May 18, 2010

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie is painfully aware of the fact that she doesn't fit it. Not only is she the daughter of a college professor obsessed with all things paranormal, Sophie has never met her father in person, she's lived in more states than she has celebrated birthdays; oh, and she's a witch.

After coming in to her powers, as all Prodigium (magical persons) do, Sophie couldn't manage to stay out of trouble. Obviously their presence cannot be openly established with the human world, so it must be kept secret and she was never very good about that. While all she really wanted to do was help people and fit in, she only managed to make a huge mess and force her and her mother to move on the next place.

When her last "helpful" spell goes horribly wrong for all involved, the Council sentences Sophie to be confined to the private, secluded Prodigium school of Hectate Hall. Residents of this historic school range in age from 12 to 18, at which point they "graduate" and are allowed to rejoin society. Sophie is fascinated by the shifters, fairies, and other witches/warlocks that also attend Hectate, affectionately referred to as Hex Hall. To her surprise, Sophie finds herself rooming with pink-loving Jenna, the only vampire student on the campus. The girls begin a rocky, but solidifying relationship while bonding over the evil that is the coven. Comprised of the 3 most beautiful witches in the school, and dubbed "The Witches of Clinique," they naturally covet Sophie's talent. When she refuses, she manages to seal her fate as the most undesirable witch at Hex Hall.

As if changing schools again and having to live in a dorm wasn't bad enough, there's something amiss on campus. Jenna's former roommate, and coven member, was murdered not long before Sophie arrived and now more coven members are falling. As Sophie digs deeper to discover the truth, she starts practicing her magic more and working on expanding her abilities. Her late night practices start to pay off, but at a severe cost to those around her. Can she find the truth before the Council steps in and decides on punishment?

Hex Hall was a riot to read!! The witty humor weaves throughout the novel in a way that one would expect a teenager to think. I can hear the sarcasm dripping off the pages along with the angst and attitude. In a way this book was like Harry Potter meets Viola in Reel Life, but on a small scale campus. It was really fun to see these unique characters go through what is without a doubt the most difficult adjustment period of their lives.

I found the mystery surrounding the evil Prodigium-hunting societies intriguing, but I felt that it was lacking since it never really went anywhere. I know that there are going to be at least two more novels and I know it was used to help bait the reader, but it was frustrating to have this idea dangled in front of me and yet me completely helpless to find out more information. Especially when one of the main characters might be involved with one of the societies.

Overall the characters were each fascinating and over-the-top as one would expect teenagers to be and I found that they were quite pleasant to read about. None of them were too much of anything and I really didn't struggle to understand them, which made the story more fun to read. While there are some unanswered questions at the end, it just leaves room for more novels. I'm hoping it's only a trilogy because any longer than that and I'm afraid it will start to get repetitive. Give a shot if you haven't already!


Andrea said...

Great review! It sounds like a fun book.

YA Vampire Books said...

Great review! This book sounds really interesting, and everyone seem to like it!

RaĆ­la said...

Oh, really liked your review! I just finished Hex Hall yesterday and I'm still deciding what to write about it. Just a mix of emotions... Weird, haha. :-)