Review: Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins
Source: Hardcover, Published March 2 2010 by Hyperion Books
Verdict: Very Good/Excellent
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 tag-along 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.
Our snarky protagonist, Sophie Mercer, has been banished to Hecate Hall (aka Hex Hall) as punishment for a spell gone horribly wrong at her school’s prom night. She has lived her life with her non-witch mom, and hasn’t been told much about her supernatural abilities and her dad’s history as a warlock. When she arrives at Hex Hall, she starts off on the wrong foot with a werewolf, gets the school’s only vampire as a roommate, and finds herself at odds with a trio of popular (and slightly nasty) witches. And on top of everything else, Sophie finds herself falling for Archer Cross, Hex Hall’s resident handsome heartthrob.
When a Hex Hall student witch almost dies after what everyone assumes was vampire attack, Sophie’s roommate Jenna becomes the one and only suspect. Both Jenna and Sophie find themselves more outcast than ever before. Deep down, Sophie knows Jenna did not attack the student, so to clear her friend’s name, she starts researching other magical creatures who could have done the crime. But what she actually learns and uncovers changes everything Sophie ever thought she knew about dark magic, her father and herself.
I think this book will appeal to readers who liked Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday, The Mediator series by Meg Cabot, or the Medusa Girls series by Tera Lynn Childs. The boarding school aspect of this series might also appeal to fans of Harry Potter. Overall, this book is just so much fun and it has an intriguing and developing story to back it: Hawkins balances humour, paranormal history and gore, and teen romance in one awesomely entertaining book.
Note: This review, written by me, originally appeared on my old site Fabbity Fab Book Reviews. Minor edits may have been made.