Friday, December 5, 2014

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (review)

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) 
 
Hex Hall (1)
 
by Rachel Hawkins
 
Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages:  323
Published: March 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
 

Summary:  "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."


Review:   When I first started reading this I was not sure I wanted to finish it. It came across as VERY young adult. The first person narration style we get for Sophie is bona fide teen speak. So while I could quickly see this appealing to teens (13-17) I had a hard time thinking of anyone over the age of 20 that would enjoy being stuck in her head. Luckily I gave it a few chapters and it does mellow out a slight bit enough to tolerate. Through in some her snarky personality and it made the book reasonably enjoyable.

Before I go too far I want to be sure to explain that that my initial dislike of the book is bad for many others but the book, while having strong paranormal aspects, is in effect a teen drama/contemporary. Instead of the tradition jocks/nerds/cheerleader/etc cliche high school crowds we get fairies/werewolves/witches. Otherwise think high school with dormitories and that is Hex Hall. Now I have never been a big contemporary fan and I prefer my YA to be a bit more on the mature side than this. However, for the average high school student this book is perfect and most likely easy to relate to.

While the book started out with a major eye role, Sophie's character is one that is amusing to read through. The witty remarks made me grin sarcastically in several scenes. She is sent to Hex Hall after one too many spells have gone quite wrong to learn better control. Little does she know that she is in for a less than friendly welcome due to past events beyond her control. She is behind on her magic, has the only vampire for a roommate (and said vamp has a slight obsession with the color pink) and her family has quite a few skeletons in their closet that she must confront! Not to mention the attacks that are happening on the students!

Many bits and pieces are quite predictable but it is the manner in which the story is told that made this a worthwhile read. But if you are looking for twists and turns this is not it. It is a fast, mildly entertaining read.

17 comments:

  1. Awww... Sad to hear you didn't enjoy it too much. However, I am in the age frame you stated so, hopefully, I enjoy it a bit more. I've heard that Rebel Belle and these books both contain very. teenage-y feels to it but I hope it amuses me as well.

    Well, I hope your next read is much better! :) Great review!
    ~Fari
    A Recent Blog Post: Does the Guilt Crush You? @ My Little Corner For Books (Involves hiccuping chihuahuas, awesomeness/weirdness depending on how you look at it and guilty confessions about DNF-ing books! XD)

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  2. I do like a good snarky character. I liked hearing your honest thoughts on this one. I haven't read it, but have heard a lot of people gush about it- so it was helpful to hear what you liked and what you didn't like so much. :)
    ~Jess

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  3. This is a series I've been meaning to read.

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  4. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it... I think I would be put of by the start of the book, I don't have patience for such a young narrator.

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  5. This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I'm way out of my teen years. Having said this, I know that not every book is for every person and I don't hold that against them. I enjoy a lot of books that others don't and my coworkers look at me like I have two heads when I try to talk about them.

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  6. I absolutely want to read it! Sorry you didn't like it!

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  7. Appreciated your review. I am over the age group you mentioned so I probably would not enjoy the book too much if it is in teen speak and doesn't have too much plot. Sounds almost like a Harry Potter rip-off, the "mllitary school" for bad magic users!

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  8. Even though I enjoy the paranormal genre, I don't think I would enjoy this book because of the Sophie's age and the first person narration. Thanks for sharing your review.

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  9. Thanks for the honest review. I'll probably pass on this one for myself, but it sounds like a great gift for my teenage niece.

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  10. I enjoyed the detailed review. I know I would not like a snarky teen-speak narrator either. Also it sounds like another "trying to do a spin on Hogwarts" book. I don't think I'll be adding to TBR list.

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  11. I prefer a more mature YA book so I'm glad to hear your thoughts about this one. It has been on my radar in the past. Thanks again for a great review and your honesty!

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  12. I am far from a teen at 32, but I love this series. I thought it was absolutely hilarious. And the characters grow tremendously in each and every book, the plot deepens, the emotions thicken, the fear escalates. The final book is wonderful in every way. I know you weren't much of a fan of this book, I think you should at least try the next in the series! Thank you for your review!

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  13. the character sounds somewhat funny

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  14. Great review! I wanna give it a read, seems funny!

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  15. Hmmm. For me, Hex Hall has been one of the series that had created quite a buzz but didn't met the expectations of quite a few. It's overrated. Period. I read it but stopped during the first half.
    -Mikee

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  16. i read this book some in January i think, i read it in my language still need to buy the second one, i enjoyed the book, its not the best book ever but its enjoyable, i liked that sophies was funny and sarcastic like u said, but it one thing i though was less funny was when she fall in love instantly with the guy (i dont even remember his name) but i kinda understand why she would fall for him tho.. its a teen books so i kinda get it, i like a bit of romance and sassyness in the books, but contemporary is not one of my favorite genres to read about, i havent read a lot of those genres. but yeah i still think i will continue with the sequel, and these books are not big so tehy are easy reads and funny xD ahh the drama at the school sometimes was boring but oh well

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  17. Good review. Some people love this book others didn't; I am on the fence about it.

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