Title: Hex Hall (Book 1 in Hex Hall)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Release Date: March 2, 2010
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.
As far as first books go, this is certainly a keeper! I am certainly intrigued by this supernatural world that Hawkins spins with fae, shapeshifters, and other magical creatures. The school where the story takes place is in and of itself enough to capture a reader’s attention, but add in Sophie and you’ve got yourself an entertaining, suspenseful, and absolutely thrilling read.
From possible romance to definite danger, Sophie’s adventures are numerous in just this first installment. I love her character and personality – not only is she spunky and snarky (favorite traits of mine in heroines), but she’s also friendly, loyal, and relatively normal. All she wants is to get by, and survive being a teenager while balancing crazy magical powers and crazy-dangerous situations at her school. I love how her voice comes through, especially with her relationship with Jenna. And, even though her mom is not very present in the book, it’s not hard to tell how Sophie feels about her mom because she is present; just not omnipresent, which is appropriate considering that Sophie’s basically attending a boarding school.
The adventure and mystery that accompanies the book are big portions of it, and are mostly increased by the characters. To me, any author who can advance the plot solely through a focus on character interactions is talented, and Hawkins does not disappoint. Plus, the way it all ends is definitely not what I expected, and although some answers to Sophie’s questions were predictable, I loved how it all turned out. I also loved that I got the second book to read, because with that ending, I am definitely starting it tonight!
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in supernatural/paranormal books who may be looking for a fast-paced, quick, but fun read. Hex Hall will keep you flipping pages until the very last!
*Note: I do not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13 due to mild language and violence.