Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Publication Date: 3.2.2010
Series: Yes; Book #1 (Hex Hall)
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I know a book is special when it has me giggling aloud by the close of the first chapter. Rachel Hawkins keeps the reader delightfully amused and eager to read more with her quick wit and energetic story. The pace does not relent, and Hawkins does not tease her readers nor bog them down with unnecessary details.
Sentenced to spend the remainder of her high school years in Hecate Hall (appropriately nicknamed “Hex Hall”), Sophie Mercer is on her own. From her first encounter with a werewolf that greets her by charging at her to Sophie realizing her true place in the Prodigium society, I never stopped loving this character. Sophie is such a fun, genuine girl that I was rooting for her before I finished page one. Rarely have I read a book where I so thoroughly felt like I knew the main character.
Sophie is such a magnificent character that I honestly felt like all the other characters paled in comparison. While I loved Jenna , the “Trinity” and the staff of Hex Hall, I wish I knew more about them. The only character I felt like I had a good sense of was Archer Cross (who I desperately hope to see more of in future books—I think there’s a lot more to his story than meets the eye). My only critique is that, with the exception of Archer, the rest of the cast sometimes came off as fluff filler. I felt no real emotion towards them because I didn’t feel Sophie had a very strong bond to them.
I’m typically a romance fan first. I grab a book looking for that magical melding of soul mates. I’m a sap, and I know it. While Hex Hall dabbles in the romance department, I never once felt cheated by the lack of a storybook romance. This book is breath of fresh air in the paranormal fiction department. If this book is any indication, Rachel Hawkins is a name YA fans need to familiarize themselves with. With this smashing debut, she’s definitely here to stay.