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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

REVIEW: Hex Hall (#1 Hex Hall) by Rachel Hawkins

4 Stars 

Hex Hall wasn’t quite Hexcellent, but was certainly enjoyable! 
(...And lovely cover ^_^)

Sophie Mercer was sent to Hecate Hall a.k.a. Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent “Prodigium” (Witches, Warlocks, Shapehifters, and Fairies) after she performed a love spell at the prom, for a classmate, that went terribly wrong, threatening to expose the Prodigium world to humans. “Hex Hall” is located on an island off the coast of Georgia.

Before this, Sophie has only ever lived in the human world, with her mother, and hasn’t known her father, a warlock whose relationship with her mother ended before she was born.

In a way, this story reminded me of Harry Potter as he first attends Hogwarts, but without quite as much whimsy, magic, and detail. There were certainly some moments of attending class including a “Defence” class, a creepy forest nearby, but no moving staircases or talking pictures. There’s an interesting connection between fallen angels and the Prodigium, though, that I liked.

In line with these thoughts, the plot of this story actually reminded me of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, with mysterious deaths/injuries, a ghostly, helpful figure, blame being cast on an “obvious” suspect, and the protagonist being caught up in the middle of it all. Though, this was most assuredly NOT a replica of The Chamber of Secrets.

Hex Hall was an enjoyable read, with a steady pace, and a great climax.

The story is told from Sophie’s first-person perspective. I really liked Sophie, who looks like a girl-next-door, with a great sense of humour and smart-ass wit, and the struggles she faced against the “mean girls” of Hecate Hall, led by gorgeous redhead, Elodie Parris. I enjoyed Sophie’s humourous voice, and her inner monologues, especially in regards to her crush on Archer Cross, made me smile. I really liked that she admittedly had an inexplicable "crush" and didn’t consider herself immediately “in love”.

I also really liked Sophie’s roommate, Jenna, the only vampire student at the school, who funnily adores the colour pink, and with whom Sophie forms a close friendship.

Alas, I didn’t find another “book boyfriend” is this one with snarky, lean, dark, and bad-boyishly good-looking, Archer Cross. *sad sigh* I mean, he was aiiight, but he didn’t have me sighing and swooning. Which is one of the reasons why this didn’t garner a 4.5-5 Star rating from me. Hey, I take my “book boyfriend” collection very seriously, okay? LOL

Cal, the blonde, down-to-earth, quarterback-physiqued, and magically talented groundskeeper, on the other hand, intrigued me, somewhat. Hmm... And no, he doesn't look like Hagrid. ^_^
“So if you can heal with your touch, why are you working here as like, Hagrid, or whatever?”
There was some romance in this, not a lot. And for parents, it should be noted, that there is mention of sex and a rather passionate kiss, but that’s all.

All in all, a nice, fun read. Recommended.
'“Let's just say you may regret that second piece of cake."
Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil.'

'“Sophia Mercer," Elodie intoned, "we have come to induct you into our sisterhood. Say the five words to begin the ritual."
I blinked at her. "Are you freaking kidding me?"
Anna gave an exasperated sigh. "No, the five words are 'I accept your offer, sisters.”'
My images of the characters...

Sophie (Kaya Scodelario)

Archer (Wade Poezyn)

Cal (Zach Roerig)

Elodie (Simone Simons)

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