Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series Status: 1st book in the Hex Hall Trilogy
# of pages: 323
My rating: 3/5 stars
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 tag-along 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.
This is a book that if I had read right when it came out I would have loved it. It was written during that prime of the angsty paranormals that have the romances to die for and the dark mystical things to go along. Since I read it now I still found myself enjoying but I found that it was more troped to me since I’ve read a lot of this in other books that were also popular during that time.
I do have to say that I happened to like a lot of the more minor characters more than our main character, Sophie. I found that she more of a bland character for me and I cared way more about Jenna and all of the other characters that may pop up for only a couple scenes. Our main character definitely had that classic teen angst going on and that paired with her almost nonexistent knowledge of magic made her slightly annoying.
Another thing that I didn’t care for was the romance. I was happy that it was pretty minor in this book, as it was not the main focus but I wished that it was completely left out. This would have been a more entertaining story to me had the romance been saved for a later installation.
While I disliked the romance the overall plot was gripping. I really enjoyed that even though this took a lot of the paranormal cliches it handled them well and the adventure of finding out who’s behind all of these mysterious attacks on campus was something that I found pretty unique.
Hawkins writing was easy going and had a nice pacing to it that made this story a quick and engaging read. I enjoyed that she spent time developing the characters that were important and adding a depth of mystery to the story.
Overall I really did enjoy this book but felt like it was definitely a paranormal and had a bunch of the same tropes to it.