Book Review: ‘Hex Hall’

   Posted by: Faith   in Rye Thoughts

I read this one awhile ago, but I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t resist sharing, just in case you haven’t read it yet…

Hex Hall

by Rachel Hawkins

YA Paranormal

Release Date: March 2010

Description (from Amazon):

hexhallThree 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.

My Thoughts:

School for magical types… hmm… sound familiar? We’ve seen this theme before, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if readers passed over this book based on the cover copy description. Unfortunately, they’ll be missing a wonderful read if they do!

This is a strong debut to a series, with realistically developed characters and non-contrived subplots. Sophie, the main character, is likable, flawed, and logical: When she develops a small crush on a guy at school, she doesn’t fall head over heels for him, but the feelings grow over time in a way that’s so natural I found myself reminiscing about my own time as a 16-year-old. I don’t know how Hawkins did it, but she captured the spirit of an intelligent, funny, and realistic 16-year-old inside this book. Hmm, maybe Hawkins went to Hex Hall herself…

I also found myself a little surprised at how mystery-oriented the book was, but this wasn’t a bad thing. When students start being murdered, Sophie suspects there’s a plot surfacing to kill off Prodigium, but when no one believes her (as you might expect), she decides to do something about it and solve the problem on her own. A significant portion of the book is given to this, and makes the story feel a bit more like a YA mystery than a YA paranormal at times, but as I said, it isn’t a bad thing.

These will make sense if you've read the book... :) As for secondary characters? A vampire roommate who loves the color pink and who experiences severe discrimination is one of the strongest secondaries, and the primary "bad guy" (another female student) is the kind who you feel sorry for at times, because she’s not your typical evil character — she’s just another teen trying to get by at school, doing what she thinks she needs to do to survive.

Of course, the big issues aren’t resolved in this book, and there’s a huge reveal at the end of the book that I didn’t see coming. The second book in the series releases this February, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

(I should also mention, I won my copy of this book on author Tera Lynn Childs’ blog, so if you haven’t read any of her books before either, go take a look!)

About the Author


Rachel Hawkins is a high school English teacher. She lives with her family in Alabama, and is currently at work on the next book in the Hex Hall series.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 at 1:51 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 comments so far


I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

December 8th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

This looks funny and way cool! Thanks for sharing.

December 8th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
Kittie Howard

The mystery-oriented plot really appealed. Lovely review. Thanks for sharing!

December 8th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I loved how this book managed to find a great balance of mystery, darkness, and humor. It was great fun.

December 8th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I haven’t read this yet, but it sounds good! Mystery is always good for a plot.

December 8th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Hmmm… sounds interesting. I am such a sucker for school-ish stories.

December 8th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Great review! I do want to read this. I’ve got it on my TBR list, and I think it just moved higher on the list!

December 9th, 2010 at 12:38 am

This is on my list. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

December 9th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Yay! I hope all of you read it and lurrrrve it!!!

And Alison, glad you enjoyed it too!

December 10th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I must admit I don’t like and don’t read YA, but I do love a lot the cover of this one! It’s very beautiful and inviting.

December 18th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Haven’t read any YA paranormal material, however, I must admit that your review does make me want to check out this book.

January 14th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

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