Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: March 2010
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance, High School
Perfect for: those looking for something new in their supernatural romances
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Mercer is a witch, at least half witch. When a love spell goes drastically wrong at her school prom, Sophie is sentenced to Hex Hall (aka reform school for monsters) for her remaining years of school. Mingling for the first time with other supernatural creatures like the fae, werewolves, shifters, and even a few vampires, Sophie finds out that she has a lot to learn about the magical world she was born into. To add to it, Sophie finds herself falling for a boy who is perfect, but unavailable. When dark witches start being attacked, Sophie finds her vampire roommate accused and starts looking for answers; Answers that will lead her to an even bigger secret about who she truly is and how powerful she could become.
I almost judged this book by its cover. I admit it, I saw this in the bookstore and passed it by because I wasn't a fan of the cover art. It wasn't until I stumbled upon this book as an ARC that I decided to give it a shot, not knowing it was the book I passed up a few days earlier. Well, needless to say, 6 hours after opening the front cover of 'Hex Hall', I finished, having read it cover to cover in practically one sitting, wanting more!
Let's start off first with the story/voice. Told from Sophie's point of view, 'Hex Hall' moves quickly. The writing style is similar to Carrie Jones 'Need' or Lauren Kate's 'Fallen' and has a good mix of witty dialogue, light action, steamy moments, and quirky pop culture references. The writing flowed nicely from chapter to chapter and (for me) had an addictive feeling to it similar to when I read 'Twilight' or 'Fallen'.
The characters are likable and entertaining to read. Sophie is your typical strong female heroine. Her past, largely unknown to her, should make for an interesting series. I loved Archer, the hot bad boy of 'Hex Hall'. So many things can play out when it comes to him. I'm excited to see what happens between him and Sophie in future books. And then there is Sophie's roommate Jenna... She could have easily been annoying, but is actually pretty likable. Maybe it's because, unlike some other sidekicks, her character actually has a role to play in the story more than just confidante.
A quick warning to readers-- it has a cliff hanger ending. You'll want more! Overall, I loved this book and can't wait for the next installment. It should appeal to the vast majority of YA supernatural romance readers. Take my advice-- ignore the cover and give this book a shot!