(Hex Hall #1)
by Rachel Hawkins
Brief Summary: There are schools for witches and warlocks, faeries and shapeshifters, each catering to the specific type of Prodigium it serves (teaching spells to witches and warlocks, etc). Hex Hall, located on a small island in the humid South, is not one of those schools, though. Rather, it serves as a reformatory for the Prodigium who couldn’t hide what they were from humans – a school that helps you hide your powers rather than enhance them. This is where Sophie is sent after she tries to help a human get a date for prom – with disastrous results. It’s at Hex Hall where she meets other Prodigium for the first time (including her vampire roommate and the unfortunately hot, arrogant warlock Archer) and where she begins to piece together a more and more disturbing family history.
Kell’s Chatty Review: Hex Hall was a fun romp through paranormal school. It was also a bit more creepy than I had expected. That said, there were some parts I had issues with and at times I did feel it was a bit on the predictable side.
Let’s Start with the Awesome: Sophie, our main character, is witty and sarcastic and she is a fantastic character to follow around. I was happy to see her many doubts about the friends she was making, her family and her own powers addressed throughout the book. Her confidence ebbed and flowed, which grounded her character a bit in reality. And, seriously, she is laugh-out-loud funny.
Also: as a side-note, I loved Lord Byron’s involvement. Loved. So random.
Archer: was also awesome, if not a bit on the formulaic side. Is the hot guy with the snarky comments good or isn’t he? Did the predictability of his character make me like him less? Not at all.
My biggest overall problems: were: that I felt like I had read it before (relatedly: I was constantly thinking about how similar the characters were to the ones in Ally Carter’s Gallagher novels. So, if you haven’t read those…?). The thing that made Hex Hall stand out from all the other YA-Paranormal Romance flooding the shelves (the reformatory [and therefore dangerous and creepy] setting) was only slightly utilized. Also, there was a lot going on in this book and some of the side plots felt unnecessary at times (unless they help the overall series storyline. Then I take it all back).
My one momentary problem: with Sophie was a scene that occurred later in the book during her detention, when she went from 0 to “let’s have sex” in about 30 seconds. It seriously threw me out of the story for a bit because it seemed so out of character.
I did: like it. As mentioned above, I laughed out loud numerous times, which will ALWAYS keep me reading. And while I wasn’t particularly shocked by the big reveal at the end, it was enough to make me wonder when the next in the series is slated to be released.
What I most wanted to do after reading this book: Sleep! (It was uber late.)
Where this book came from: My library!
Cover note: it’s ridiculously gorgeous. I really need to get over my fear of getting sued for some sort of infringement and start posting cover pics, because I heart this one!