Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BR: Hex Hall

by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall series; book I

I've been dying to read this for forever. I swear, and when I say forever, I mean way back when it was first released in hardcover... that long.

Summary (goodreads)

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.

My Expectations: high! This book has had so much positive buzz and positive reviews, I fully expected to fall in love :)
Delivery: It was a laugh out loud read that was easy to read and entertaining :)
Put-down-ability: 4/10

My Thoughts

Hex Hall. Definitely a book that I couldn’t wait to dive into, and upon finishing, well, I had a big smile on my face. At the heart of the novel is Sophie Mercer, and man, she has skyrocketed up my list of favourite female YA characters. Her voice is distinct, authentic, snarky and pretty much as funny as I could hope for. She lights up the book with the narration and yes. I L-O-Led :P

I would say the strongest aspect of the novel is the writing as Hawkins really made Sophie’s voice shine. Setting-wise, it satiated my love for boarding school books (yes, something about boarding schools fascinate me) with a wide array of characters and fun shenanigans to keep me entertained.

I thought secondary characters could definitely have been more fleshed out, there were too many instances where I felt certain characters lacked depth, and this even counted for the love interest, Archer. I wanted to love him—to swoon for him, but I never did (yes, even with a name like Archer which is an automatic plus-a-million on the swoon scale). He fell flat because he kind of overdid the whole mysterious part, plus Sophie talking about her crush so often grated my nerves. I really loved Jenna and Elodie though, I thought both characters had interesting relationships with Sophie and were very well-rounded.

Now on to the plot.. it actually surprised me. I wasn’t really sure which way Hawkins would take the story and while I liked it overall, it never captured me. I wasn’t dying to know the mysteries or the resolutions to the sub-plots, but to be honest, it didn’t really matter. I really liked the whole witch-warlock-vampire-demon-shapeshifter parts but as soon as I met Sophie, I knew I was in. There was no turning back because she’s such a brilliant character and there’s no way I would be leaving her in the dust for another book.

Hex Hall is an entertaining novel that will appeal to readers of all ages. With mystery, magic, boys and a fabulous protagonist, I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: everyone! It's honestly a book that will appeal to readers of all ages.. I think we can all agree Sophie is just awesome.
Acknowledgements: 4/5

8.3/10 – because well, I loved Sophie! Seriously, she carried the novel for me and I love how easy to read this book was. Everything flowed well as Hawkins created a clever, unique boarding school with enough mystery that Libba Bray (Gemma Doyle) would be proud. Secondary characters were rather weak and the plot was at par, but it doesn’t matter because this is the perfect example of a novel in which the main character and her awesomeness can redeem pretty much anything. It's hilarious, fun, easy to read, and totally recommended!

source: library
author website / blog / twitter
series website


  1. Sophie really is an awesome MC! She made me laugh a lot too :) very witty.

  2. Great review! I felt pretty much the same way about Hex Hall: Sophie was cool, and the rest was mostly just okay.

  3. I agree Sophie's voice is amazing! I totally adored her, she was so funny and real! I think the second book is out now, so I must look out for it.

    Also yes Archer gets points just for his name LOL!

  4. Yeah, I didn't like Archer either but found Sophie's voice hysterical and engaging.

  5. Sophie's voice definitely made this a fun read! I haven't read book 2 yet, must fix that soon :o

  6. I've seen lots of great reviews for this one, but not sure I would enjoy. I'm getting a bit bored with the boarding school books. It seems like a cop out to me, allowing the author to write out the parents of the MC and so they don't really have anyone to answer to. I'd like to read more YA novels where the MC has a healthy relationship with their parents and they are involved in the MC's life.

  7. Fine! Looks like I'm the only student in Crushing on Archer Cross 101! I consider this a very good thing. I love his name too. LOL

    Yes, Sophie is amazing. I love her voice. And Jenna is just super cool.

    I think the sequel was just as fun. Hope you enjoy it.

    P.S. What happened to your fabu footnotes. Me miss them.

  8. ...Maybe your hot-boy quota is just full? :P No, I know what you mean. It bothers me like heckerdoodles when the protag falls for Mr. Popular because you KNOW nothing good's going to come out of it. Only I guess Sophie didn't. *sigh* So yeah, I didn't really click with Sophie either. And it'll be hard to convince me to read Demonglass, too. But glad you liked it!

  9. I looooooove this book, and Demonglass ups the ante for plot so I'm sure you'll like it! The ending of Demonglass is.... ooooohhhmigawd! It's worth reading just for the ending. I'm eagerly anticipating book 3, Spellbound!

  10. Hex Hall was one of my favourite reads last year! It was more of a supernatural read on the fun side but it did have some nice twists, which I really liked. I'm glad you really liked the book too Audrey! :)

  11. Would you believe that I have had this in my reading stack for about a year *hides*! I really need to read it. Sounds like such a entertaining read.

  12. I also enjoyed the main character as well. It was one of the reasons why I liked this book! I thought it was fresh and fun :) I am definitely planning to read the sequel soon. Great review.

  13. My book bully friends always yell at me to read this and I picked it up a while back, but haven't gotten around to it yet. A friend just gave me the sequel though and I may be pulling Hex Hall off my shelf very soon now.

    Main characters can really make or break a book, but I am very happy to hear that Sophie is awesome. And Archer is the most swoony name I've heard in a while. I hope I feel more swoon than you did though. Great review!!!

  14. Totally agree with you! Archer was meh, the plot was good but standard. But Sophie! That girl MADE it! I also liked Jenna and Elodie.

  15. I don't know why I haven't picked this book up yet (it might be the cover, honestly. Not my style whatsoever), but your review has certainly piqued my interest!

    I, like you, enjoy boarding school books (yay, THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS! ;D), but I never got into the Gemma Doyle series. I think I might have read it too young. I remember there was this dream that scared the living daylights out of me - the content was way too mature for me at the time (I might have been 11 or 12). I do own the book, though, so another look might be in order.

    Thanks for the review!


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