Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
I meant to do individual reviews for all three of these but I was so caught up in reading them, I didn’t want to pause reading to resume review writing. Joy. I’m a huge fan of Hawkins’ newer series Rebel Belle, which motivated me to pick this up, and I must say, I prefer Rebel Belle over this.
If I had to sum up this trilogy in one word – meh. These books weren’t brilliant but they weren’t terrible either. They’re exactly what they promise to be – a young adult novel set in a paranormal school where things go crazy.
The writing is very similar to that of Rebel Belle, fun and light with snarky dialogue, though it’s far more polished in her later books. It’s very readable, I flew through all of these in one day each. The books are very fast paced, but sometimes, felt rushed because of the writing – a lot of scenes could have been drawn out longer and explained better, especially in book 3, Spellbound, we were just given plot twist after plot twist, which was fun but got a little bit too much after a point.
The characters were awesome, all of them very cool and quirky in their own ways. Sophie, the protagonist, has a wonderful narrative voice, a little immature, but I enjoyed it. Some people who prefer more mature voices may not enjoy this very much. Jenna was a fantastic character and I loved her friendship with Sophie. Archer was really nice and the end of book 1 left me so surprised because his personality seemed so different from what he turned out to be. I was a little unsure about Cal – I thought he was a wonderful character – very sweet, but his sole purpose in the story seemed to be just to serve as the third wheel to make a really awkward love triangle. He was very likable though, so how his fate turned out was disappointing.
I loved the relationship Sophie has with her parents, it’s very refreshing to not have an absentee parent / totally useless parent situation. The story is not very romance centric, which is also very refreshing – romance plays a very minor part to the actual story.
As far as stories go, it isn’t the most original but the writing makes it fun and unique. The end is slightly anticlimactic. I wish the spells and the magic were explained better. If the world was built better and made really special, because it did have potential, it would be really awesome. I do want to read more books in the world, it’s fascinating but we don’t get to see much of it.
Ultimately, I think this is a fun, quick read – not anything spectacular but not anything terrible either. Pick it up if you have a chance, maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did 🙂