Rummanah Aasi
 Many thanks to The Teen Book Scene for having me on the Living Violet blog tour. I would also like to thank Jaime Reed and her publishers for giving me an advanced copy of the book. Jaime Reed's first book in the Cambion Chronicle series, Living Violet, will be released on December 27th according to Amazon.

Description (from Amazon): 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.

Review: Living Violet walks the thin line of being a satire of the paranormal/supernatural romance genre and being one. At its essence though, it is a standard supernatural-boy--meets-girl romance with a diverse cast of characters as well as an interracial romance, which is not seen in the popular genre.
  Samara is the daughter of a biracial couple who at times seems to struggle with her own identity. She is not sure which race she belongs to and how she is suppose to act. She uses her sarcasm and wit to distance herself from people. I loved Samara's snarky comments, but I wished we got to know her on a deeper level. I found her most interesting when she got a bit introspective, but unfortunately that doesn't last very long in the book.
  People find it hard to label and identify Samara, which is why Caleb Baker is interested. Unlike all the women that constantly throw themselves at him, Samara resists his draw and just sees him: the smart alec coworker who has a horrible sweet tooth just like her. Caleb Baker is an overall decent-looking guy but not the standard jaw dropping, heart pounding beautiful love interest we find in this type of romance. The only thing that makes him stand out is his "intense violet eyes" that draws females to him. Caleb is literally a dangerous heart breaker: women he is with experience shortness of breath or a tendency to have heart attacks around him.
  When Caleb kills a would-be date-rapist in front of Samara to protect her friend at a party, he's forced to come clean and reveal his nature to her. He's a Cambion, meaning he shares his body with an extra soul, that draws the women to him to fulfill its life-sucking nutritional needs. Readers familiar with the types of demons will easily recognize the signs to his identity much earlier on.
  The romance between Samara and Caleb is slow and incredibly funny as the two constantly banter with one another. There are many scenes where I laughed out loud as the two work on defining their relationship. Thankfully there is no love triangle but two characters trying to find themselves. The action and tension returns in the last half of the book as we learn more about Caleb's family and how his ties threaten Samara's life.
 Apart from pacing problems, the voice is inconsistent, the characters switch between a teen and adult voice, using slang (that didn't suit me well) to be cool. I was a bit disturbed at how Caleb didn't take more of a stand of fighting his demon on his own and his demon's influence was treated so lightly giving the cliche vibe of how a bad boy can do a girl some good. The scenes of Caleb learning how to fight off women was suppose to be funny, I found it a bit disturbing. I can see the author trying to poke fun at itself, but I think it hits that mark. Living Violet is a fast read and overall enjoyable if you don't think too much while reading it. The characters can be likable when the prose is successful and being themselves instead of acting out a part the author wants them to be. The relationship between Samara and Jaime is charming and sweet. I just found it a bit too hard to pick this one out from the crowd of other books in this genre.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, a scene of underage drinking, and some slang that some readers may find offensive. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Burning Emerald (The Cambion Chronicles #2) by Jamie Reed expected in 2012, Mystique by Shari Arnold
8 Responses
  1. Tina~ Says:

    Ive never even heard of this, but it really doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Ive noticed with being a reviewer a book really has to shine and outdo the vast majority for me to consider it a blow away read....;)


  2. Jenny Says:

    I like the overall premise of this one and the fact that the relationship made you laugh, I always like it when humor is mixed into a romance. The slang sounds problematic though, nothing pulls me out of a story faster than random slang thrown in. Really fantastic review Rummanah!


  3. Hmm...the paranormal element sounds really strange. Maybe too strange. I do like that there's lots of good banter. I also like that there's a biracial character and the publishers actually put her on the cover, which they usually don't do. But the cover is odd. It looks more like a dystopia cover. I'm curious about the book, but it sounds problematic.


  4. Tina: I completely agree, especially when it's a paranormal/supernatural romance because there's a LOT out there.

    Jenny: I normally don't mind slang but sometimes it was just thrown in there for comedic effect and it didn't always work for me.

    Alison: I mainly picked this one up because of the biracial character, but I didn't feel like I got to know her. On the book cover, I just wish she wasn't in the background. It makes her look like a secondary character and unimportant.


  5. Lauren M Says:

    I hadn't heard of this one before! I like the cover; it reminds me of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series.
    The story sounds good, and so does the romance! It's a bummer that the voice is inconsistent, because otherwise Living Violet sounds great! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)
    - Lauren


  6. Missie Says:

    A satire that is not a satire? I think I could dig that. Plus, I love the introduction of a interracial romance, and the banter sound fun!


  7. I saw the cover of this one somewhere and thought it was a YA book until I read your review which made me think it was an adult book. Then you mentioned the switching between teen and adult voice so I'm not sure if I want to read this one with its inconsistent voice and pacing problems. What is this one being marketed as?


  8. Lauren: The cover does remind me of Uglies now that you mentioned it. I like how his eyes stand out.

    Missie: Seeing an interracial couple was a definite highlight for me.

    Z: It's marketed as YA. It just I think the author tries hard for the teens to sound teen which is where I think the adult voice creeps in now and again.


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