Book Review: Hex Hall

Hex Hall CoverBook: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Published May 2010 by Disney Hyperion|Pages: 195

Where I Got It: E-book|From the library!

Series: Hex Hall #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

Goodreads|Rachel Hawkins On Twitter

Summary: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I can’t believe it took me so long to read Hex Hall!  I’m totally wishing I picked this one up earlier.

I really like the idea of different schools for witches, faeries and shape-shifters, but I also like the idea of a boarding school that’s the last resort for all types of problem students.

We see Sophie arrive at Hex Hall, not knowing anything.  It wasn’t a surprise, but it worked in the sense that you got to learn more about this world as Sophie learned about it.  She’s just a really caring person, and while’s a bit gullible at times, she makes mistakes but seems to learn from them.

Bringing demons back from the dead, and light magic and dark magic and faeries and shape-shifters and all sorts of other magical creatures.  Like Lord Byron (yes, that Lord Byron!) as a vampire teacher.  It’s all pretty awesome.  And it seems like no paranormal book is complete without several groups out to get the Prodigium.  The Eye Of God seems to be the one we’ll see in the other books, and I’m curious about where that will go.

There’s quite the cast of characters, from the mean girls to the vampire who’s the school outcast to Sophie’s mysterious father to Sophie herself.  It’s unfortunate Sophie doesn’t know much about her father, and seeing her interact with people who know more about her family then she does was interesting.  And just being around people who know more about this very magical world was one of the more interesting parts of the book, because Sophie- in a lot of ways- is a clean slate.  She went in with no pre-conceived notions and is so willing to believe Jenna (who is a pretty awesome vampire, by the way) wasn’t behind some of the…accidents that happen at Hex Hall.

There’s a really good balance of funny and absurd and serious.  And the pop culture references!  I have mixed feelings about pop culture references, because I sometimes worry that it’ll make the book seem dated in a few years.  But in this case…it totally works, and I can’t see them making the book seem dated.

And the cover!  I’m assuming the girl on the cover is Sophie- because I have no clue who else it would be- but I really like how there’s a reflection of her in the lake.  And the colors are really pretty.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked Hex Hall.  There were a few things that were predictable, but I didn’t mind that at all.  It really was fun read and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  Hex Hall gets 4 stars!

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