Rachel Hawkins Hex Hall
323 pp. Disney Hyperion Books. 2010 ISBN: 978-1-4231-2130-5 $16.99
(From the publisher) “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 is most definitely “unputdownable.” I was in love as soon as I started reading and Sophie uttered her first sarcastic comment. Sophie underestimates herself and has a knack for getting into awkward situations, but her wit never fails. I laughed out loud so often at her remarks and thoughts that I started marking them with post-its. One of the best is when she describes her very pink Hex Hall room: “But this room looked like it had been decorated by the unholy lovechild of Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake.” Sophie’s roommate, Jenna, is a vampire and when discussing how Jenna feeds, Sophie learns that she drinks from blood pouches. How does Sophie respond? With humor of course! “Awesome. Like a bloody Capri Sun.” This dialogue runs throughout the novel which made the story even more fun to read.
The plot is absolutely addicting. Sophie is sent to Hex Hall because she tried using magic and failed miserably. Now she’s at a school filled with witches, shapeshifters and faeries who have all done the same in varying degrees. Sophie’s drawback is that she barely knows anything about the life of a prodigium so we learn right along with her. Once Sophie begins learning more about the prodigium way of life, the plot twists again, and she’s faced with a coven of hateful witches. Oh wait, you thought that was it? Nope, the next twist thrown our way is that something is attacking fellow classmates and Jenna is the #1 suspect. Can you understand why I love this book so much?! Most of these plot twists happened at the end of the chapter so I had to keep reading.
Rachel Hawkins is incredibly gifted and I can’t wait to read the second novel in this series, Demonglass. I can easily see her becoming one of my favorite authors because of her clever use of humor and her wonderful development of characters. I highly recommend reading Hex Hall. In fact, I just might read this out loud to my first trimester students