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The Reading Jackalope

Hex Hall

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins Hex Hall

I like this book, I don’t love this book. There were a couple of things that fell short and then it ended with on of my major pet peeves.

I liked Jenna and Sophia’s relationship with her. It was believable, they were good friends. The bits of teasing were just awesome. Sophie was a great character, and I really sympathized with her. Also, WEREWOLVES. I am easy.

And the line, “Bad dog” will never not be funny. Seriously, I laugh just thinking about it. Actually all the humor in the book was good. It was light and silly but funny.

There were a lot of things that made this book not work so well for me though, including the origins of the supernatural. It’s kind of cool, until you start to think about it. So it goes like this, in the War in Heaven, there were apparently three factions: those with Satan, who became demons; those with God, who stayed angels; and those who were neutral, and these separated into three groups and thus became the supernaturals. And this is a great origin story until you realize that the third group became mortal and can die and have children. Because one major plot point is that when demons die, they can be brought back but the supernaturals, not so much.

Also, and this is kind of silly, if the group that went into the woods and under the hills became fairies why did they develop wings? Are wings really that useful underground? I get that the author was going with the legends of fairies being found under hills but it didn’t really work. Better to have had them go high into the mountains or the sky and get the wings for that reason.

Another thing that bugged me were the cliffhanger chapter endings; cliff hangers which were resolved to be no big thing in the first paragraph of the next chapter. It’s a writing device that works once in a while. Use it every chapter and it gets old real fast. And then the fact that the book ended on a similar note, it just really grates. I know authors think they’re leaving it open for the next book, but it doesn’t work for me. Finish the story of one book and don’t start the next story until the next book.

I felt the ending was rushed a bit as well. It went from the major revel (which was cool) to the confrontation to the conclusion in one chapter.

I also had trouble with time sense in the book. There are some novels where time isn’t important. You can have events that happen weeks apart and it doesn’t matter that you don’t know that. I think this book tried for that, but it didn’t work. For example, and this is a major spoiler, the it’s unclear how much time passed from the big ball, to the discovery that the love interest is OMG BAD, to Jenna coming back, and the final big reveal. And the text seems to indicate that all of that happened over a couple of days. At least the time between the cellar scene and Jenna coming back had to happen over a couple of days. Which means that Elodie was probably hanging out with the demon for a couple of days after the ball, and since it’s implied that Sophie stopped going to the woods after the ball then Elodie was going alone. So why was it so important that Sophie go out and confront the demon RIGHT AWAY OMG and OMG SAVE Elodie? It makes sense, and it didn’t. I understood her fears, but I thought it needed a better explanation for the urgency. Even something simple like explaining earlier that demons require a blood sacrifice, or that demons will kill those who summon them if given a chance. Yes, that’s commonly accepted lore, but it’s bad writing to rely simply on commonly accepted knowledge. And then, with that explained, after Sophie found out she could have thought something like, OMG the demon they summoned. It would have made the ending feel less forced.

And then there’s the boyfriend issue. I’m really disappointed that the major love interest turned out to belong to the super secret supernatural hunter group. It’s just overdone. I don’t understand why you can’t just have a teenage romance that’s fun and sweet and then also have the dangerous stuff. Why do the two have to be combined? Angst is all well and good, but Sophie has more then enough to angst about given her origins. So why go the boyfriend route. I understand why it was necessary for the plot, as that’s what brought Jenna back and she’s the one who gave the reveal, but bleh.

So the ultimate question is; will I pick up the next book? Meh. I might. Probably not though, I’ll probably just check it out of the library if I do decide to read it. When I get my card renewed, I really should do that.

I really, really liked parts of this book. But the things that irritated me outweigh the good bits.