Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
336 pages, Young Adult
Disney-Hyperion (March 2, 2010)
$11.55 (Amazon, Hardcover)
I received an ARC from Disney-Hyperion for review.
Overall: 28/30 = 93% = A
Cover/Title Bonus: 5
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 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.
Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom. Again. – Prologue, Page 1, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
This is a pretty terrible first line if you ask me. The beginning scene here ends up being pretty cool but if I’d just picked this up off the shelf I probably wouldn’t be blown away by this opening line. Here’s the first paragraph of Chapter 1
I stepped out of the car and into the hot thick heat of August in Georgia.
“Awesome,” I murmured, sliding my sunglasses on top of my head. Thanks to the humidity, my hair felt like it had tripled in size. I could feel it trying to devour my sunglasses like some sort of carnivorous jungle plant. “I always wondered what it would be like to live in somebody’s mouth.” – Page 9, Chapter 1, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Now that opening paragraph portrays this book very well. It’s cunning dialogue that makes you laugh out loud most of the time.
Sophie’s journey in her new school is interesting to say the least. I had a hard time putting this down because Rachel made it all flow perfectly and left the mystery wide open.
The school is the main focal point. Sophie spends a good deal of time in her room, the basement and in the woods. The basement was probably the coolest and most memorable setting of the book.
I loved the way Rachel wrote this. It just flowed very well. I loved that it was written in first person by Sophie. I don’t think I would have liked it any other way.
I have to say this really isn’t the most original story because writing this review had me soooo confused. I kept confusing this with Fallen by Lauren Kate, which is just terrible because this book is 50 times better than Fallen. But the setting and the story are very similar, yet different.
The ghost and the magic were the two things that really set this apart from other books I’ve read. What I really liked was that this one left us wide open for a second installment into Sophie’s world. I’m really looking forward to that.
Sophie is a very likable character. She has a lot to learn about herself and her new abilities. Her vampire roommate Jenna is a trip. She was my favorite character.
Then there’s Archer Cross, who’s the heartthrob bad boy of the story. I hope we see more of him in the next book.
There’s a little teen crushing going on in this book but it’s not a huge focal point but rather an interesting subject that was approached and may be explored again. This book is all about fitting in, using magic and an underlying mystery to be solved. The next book might venture more towards the love interest but it all depends. ;)
I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the characters a lot. They were easy to like or hate when appropriate. I think Rachel did a fine job at introducing us to the world of prodigium.
The title is perfect! And the cover is just darling. I really like the mirror image from the water. The cat just hints at the fact that she’s a witch, which is pretty cute.
Connect with Rachel
Disney-Hyperion would like to offer one of my readers a Hex Hall t-shirt! Here’s some pics of what you’ll receive. (I’m wearing mine right now and it’s pretty cool!)
If you’re interested in a t-shirt please fill out the below form!
- Ends March 18, noon, Eastern Time
- Shirts are available in size: Small, Medium, and Large
- Entrant must be 13 years of age or older
- Open to US residents only
- Winner will have 3 days to respond to my email with shipping and shirt size information.
Up next is an author guest post by Rachel Hawkins! Find out who she crushes on.
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