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Hopeless Magic by Rachel Higginson

Hopeless Magic (Star-Crossed, #2)Hopeless Magic by Rachel Higginson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In the span of less than 60 seconds:

Let them go. We’re safe for now . . . I let out a scream of pain. . . One of them let out the cruel sound of malicious laughter. . . Jericho let a string of curse words fly. . .”

Let, let, let, let, let, let let. It’s quite possibly one of the most useless verbs ever, and yet it is used repeatedly, for every situation.

Also, let out the cruel sound of malicious laughter is both passive and repetitive. There’s no need to say both cruel and malicious when they mean the same thing, and this moves the action to a back seat.

These are examples of the amateurish and unedited writing throughout the novel. These are common writing flaws that new writers struggle with, so I totally understand it, except this book is published. These things should have been caught and edited out in the early drafts. If they only occurred occasionally, it would not be quite as frustrating, but the passive sentences, telling, stating the obvious, and the use of both repetitive and useless verbs is twice as bad in book two as it was in book one.

This book is a prime example of how a fantastic world can die a cruel death beneath rough draft writing, lackadaisical editing, plot gaps, and the failure to successfully grow characters.


My favorite thing about this book is probably the side characters. The thing I hate most is the main character’s foolish and weak behaviors, and the love interest, who truly just isn’t worth it and is incredibly annoying.

What I’m most sad about is that there are the bones here of something that could be amazing, but it’s just not. A few more rewrites and some strong editors would have done this story some good. (Also, all of these covers are just truly awful and don’t make the slightest bit of sense, either, since we’re talking about what doesn’t work with this book).

If I have to sit through one more scene where all the characters gather and explain the world or backstory to me through dialogue, I might lose my mind. The telling was noticeable in book one, but it steps up to a new level of frustrating in book 2. Either that, or I’ve just lost patience with it.


Also, the main 2 characters are whiney, weak, annoying, and refused to learn and grown. They’re too busy rolling around in foolish, illogical romantic drama to step up and be badass, which is what I waited and waited and waited and waited for. I’m still waiting for that, TBH.

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The overall tone of this one is whiney. The MC is frequently oblivious and does nothing to improve upon that, although in the next moment, she’ll be super cocky. It’s like she’s never true to her character, which I find frustrating and confusing. The main love interests are immature and can’t see that their relationship isn’t based in anything real. And the plot gaps of book one are starting to seem deeper and wider, after book 2 dug some more holes.


The MC doesn’t even use or practice using her magic, but in the moment, she always knows just exactly what to do to come out on top. That’s ridiculous. It’s either that, or she fails miserable, which pretty much feels like it’s her fault, since she has such a big head, despite doing nothing at all to improve herself or learn more about her magic.

Also, she lets part of her team suffer the whole length of the book, when she’s the only one who can help them. She puts almost no time or thought into actually helping them and instead flits about school, dances, and engaging in surface-level drama, when she could be doing something to make a real difference and help those who are hurting. That’s selfish and unforgiveable, IMHO.

And while she does all of that, she constantly daydreams about being queen, which makes me sick to my stomach, because she can’t even successfully handle her own shit, let alone a whole world of immortal creatures. She doesn’t even seem to understand what being Queen means. It just sounds good, so suddenly she’s all in, even though she couldn’t probably tell me her future King’s favorite color or food, since she hasn’t really gotten to know him at all, other than to swoon over him, cater to him, and apologize to him for things she should never have apologized for.

She may be a teenager, but she often behaves like a middle school kid. This book is all melodrama, which is a major turn off. The characters and plot line are frequently sacrificed to this.


I thought I was going to power through to book 3, but I think it’s very clear where this is headed, which is a place I’m not at all interested in going.

Book 289 read in 2018

Pages: 326

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