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Hex Hall (Book 1) Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 2, 2010
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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 Paperback edition.
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
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This was just a fun great spunky little novel...I know this is the first in a series...so Hex Hall Book 2 should be great fun.
I've been wanting to read this book for a while now as it kept popping up everywhere with a few places even suggesting it might be the book for me, based on other books I've read. Boy were they right! I really liked this book, it might even be love. I'm sure part of it is because Rachel Hawkins clearly grew up around the same time I did and shares the same wonderful sense of humor I do.
Like the description states, you follow Sophie, who does quite have a handle on her magic. She discovered she was a witch at the age of 13. She's gotten into trouble a few times, but so far her absent father has been able to get her out of it. But, on prom night when Sophie tries to help out a girl by pulling off a little spell, it goes off a little TOO well. The fall out is that her father can no longer protect her and she is sent off to live at Hex Hall until she is 18.
However, once Sophie arrives she quickly realizes exactly how woefully unprepared she is to live at such a place and just how ignorant she is about her powers and the world of witches, warlocks, faeries, and shapeshifters. She quickly ends up being the target of mean girls and bumbles her way into trouble. Thankfully, she has one refuge, her room and her roommate, Jenna. Jenna herself is an outcast, the only vampire student at the school.
This isn't just your regular school book though, there is more to the story. There is a mystery as a few of the students have ended up dead, appearing to have been drained of their blood. Who is there number one suspect? Why Jenna, of course. Sophie just knows that Jenna wouldn't do such a thing, so she works to try to figure out who really did it.
There is also some budding romance, a ghost, some awesome pop culture references, as well as some surprising twists and turns to the story. It is a pretty fast read, although that could have been because I was so into the story, that I just kept reading, and reading, and reading...
I highly recommend checking out this book and I think Rachel Hawkins has just added herself onto my list of go-to authors. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars