Friday, April 4, 2014

Review: The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

Goodreads Summary:

For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.

But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

The Haven was a quick and captivating read. The premise was horrifying and there was plenty of dread as Shiloh starts to find out the secrets surrounding her stay at the hospital. I can’t say what she discovers without revealing major spoilers, but the book picked up a lot after Shiloh learns what’s really going on at The Haven.

Shiloh is definitely a character that grew on me and I liked her much more after the plot twist. The romance with Gideon is sweet and slow building and they had an awkward cuteness about them. The romance took a backseat to the plot as Shiloh and Gideon start fearing for their lives.

The villains were creepy and I liked never knowing who the good or bad guys were. A few scenes in the medical ward made me think the book would be such a scary horror movie. The descriptions were gruesome and left me squeamish at times.

The world building was definitely confusing at first. It worked because Shiloh is confused and she has a hard time keeping track of time. Half the time Shiloh seemed barely lucid, so I was stumped over why she was needed by the rebellion for her supposed good memory. After the twist, I had a ton of questions and I was a little disappointed that they were never addressed. The ending was also very open ended and I’m hoping there are plans for a sequel.

Overall, The Haven is an interesting book with plenty of potential. I have heard of a few books with similar plots, but this was the first one I read. The book is a good choice for YA fans who want a mysterious and creepy read.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. This does sound like a creepy premise with the villans, and I like the sound of Shiloh

  2. I like how creepy this sounds and after your review I'm thinking I need to read it. I enjoy a good book where you don't know who is bad and who is good and where the romance between the two main characters don't seem forced/instant. Great review!

  3. Oooooooh, creep factor and a twisty plot! Love this review, Heather. You speak so eloquently about the characters without giving the story away :) I'll have to check it out. WRITE ON!