This isn’t going to be a nice review. I read all the books and while I was remotely interested in the plot, the characters and the writing were pretty bad and it spoiled the whole process for me. Safe to say I am advising you not to read it. I would leave it there, but I get the feeling you want some concrete evidence as to why you shouldn’t read it – especially if someone else has recommended it to you. Secretly they probably don’t like you and want you to waste three evenings.
So here are all three reviews (bitch-fests) on Hex Hall, Demon Glass, and Spell Bound.
The whole time I was reading I couldn’t help but think to myself – I’m a little old for this. Now I love YA novels, often times I think they contain more metaphoric symbolism and reality than adult novels. But this one had a little too much of the author in it. If I can feel your personality through the pages, you should stick to articles and blogging like the rest of us. Rachel Hawkins has a good imagination, I will give her that. It’s a wonderous idea, and probably came out around the time the rest of the demon books were coming out, but I felt like this one was fairly sub-par re: demons.
It’s kind of the same thing twilight did. Didn’t give the protagonist any real flaws, just flaws that were backhanded compliments – oh she’s too sarcastic, oh she’s got problems with too many boys loving her, oh no she has curly hair that is difficult to maintain. Shut up. Just shut up. The whole way through the novel I just got the impression that Rachel was modelling this protagonist – damn I’ve forgotten her name already – off of herself, or what she wanted herself to be viewed like. It was exhausting to read and every time something a little too self-indulgent came up it made me cringe. Then everything made me cringe because if you see it once, everything starts annoying you about the book, even if it wouldn’t have originally annoyed you.
For example (SPOILER), she had to stand out and be more powerful than anyone else, first she’s an only witch amongst humans, then she is one of four dark witches in a school of slightly shittier witches, then she’s actually a demon who can smoke all the witches. You know what. Sometimes you are just average. Like Harry. Harry Potter was fairly average. Not that excellent at really anything but he was full of heart, and his Polyjuice potion was gold. Which means he may not be the funniest, or the brightest, or remotely attractive, or may not have every good looking person the book introduces suddenly falling at his feet. But he was a nice dude.
Every adult figure in the book recognises her ‘specialness’. Oh she is sarcastic. And has a sense of (not-so-funny-but-every-fucking-character-laughs-at-everything-she-says-anyway) humour that is just like her fathers. And suddenly she is brave because she cracks jokes at the villains. Rachel have you ever met a teenager. All of them do that – because everyone is a villain when you are a teenager. Sarcasm is your only language and you but heads with every kind of authority.
He Hall, Spell Bound and Demon glass were easy to read (large as fuck letters) and short. No words too complex in there. Right of off the bat she refused to swear, just said things like “You’re a Jerk”, said Nick, except he didn’t say jerk, he said something else. Shut up Rachel. Let’s not even get into the large plot holes and the whole scene at the end where some old and wise people ask a sixteen year old to be there leader and she’s like guys! Not till I graduate okay? But I will tots lead you because I’m super powerful and know right from wrong.
So I guess what I really wanted to say was it felt like a self-indulgent teenager wrote it. And the advice I would give to her would be this: You are not special. You are not different. Don’t shove it down my throat. EUGH!
But you know it was easy to read and it killed an evening for me.