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Hex Hall Book One Paperback – February 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 9 and up
  • Series: Hex Hall (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423121392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423121398
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (397 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8-10-Sophie Mercer doesn't seem too different from your average 15-year-old-except that she's a witch, and not a very good one at that. A botched prom night spell lands her in Hex Hall, a reform school for witches, fairies, and shapeshifters located in an isolated part of Georgia that's right out of a Gothic horror novel. Before the end of her first day of school, Sophie has a crush on Archer, the cutest boy on campus, meets her roommate, Jenna, who's a vampire and an outcast among the students, and makes enemies of the three queen bees. Soon Sophie is deeply involved in a campus mystery-who's responsible for the death of Jenna's old roommate and several nearly fatal attacks on this year's students? Is anyone safe at Hex Hall? Since Harry Potter, there have been a seemingly endless stream of children's and YA novels set at schools for supernatural kids and teens, but Rachel Hawkins's novel (Hyperion, 2012) stands out by gently poking fun at the tropes of the genre, with a manga-loving vampire who decorates her dorm room in hot pink, for example, and Lord Byron, a vampire, cast as the school's English teacher. Cris Dukehart perfectly captures the sarcastic sense of humor of the narrator and does a credible job voicing the other characters, including the different accents required for the headmistress, the other teens, and a British ghost. First in a trilogy, this audiobook would be an excellent addition to school or public library collections.-Margo Tanenbaum, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

If Meyer’s Twilight series embodies the romantic supernatural, Hawkins’ debut novel exemplifies the supernatural spoof. Sixteen-year-old Sophie Mercer, whose absentee father is a warlock, discovered both her heritage and her powers at age 13. While at her school prom, Sophie happens upon a miserable girl sobbing in the bathroom and tries to perform a love spell to help her out. It misfires, and Sophie finds herself at Hecate (aka Hex) Hall, a boarding school for delinquent Prodigium (witches, warlocks, faeries, shape-shifters, and the occasional vampire). What makes this fast-paced romp work is Hawkins’ wry humor and sharp eye for teen dynamics, especially between the popular and the misfit crowds. Sophie is a multidimensional character, both likable and believably flawed. Secondary characters lack her depth, but their more broadly drawn portraits are in keeping with narrator Sophie’s impressions of her teachers and classmates. Many clever touches (vampire Lord Byron teaches literature), spot-on depictions of classic teen situations (crushing on the queen bee’s boyfriend), and an ending that leaves you hanging will have readers grabbing for the sequel. Grades 8-11. --Debbie Carton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I also love the main character, Sophie is great.
It had engaging characters, great writing, and a fun, fast, and unpredictable plot.
Shalena @ Writer Quirk
Once you read the first page of this book, you will not want to put it down.
Anna LaGrois

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Very Merry Shakespeare on March 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I want to begin with, Bravo and Bring on the Movie!

Sophie Mercer has been carted around to nineteen different schools throughout her very young life; we first meet her at one particular school on prom night. Sophie feels bad for a young woman crying her eyes out in the ladies' room; the young girl is dateless to the prom and wants this to be rectified. Sophie takes her out to the parking lot, tells her to close her eyes, and think about THE boy who she wants with all her heart to be her escort. Dark clouds amass above their heads; a purplish light glows within the black core; and green lightning rains down from above... Yes, the girl's wish is granted, but the nice, sweet prom quickly turns into Carrie. Suffice to say, Sophie is on her way to her twentieth school.

She arrives in Georgia in the brutally hot month of August on her beloved mother's arm. She's being sent away to Hecate Hall - a reformatory school for witches, shapeshifters, faeries, and other even more non-humans, who have flaunted their skills in the wrong places, risking exposure to their world. This is no Hogwarts, people; Hecate Hall is a cold, two-hundred-year-old mansion that looks like something out of a horror movie, with fugly wallpaper and an addition of pink stucco that goes off the back of the house and into the woods. Sophie's very first meet-and-greet with a supernatural being comes in the form of a young man named Justin, who turns and snarls at her while transforming into a werewolf. Sophie raises her finger, screams "bag dog," and basically sees him as a cocker spaniel standing on his hind legs. (This is what I love most about this writer - she's wonderfully sarcastic).

Sophie's roommate is Jenna, a young girl who is a vamp and is at Hecate Hall on scholarship.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By K. Knight on May 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
NOTE: As an adult reader of YA books, I realize I am not the target market for these books and a lot of my disappointment with this book probably stems from the fact that the tone is very teenage (not all YA books are like this). Reviewing it for adult readers, I would give it 2 stars. If I were a teen, though, I probably would have given it 4 stars...so I averaged them. My review is geared toward adults who enjoy YA novels.

This is also the first in a series (Demonglass is also available).

This book kept appearing on my recommended list, and the premise sounded interesting, so I picked it up. It was a fast read, and certain elements of the book were strong (Sophie's character was well-rounded, the details allowed me to easily picture the scene and the supernatural elements were dealt with in a believeable way. Also Sophie's vampire roomate (and her story arc) was great).

My main issue with this was the feel of it. The pop-culture references annoyed me. Sophie's dialouge (especially when dealing with the 'mean trio') annoyed me. It's like 'The Craft' at a boarding school. (Trio of bad girls seeking a fourth...death and destruction ensue). The ending (I don't want to give it away) was pretty predictable, though the twist with Archer (the one-dimensional love interest) surprised me.

I don't want to sound overly critical, because it seems like a lot of people really liked this book, and if I was a teen, I probably would have, too. But if you're an adult reader who likes YA novels, I'd recommend skipping this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By small review on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After botching a love spell and blowing her cover as a witch, Sophie finds herself sent to a boarding school for rule breaking witches, warlocks, vampires, fairies, werewolves and shape shifters. Once there, Sophie engages in typical teenage situations, including sparring with the mean girl clique, crushing on a super-cute popular boy, and making friends. Sophie also discovers the web of secrets her family has been keeping from her as she delves deeper into understanding her powers. Complicating matters further are mysterious deadly attacks on the popular girls, and Sophie's best friend seems the most likely suspect.

While the "regular girl" aspects of the story are cute, they don't stand out as particularly fresh in any way. Sophie and all of the secondary characters, while easy to like, are interchangeable with a dozen different casts across the genre. The paranormal aspects are equally trite, with Hawkins offering nothing new or interesting to the genre. As a result, while I wasn't annoyed with the book, I was bored and unengaged for the first 100 pages.

Due to all the positive reviews, I decided to keep reading and I'm glad I did. Hawkins slowly drops clues to a greater plotline, and as the story progresses, Sophie uncovers more and more secrets and questions. The multiple mysteries kept my attention, and as I pieced together the clues and discovered questions that led to deeper mysteries, I finally found myself feeling that rush of excitement and *need* to read more. While a few of the "big reveals" were obvious well in advance, Hawkins did manage to throw me a few curve balls.
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