Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

9 Oct 2011

Title: Hex Hall
Rachel Hawkins
Hyperion Book CH/Simon & Schuster AU.
Release Date:
March 2nd 2010 (US), June 1st 2010 (AUS)
Hardcover, 323 pages

Synopsis: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 student 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:

Hex Hall is another one of the those fun, quirky, novels with a supernatural twist. I’ll admit that it indeed had a typical plot, (with an inevitable twist at the end), and typical characters; new girl, befriends outcast, mean girls and the mysterious, sexy boy. Yet, no matter how clichéd, how unoriginal, and how many times I’ve probably read the same concept in a million other books, I just could not stop reading! Somehow I don’t think I can ever stay away from the allure of these paranormal romance books.

You know those typical paranormal books where a new girl arrives at school, joins outcast group, immediately makes enemies with the most popular & prettiest girls in school and falls madly in love with the hot, mysterious boy who’s dating the most popular/pretty girl (who’s also become her rival). Then there’s this major twist at the end where the most innocent person is actually the perpetrator all along; a climax which is more like an anti-climax, and finally everything is explained and revealed. You’ve all read these types of books right? Well, Hex Hall is no different. After Sophie casts a claustrophobic love spell, which ends in disaster, she is sent to a school for the Prodigium aka faeries, witches, shapeshifters etc. Coincidently, it is right when she goes there that a predator begins attacking the students (although one was murdered a while ago) and Sophie unravels a dark secret that of course, somehow revolves around her. While there was nothing new with the plot, I was still intrigued by the murder mystery; Sophie’s best friend was the main suspect since all the evidence pointed to her, but it was obvious that her friend was being framed. I was really curious to find out who the attacker was so I just could not stop reading. I guess I have a soft spot for these types of books.

As for characterisation, you can pretty much guess the sort of characters that were introduced in the book. We have our protagonist, who I actually liked, only because she didn’t annoy me like most other protagonists in paranormal romance novels. She was sarcastic, funny and a quick-learner and I enjoyed reading the book from her perspective. Then we have the beautiful, perfect supermodel like girls, who are of course, seen as complete b*tches. Oh, and conveniently enough, there are three of them; the leader, and her two minions. We also have our literary YA crush, who’s described as ‘smokin’ hot’ and a heartthrob; almost every girl in the school has a crush on him. While these characters were typical and predictable, I still enjoyed reading about them. Don’t ask me why; I sometimes find these characters so clichéd in some books that I can’t even finish the book, but in this case, I genuinely liked the characters.

One of the reasons why I like the book so much is because of the writing style. It was easy to read; no overly long descriptions and I loved the way Sophie spoke – always so witty and sarcastic, bringing about a light and humorous atmosphere.

All in all, a fantastic start to a character-driven and compelling series. There’s the right amount of humour, mystery and teen drama that can turn even a clichéd novel into a fun and unforgettable read. I can’t wait to rejoin the characters on their next adventure and unravelling even more mystery and secrets that I’m sure will arise in the following instalments. 
Rating: 4 stars
"You know," someone said off to my left, "I usually find a blocking spell to be a lot more effective than yelling 'Bad dog,' but maybe that's just me.” 
“So if you can heal with your touch, why are you working here as like, Hagrid, or whatever?” 


  1. I really enjoyed this. Its true that there are a lot of clichés but I still enjoyed the fun, quirkiness of the book. Glad you enjoyed it as well. I still haven't read the sequel I hear it was pretty good.

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Glad you enjoyed this too! I guess as long as the book is fun & enjoyable, I can overlook the cliches :) I can't wait to read Demonglass! I hope I'll like it even more than Hex Hall! Thanks for stopping by :)


Hey there,
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog :) Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section; I appreciate all comments left here!
If you have a blog, I'll be sure to visit it and comment back(I love finding new blogs so feel free to leave a link!)
Thank you & have a nice day