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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins

Wow - this book was amazing.  Let's start with that.  Finally, I found another series that keeps me up late flipping the pages and dying to know what happens next.  I'd been looking, hoping... and now, I found it.

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.


* Sophie's voice.  Every aspiring writer should read this book to understand what agents and editors are looking for when they say they want a fresh voice.  This was my favorite line:

"But this room looked like it had been decorated by the unholy love child of Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake."

* That this first in the series easily stands alone.  Sure, there are some questions left unanswered, but not to the point where you HAVE to have the sequel or this book is basically useless.  Love this!

*  The characters are so real, you almost feel like you can befriend them yourself.  Everyone from Sophie's homosexual, vampire roommate who loves pink to the Elodie, the stereotypical beautiful bully who just might have a little more sensitivity than we first expected.

*  The plot was fast paced, had a smidge of romance, lots of great scenes, and many laugh-out-loud moments. Just when you think you've hit the climax and are thinking, "That's it?" -- BAM -- the real climax hits. Then Hawkins wraps it all up quickly in the classic roller coaster stop.


* I can't think of anything.  I wish I'd written this book!

And for that, I give Hex Hall FIVE Greek coins - a HFAC rating.  Oh yeah, it was that good.

I'll post my review of DEMONGLASS soon!  If you've read the book, did you love it as much as I did??