Witches of Brooklyn: What the Hex by Sophie Escabasse

What the Hex is Book 2 of the Witches of Brooklyn graphic novel series by Sophie Escabasse. Effie is a young witch who is learning her trade. She lives with her two aunts, Selimene and Carlota, in Brooklyn.

We join Effie on a very stressful day–she’s meeting the rest of the family. Who knew witches worked in so many different fields taking care of others and helping make the world a better place? Effie sure didn’t. The next day, Effie’s life gets turned inside out again when school resumes after the winter holiday. There’s a new girl, Garance, and she’s already best friends with Effie’s best friend, Berrit.

Effie immediately takes a disliking to Garance and is jealous to the hilt, but there is something strange happening in Brooklyn that requires the family’s attention more. As the family deals with that, Effie deals with her growing jealousy until it boils over.

Escabasse does an amazing job at exploring changing dynamics in friendships and how quickly people jump to assumptions. I knew there was something about Garance but didn’t expect her to be part of the solution to the family’s problem.

One of the things I really liked about this story was that Berrit finally accepted her role in what happened between the friends. It’s so easy to get consumed by the new that we forget about the old and our obligations to that relationship. I also loved the growing connection between Effie and her aunts. They give her space to work through her feelings but remind her they are there and love her.

There isn’t anything negative to say about What the Hex (or the Witches in Brooklyn series). The characters are real people with real personalities and are allowed to simply be who they are. The banter between the characters is great and reflects deep friendship and love. If I had to pick my least favorite element, it would be how the teacher and classmates reacted so over the top to Garance (but I do think there is more to her than meets the eye, and I could see her character going quite dark in the future).

Everyone in What the Hex showed their true colors, and I can’t wait to see what Aunt Ma, Lion, Garance, and the other family members do in future books.

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