Friday, October 7, 2011

The Willows: Haven by Hope Collier

My Summary:

Ashton is about to turn eighteen but instead of it being the best day of her life it turns out to be a nightmare. She leaves her party early and finds out her father has had a heart attack and he doesn’t make it. Traveling across country in her BMW to the funeral, she meets Gabe on the side of the road. After accidently running over his bike, she ends up giving him a lift and her life will never be the same. Gabe has such gorgeous eyes, the color of the sea. He’s so mysterious and soon Ashton finds herself forgetting about the boyfriend she left behind. But then the mystery that is Gabe begins to unwind and dangers are hiding at every stop. And since her birthday, Ashton has experienced some strange changes. Who is trying to hurt her? What has her father kept from her? What is she exactly? Who can she trust? What choices does she really have?

My thoughts:

3 1/2 stars – a good read

Okay, I want to like this story. I mean it’s about a group of Fey that doesn’t usually get to be the main character. That makes it unique. And Ashton seems like such a strong character in the beginning pages of the book. She defies her abusive boyfriend to go to her father, who is sick. I thought, you go girl! YAY! But then I became frustrated with the book and I almost quite reading it. After talking about it with a good friend, I decided to keep going and I’m glad I did because the second half of the book was so much better. I’ll get to that, but let’s get my complaints out of the way:

• Instant love – Okay, I know it’s a common theme lately and frankly I don’t usually have an issue with it. I mean, if there is instant attraction and hot chemistry that develops quickly into love then I’m a happy reader. But in this book, Ashton went from walking out on her boyfriend (actually fiancĂ©e) to professing her love for a boy she meets on the side of the road within three days. Later I realized that this instant love thing may be part of a Fey thing. Still struggled with it.

• Ashton’s strong character doesn’t hold when it counts. She just let things go without asking such obvious questions that would have helped her puzzle things out. I realize no one could answer those questions but really, she should have been asking them. One time she was presented with the knowledge of who knows what happened to her mother and instead of asking that person, she just never brought it up even though she had lots of chances to do so. It was very frustrating for me.

So now, I guess, you’re wondering about why this book got as high of a rating as it did. Well, I said the second half was better and boy was it ever. I loved the character Kyle. He is well developed and very real to me. It was obvious what his feelings were and that the whole situation was hard on him. He genuinely tired to help Ashton and he seemed very male to me. I hated Kevin, which I think was the point so that means he was well written too. I came to love Ashton. Despite her flaws, stated already, the way she dealt with Ilana was a class act. In fact, the way she faced the impossible situation she found herself in was admirable. This was the best place to see that strong character of hers fully and I liked her then.

As for the plot, there was a lot of action and some very hot romance. It wasn’t clear where things were headed, which I liked. There were even a few twists that were hard to take. While I was sad for Ashton quite often, I was very happy with the ending. I look forward to reading book two. I don’t think I’ll have a sudden love problem in that book. =)

Overall, I enjoyed the book, well the second half of the book. So if you can put aside the instant love issue (chalk it up to a Fey thing – cause it is in this story) and if you like urban fantasy with some pretty smoking hot romance, then you should give this book a chance.


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed this. I couldn't get into it at all it wasn't the book for me. Great review nonetheless ;)

    Xpresso Reads

  2. I think this one sounds pretty good! I'm not a fan of insta-love though!