Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Judge by the Cover: High School, Drama & Deadly Vices is the first book in the Hafu Sans Halo series by Melissa Abigail, a story that transports the reader into the complex worlds and relationships between high school characters. Haruna Mitsukai has great dreams, an overachiever who wants nothing more than to attend the University of British Columbia. Ryu Debiru feels out of place in his own world. Both teenagers attend the Shady Glenn Academy and they detest each other, despite the fact that they have similar personalities. But they are compelled to work together on an assignment on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. As the tension grows between the two, a startling revelation about an old mansion on the East Side wakes Haruna up and she begins to question who Ryu really is. Could their destinies be linked and how?
This mesmerizing story took me by surprise as I felt drawn in by the confident, crisp writing. The author wastes no time in introducing the reader to the complex world of the key characters, constructing elements of the conflict deftly, and right from the very start of the tale. The characters are sophisticated and memorable and developed to reflect the psychology of their age. The story is well-paced with emotionally charged scenes throughout the narrative, great dialogues, and a vivid setting. The plot has many surprises for readers and they will love Melissa Abigail’s gift for sustaining their curiosity and keeping their eyes on the pages until the satisfying end. Judge by the Cover: High School, Drama & Deadly Vices is an excellent opening for a series, well written and highly entertaining.