Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins

Before I start the review, I thought I would tell you guys about a contest to win one of FIVE copies of Shade, by Jeri Smith-Ready. Simply click here to be directed to Fantastic Book Review to enter to win. Good luck, guys!!

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, Book 1)
Rachel Hawkins
Hyperion Book CH
Release Date:
March 2, 2010

Young Adult
paranormal, romance, witchcraft, humor, series.

(From 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 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.

Review: I did it again. I'm not catching up on my other reviews to review something that I just recently read. I just discovered that reviewing as soon as I finish reading a book is much better than waiting - since, right now, I'm having to re-read some other things to refresh my memory for a more accurate review.

Hex Hall begins with a prologue that has a fun story about why the main character, Sophie Mercer, was actually sent to Hecate Hall in the first place. Hecate Hall is a reform institution to help shape-shifters, witches, and fae control their abilities and teach them how to blend into the human world better. Once there, she meets her roommate - a vampire, the only vampire student at the school. She also has a run-in with the three dark witches at the school, who don't take rejection from Sophie very lightly. The day-to-day dribble is interrupted by a few incidents (read: intended murders) that coincides with a death from the previous year -- a death that looks suspiciously like a vampire attack, and the students are too eager to blame it on Sophie's roommate. While trying to prove her friends innocence, Sophie tries to blend in as a normal student. However, with her dad being the head of the Council and the person who sent all of the students to the institution, Sophie finds out that being friends with the number-one murder suspect is the least of her problems. The worst of her problems? Sophie has no idea who she really is.

I know I'm behind on reviews, but I do not regret taking a break from said research to read this book. It was a pretty easy read (this is coming from someone who's read entirely too many books and reads too fast for her own good sometimes), and had a very light-hearted feel to it. I did feel a sense of recognition from this book, as far as some of the story reminding me of other stories I've read recently - but it definitely shouldn't be judged by that. The writing was first-person point-of-view, which helped understand Sophie's feelings as she found herself, and discovering how others truly were as well. It seems like all of the characters, minor or major, had a lot of depth to them. The main characters definitely stayed true and never strayed from themselves, or did anything completely unpredictable. As a matter of fact, some of the actions of the characters made some things a little too predictable, so when something happened, it didn't surprise you as much as it maybe should have. The storyline was wonderful. As a book that is part of a series, I think the writer perfected the ending. It left you with some questions about the future of the characters, but didn't end abruptly - it ended with enough loose strands tied up to make it a stand alone in itself. Perfect.

- As I said, some things were predictable. The humor and actual plot itself helped save the story, as well as good writing. I heart good writing.

Source of Book: Public Library.

Other Books By Author: The second book in the Hex Hall series, Demonglass, it's rumored that it is set to be released March 1, 2011.


Jennifer said...

I've heard such good things about Hex Hall and Demonglass. They are both definitely on my must read list. I like books about witches (there aren't that many). I think i will like this series.

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