediately attracted to a girl called Freddie. Yet unbeknownst to Rain, Freddie is not what she seems, and neither is the town.

Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance

My thoughts: Good, but kind of predictable.

This book is not as creepy as it seems. The author treads very familiar story beats in order to create drama in this book, and that allowed me to anticipate most of the twists in advance. For example, the prose is very “tell not show”: Rain’s train of thought often selectively reveals just how we should feel about a certain character we just met, and such omniscience spoiled whom we could or couldn’t trust early on.

Furthermore, I was rather disappointed by Rain’s stunted character development. The book emphasizes just how desperate Rain is for a true family and home at the beginning of this book, yet the moment that he gains that, he acts like he has nothing to lose and throws himself into harm’s way at every turn. This “whatever” attitude and general lack of wariness felt severely out-of-character for someone who’s supposedly a survivor, and his “I’d-die-for-you” obsession with Freddie felt further displaced as a result,

In that, I’d say this book is just a better version of Twilight. Rain definitely has a compelling story to tell, but it’s soon set aside in order to make more room for the romance, and that’s where this book failed me. The drama is sometimes overplayed for how obvious the plot is, and the suspense dragged on for just a few chapters too long.

I mean, once you’ve read one paranormal romance (a.k.a. Twilight), the “I’m so dangerous, you should stay away from me” routine should pretty much give away what the big secret is. Right?

Recommended? Sure.

To be fair, this book ends on a strong note. The romance progresses much more believably after the initial suspension of disbelief, and the finale was surprisingly nail-biting as waves of drama heightened the stakes for me. There was even a moment where I just went “HOLY SHIT THEY REALLY WENT THERE!!!”

So recommended for ages 15 and up. There’s sex, nudity, and plenty of graphic violence, so anyone younger might a bit uncomfortable. Otherwise, Freddie’s no-nonsense attitude made her a good female protagonist, and the “whodunnit” murder mystery keeps you on your toes: the shifting agendas of these characters create a dynamic that’s wholly unpredictable, and that led to some pretty interesting interactions in the end.

“We all hold a monster inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Bottom line: Predictable, but with good moments.

This book had some iffy character motivations, but it redeemed itself in the end with a stronger finale. So if paranormal romance is your thing, this might be for you: it’s not particularly ground-breaking in any way, but if you allow yourself to put aside certain moments of skepticism, I think you can enjoy this book just fine.

Rating: 2.5 to 3/5 frogs

***Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for sending an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated here are solely my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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