Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

9 Oct 2011

Title: Hex Hall
Author:
Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: 
Hyperion Book CH/Simon & Schuster AU.
Release Date:
March 2nd 2010 (US), June 1st 2010 (AUS)
Source:
Library
Format:
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
Quotes:
"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?” 


2 comments:

  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.

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

    ReplyDelete
  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 :)

    ReplyDelete

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