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Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins was born in Virginia and raised in Alabama. This means she uses words like “y’all” and “fixin’” a lot, and considers anything under 60 degrees to be borderline Arctic. When not writing books, Rachel enjoys reading, travelling, and knitting (very terribly). Her YA trilogy, the Hex Hall trilogy, consists of Hex Hall (2010), Demonglass (2011) and Spellbound (2012).

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.

What a fun read! The Hex Hall series has been sitting on my shelves for a very long time, and for some reason I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. I was dead wrong. I finally got around to reading it when a friend of mine bought it and we decided to read it together. I loved it. I finished it in one sitting! It’s a short read, just over 300 pages, which took me less than four hours. I was surprised to find out Hex Hall is Rachel’s debut novel – it’s brilliant!

The plot and setting of this novel are nothing original. A boarding school full of supernaturally inclined teenagers, the hot, dark and mysterious guy with the bwitch of a girlfriend, and oblivious teachers who don’t notice when a student is being victimised. I think Sophie’s insta-crush on Archer was really predictable and the introduction of Cal seems to be a set up for the requisite love triangle. 

What is unique about the book are the main characters. Sophie is wonderful – witty and sarcastic without over-doing it. She exercises the common sense which is often lacking in many YA heroines, and she had me laughing out loud at times when she stood up to the bullies at her school. Her room-mate and only friend at Hex Hall is Jenna – a vampire who is completely obsessed with electric pink! Jenna is a riot, I loved her a lot and hope she gets a chance to star a bit more in the coming books. 

The storyline may not be original, and the characters sometimes fit perfectly into stereotypes, but Hex Hall is a FUN book that will make you feel great long after you finish it. If you’re tired of dark, emotionally heavy paranormal romances then I encourage you to pick this series up. 

About the book:

  • Date published: 01 April 2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Format: Paperback, 336 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9781847387226  ISBN 10: 1847387225
  • Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository

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