Happy Saturday, everyone!!! As an avid consumer of all things spooky for 365 days a year, we have officially entered my favorite month. What better way to kick things off than with a book that seems to be at the top of everyone’s TBR? It’s a great spooky szn rec so if you’re looking for something seasonal, look no further.
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.
Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.
That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.
Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Paranormal romance
Read if you loved: Gilmore Girls, Hocus Pocus
Content warnings: None
Talk about releasing the perfect book at the perfect time. Let’s get something out of the way: at any other point in the year, this book would be pretty meh for me. It’s nothing new or fresh; it’s literally a standard romcom that you can devour in one sitting with few twists or surprises. It’s a comfort read. It’s what you pick up when you’re in a reading slump. It’s a palette cleanser between heavy books. And I’m not saying that any of this is a bad thing – these books are very much needed and loved. It’s just that when it comes to star ratings, I have a hard time justifying anything above 3.5* because it doesn’t stand out from the ocean of other books that are slight derivatives of one another.
But reading it at this time of the year? It’s incredible. It encapsulates that Fall vibe perfectly, weaving in elements of everything I love about spooky season and packaging it into a funny and cute read that simply hits the spot. The setting is reminiscent of Gilmore Girls, which is one of my favorite Fall shows. You also have a tight knit family (all women, of course), witches hiding in plain sight, ghost, haunted houses, fall festivals, curses, and romance! Truly, if you asked me to write a checklist of all the things I’d want in a Halloween/Fall book, The Ex Hex would cross them all out. It’s a second-chance romance, which I haven’t read in a while but works since I often find the pacing of romcoms to be unrealistic. The characters are quirky and have good banter (Vivi and Gwen stole the show for me), and the plot is just the right amount of absurd, albeit forgettable.
I would definitely recommend The Ex Hex to anyone who’s having a hard time reading or looking for something light and fluffy to match the vibe of the season. Anyways, I wanted to keep this review short and sweet, just like the book itself, but let me know if you have read or are planning to read The Ex Hex soon!