Monday, 15 March 2010
Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: April 1st, 2010
Grade rating: A
In the wake of a love spell gone horribly wrong, Sophie Mercer, a sixteen-year-old witch, is shipped off to Hecate Hall, a boarding school for witches, shapeshifters and faeries. The traumas of mortal high school are nothing compared to the goings on at "Freak High." It's bad enough that she has to deal with a trio of mean girls led by the glamorous Elodie, but it's even worse when she begins to fall for Elodie's gorgeous boyfriend, Archer Cross, and frankly terrifying that the trio are an extremely powerful coven of dark witches. But when Sophie begins to learn the disturbing truth about her father, she is forced to face demons both metaphorical and real, and come to terms with her own growing power as a witch.
I've been looking forward to Hex Hall for months, ever since I first heard about it. I don't know why, but I just had a feeling it would be good. And wow, is it good!
Rachel Hawkins does a fantastic job of bringing her incredibly likeable characters to life, and even makes you feel sorry for those not-so likeable ones. After all, it's not their fault they're the bitchy clique on campus, hell-bent on making Sophie's life a living nightmare. Every school has girls like Elodie, Anna and Chaston, and if you've seen Mean Girls, you'll know what I'm talking about!
Witch Sophie and vampire Jenna are a great duo, and I loved getting to be part of their lives at Hecate 'Hex' Hall, a big old school for witches, shapeshifters and faeries. They get to meet different types of people, make new friends and live with others who understand exactly what their life is like. Everything should run smoothly, right? Wrong!
As if it's not enough to be a teenager and different, they're also being hunted by several different organisations, all of which are out for blood. Add to that a strange ghost in a green dress, several student casualties, and a crush on the resident warlock hottie, and things for Sophie get very complicated. On the subject of Mr. Warlock, AKA. Archer Cross [insert *swoon* here], I'm going to have to own up and admit that he completely hooked me. He's a no-nonsense bad boy who can raise one eyebrow -- by the first frown, I was a goner.
Hawkins has a brilliant story on her hands here, not to mention a selection of characters to envy and a setting reminiscent of Harry Potter. Hex Hall will appeal to so many readers, I can't even begin to list them, or I'll be here all day. It's a debut novel with style and attitude, and I was sad when I finished it. Lucky for me, there's a sequel on the way, so let's all form an orderly queue!