Rated Reads

Haven

by Mary Lindsey

Rated: High

Rain has spent his whole life going from place to place with his drug-addicted, resentful mom, living in shelters or on the streets, mostly taking care of himself. When his mom dies, though, he ends up leaving the big city to go to his mom’s small hometown to live with her sister — a twin he never knew his mom had. His Aunt Ruby is kind and loving and Rain is amazed that he can actually live in a stable home with someone who cares for him.

As he starts to settle in to the high school, he immediately meets a strange girl he just can’t help but feel drawn to. Friederike is tough and strong and just commands attention, but she clearly doesn’t fit in with the other students. She and a few guys stick to themselves, and they seem to defer to her. But she’s also ethereally pretty, with unusual light eyes, and though she clearly appears to be trouble, Rain keeps trying to get to know her. As he has more encounters with her, he wants to know more, and she keeps telling him to stay away. Rain has known danger in his life, but, as it turns out, he hasn’t seen anything yet. Because the world Freddie lives in is an entirely different one altogether — and as she comes to care about Rain, too, she doesn’t want him drawn in to it.

The descriptions I read for this book revealed almost nothing about the supernatural aspect of the story, so I’d hate to reveal much myself. It has some standard elements mixed in together but with a different set of “rules” for the paranormal world. I found myself really drawn in to the story and eager to learn more about how everything came together. The pacing was just right and the characters were ones I cared about. I’d have really loved the book had it not had so many instances of strong language and pretty intense sexual content between teens.

Rated: High. There are probably two or three dozen instances of strong language and more uses of milder language. There are a few fairly detailed violent scenes, with some gore. Sexual content includes a few instances of nudity; a few very intense kissing scenes, including some that go farther with some detail, and a couple of sex scenes (which actually are implied after detailed making-out, disrobing and more). The intense physical attraction between the main characters begins early in the story and is a major element of the book.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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