Sunday, September 28, 2014

{Review} Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

{Review} Hex Hall
Title: Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Published: March 2nd, 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
Pages: 323

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.

After reading Rachel Hawkins’s Rebel Belle and absolutely loving it, I had to get my hands on some more of her books.  I did really enjoy reading Hex Hall, but I did like Rebel Belle slightly more.  When reading this book, I was constantly feeling like it was a mix of Mean Girls and The Craft (two really good movies).  I really enjoyed the writing and loved Sophie as the main character.  I thought this book was a good mix of mystery, action, drama, and romance.  

I really liked the writing of this book.  The writing style was easy to read and the dialogue was really witty and funny.  However, I do feel like the writing at the end of this book was better than at the beginning.  I felt underwhelmed at the beginning of the book and thought that it may be way too simplistic and straight forward, but then at about the middle of the book there was a turning point that made me really fall in love.  I also really liked the pacing of this book because it allowed readers to learn about the characters, but still integrated mystery and action so I was not bored reading this book at all.    

The plot of this book was also fantastic.  At first I found it too simplistic, but it really became more intricate and complex.  I did feel like some of the mysteries in this book were really obvious, but some things totally took me by surprise.  I would say that I didn’t even guess half of what was going on in this book.  The ending was perfect and full of plot twists and action.  The book somewhat leaves on a cliffhanger, but since all of the books are already out, readers can continue on with the series without waiting.    

The characters in this book are really great.  I loved Sophie as the main character and really liked seeing how she evolved from the begging of the book.  Her character was witty, funny, and stood up for what she believed in.  I think that watching Sophie navigate mean girl cliques, a new high school, and a crush on a cute boy really makes her character relatable.  I also really liked Jenna’s character as well and loved seeing how her friendship with Sophie progressed throughout the book.  I felt like Jenna’s character was well developed as well for being a side character.  I am always really disappointed when authors don’t expand on other characters in their books and just use them as fillers rather than making them have a history and problems other than ones that just affect the main character.  I also really enjoyed the role Elodie played in the book.  I wish that there would have been more background on her character so I could have had more compassion and understanding about her motives.  I really liked Archer as a love interest and although I understand why his character development was lacking, I really hope I get to see more about him in the upcoming books.

I thought that the romance was done as well as it could have been given Archer’s character development.  I did not particularly like Archer for Sophie at the beginning of the book, but then I began liking him more and more.  I never really felt the chemistry between Sophie and Archer until nearly the end of the novel.  I did like that their relationship slowly progressed and I loved their witty banter.  I hope that I get to see their relationship grow in the following books because I am really curious as to what direction it will go in.

Overall, I really liked this book and will be containing on with the series.  I am really interested in the next book since this book left off on a cliffhanger.  I would also recommend that readers who enjoyed this series to check out Rebel Belle as well because it was just as good, if not better.  I would also recommend readers who did not enjoy Hex Hall to still give Rebel Belle a read because I did enjoy that book slightly better.  I am excited about proceeding with this series because I hope it becomes more mature and I can rate it as high as Rebel Belle.

Check out Rachel Hawkins's blog where she discusses how she started writing and the process of being published.  Also check out Hawkins's other books in the Hex Hall series and Rebel Belle.

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