Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Friday, April 16, 2010

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall (Book 1)
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 tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire 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.

Hex Hall was an imaginative look at a familiar world.  Almost every review I've read speaks to the story's likability.  It was charming, humorous, suspenseful and surprising.  Sophie's sarcasm and wit had me frequently chuckling out loud.  She is also sweet, caring and a good friend, even to those who aren't good to her.  But the best thing about this book was the plot twists and the  *gasp* "I didn't see that coming" moments.  I thought the author did a great job of keeping me entertained and flipping the pages....but, I was conflicted, which leads me to....

I felt like the language was excessive.  There was only one "major" cuss word, but there were over 50 "minor" cuss words and religious exclamations.  I found it distracting and I thought it made Sophie seem less intelligent.  As did her immediate attraction/lust for Archer.  I don't like it when girls fall for guys who treat them badly or insult them.  Somehow, "You had me at 'You really suck at being a witch!"' doesn't really work for me.  Archer goes back and forth from being rude and insulting, to being sweet and "knightly."  Like the latter should make up for the former. Not to mention that he's dating Elodie, who is completely evil and malicious to Sophie.  What is attractive about that?  You might make the argument that Archer could possibly have an ulterior motive for dating Elodie, and for treating Sophie the way he did, but Sophie doesn't know that (and we don't find out, either).  The whole time I kept thinking, "Come on, Sophie!  Get some self-respect!"  This is something that I'm seeing more and more in YA and it's not a quality I would like to see instilled in young girls.

So, overall, I'd say that Hex Hall is a fun read and a great storyline, with some serious character flaws....oh, and one major cliffhanger!

I liked it!!

  • Sexual Content: Moderate
  • Profanity: Moderate/Heavy
  • Violence: Moderate

If you'd like more details about the content, go to Hex Hall on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Hopping by! I appreciate your compliment on my blog, Proud Book Nerd! :-) I'm loving yours, too! I'm a new follower. Have a great weekend!

  2. Found you on the hop. I really like the "what are you looking for" organization. That's an awesome way to find what I like.

  3. I appreciate your thoughts about what you don't like seeing in YA books. I completely agree.

  4. Great review!! I'm stopping by from the book blogger hop!

  5. hopping by...I really like your blog!!! I'm a follower of yours now if you get a chance hop on and give my blog a look =o)

  6. Found you on the HOP! Great book review! Your honesty is so much appreciated in this review! :)

  7. Hopping by! I love the design and your rating system :) will add a link to here!

  8. I liked Sophie but I agree, I totally didn't see why she was crushing on Archer. For me Archer lacked personality, as boring as cardboard. Although having said that I took an instant liking to Cal, who probably spoke about 10words throughout the entire book. Hehe.
    I could see how Archer would fall for Sophie but there was nothing about Archer that completeley captured me as the reader.

    And talk about a cliff-hanger! As I read it I didn't know whether I would read the next book or not but it was such a quick read and with that cliff-hanger (and maybe more of Cal) I will totally be reading the next book :D

  9. Sheepa,

    I liked the second book much better!

    Here's my review:


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