Sunday, December 4, 2011

Living Violet-Jaime Reed

Living Violet

Jaime Reed

K Teen/Dafina, Dec 27 2011, $9.95

ISBN: 9780758269249

Samara Marshall goes to school and works at Buncha Books. She likes working there, but cannot understand why women make fools of themselves over the music department assistant manager Caleb Baker, the man with the "intense violet eyes’" whom females have heart attacks over. Her weekend partner exchange student Nadine Petrovsky has the same effect on men.

Caleb is attracted to Samara who somehow resists his lure. At a seniors’ party, Samara serves as referee to her BFF Mia and her boyfriend Dougie, and chaperone to her younger friend Alicia the sophomore who should not be at the party but came with Garrett. When Samara sees Garret on top of Alicia, she kicks him in the face. When he recovers he calls her a name and attacks Samara. Raging Caleb kills the serial rapist. Caleb admits that he is a Cambion, whose body possesses two souls; that of his own and an incubus who lures women to dine on their essence.

This is an engaging romantic urban fantasy with a strong cast especially at the bookstore, who affirms Virginia is for lovers. The story line starts off fast as the audience meets the cast; but slows down in the middle with the moral heroine taming the beast; before accelerating with a tense finish involving Samara’s family. Although the first Cambion Chronicles at times especially in the middle section focuses too much on values that seem demeaning dumbed down, young teen readers will enjoy meeting the strange crew at Buncha Books.

Harriet Klausner

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