Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)

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Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)
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Age Range
14+
Release Date
March 02, 2010
ISBN
1423121309
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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.

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From Missy's Reads & Reviews

Hex Hall begins with a prologue that has a fun story about why the main character, Sophie Mercer, was actually sent to Hecate Hall in the first place. Hecate Hall is a reform institution to help shape-shifters, witches, and fae control their abilities and teach them how to blend into the human world better. Once there, she meets her roommate - a vampire, the only vampire student at the school. She also has a run-in with the three dark witches at the school, who don't take rejection from Sophie very lightly. The day-to-day dribble is interrupted by a few incidents (read: intended murders) that coincides with a death from the previous year -- a death that looks suspiciously like a vampire attack, and the students are too eager to blame it on Sophie's roommate. While trying to prove her friends innocence, Sophie tries to blend in as a normal student. However, with her dad being the head of the Council and the person who sent all of the students to the institution, Sophie finds out that being friends with the number-one murder suspect is the least of her problems. The worst of her problems? Sophie has no idea who she really is.

This was a pretty easy read (this is coming from someone who's read entirely too many books and reads too fast for her own good sometimes), and had a very light-hearted feel to it. I did feel a sense of recognition from this book, as far as some of the story reminding me of other stories I've read recently - but it definitely shouldn't be judged by that. The writing was first-person point-of-view, which helped understand Sophie's feelings as she found herself, and discovering how others truly were as well. It seems like all of the characters, minor or major, had a lot of depth to them. The main characters definitely stayed true and never strayed from themselves, or did anything completely unpredictable. As a matter of fact, some of the actions of the characters made some things a little too predictable, so when something happened, it didn't surprise you as much as it maybe should have. The storyline was wonderful. As a book that is part of a series, I think the writer perfected the ending. It left you with some questions about the future of the characters, but didn't end abruptly - it ended with enough loose strands tied up to make it a stand alone in itself. Perfect.

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Hex Hall Book One

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.



Very rarely do I find a YA paranormal with humor, romance and a fast-paced plot that keeps me reading from the moment I open the first page until the very last sentence.

Ladies and Gents, we have a winner in Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. A Really Big Winner.

Sophie Mercer is sentenced & sent & to Hecate Hall after a rather unfortunate incident at her schools prom. It wasnt Sophies fault Kevin Bridges drove his Land Rover into the gym, Well, not exactly. Okay. It was.

But being exiled to Hecate, or Hex Hall as its unofficially referred to by the inmates & students & is the worst kind of punishment. Sophies used to being the only freak in the room, but at Hex Hall is full of them, from dark witches to the fey to vampires. Not to mention the werewolves. Sophie is accosted by one before shes been on campus for five minutes, and is saved by Archer Cross a strange guy whos not that hot who asks her if shes a witch and then has the nerve to suggest that in the future she could endeavor to not suck so badly at it.

Obviously, Archer Cross is the love interest. I mean, I know Id crush on him immediately. And I did. As a reader. Not in real life, you know. He is fictional.

Hex Hall gets better and better as the story progresses. Hawkins wit laces every page as she leads the reader down a twisty plot path to a satisfying end. Its incredibly fresh to read a paranormal YA thats both frightening and hilarious be prepared to consume it from cover to cover in one sitting.

[As an aside, I dont suggest reading with liquid in your mouth unless youre interested in spewing it at the pages (or shooting it out of your nose) when you laugh out loud.]

I expect most HEX-ellent things from Hex Hall, and I cant wait for more from the witty and talented Rachel Hawkins.

Highest of Most High Recommendations

Five of Five Stars

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Clever and Fun

Two chapters into Hex Hall Book One I was worried it was another hackneyed reshuffling of witches, werewolves and vampires, but Rachel Hawkins’s expert character development made this book a winner. Characters you think are two dimensional turn out to have real depth (like Elodie) and there’s a big twist at the end that I did not see coming.

The book’s premise is that Sophie gets banished to a reform school for magical creatures after her disastrous use of magic at a school dance. “Hex Hall” as it is nicknamed by the witches, shape shifters, and fairies that attend, is not necessarily a fun place to be, but it’s not all bad either. Sophie’s roommate Jenna is a vampire, which makes life interesting, but other than that things are okay.

The real drama begins when a classmate is drained of blood and all eyes turn to Jenna. Sophie struggles to maintain her roommate’s innocence while at the same time dealing with surprising revelations about her own personal history.

Certainly a lot of readers are tired of reading another book about witches and vampires–and I can definitely see their point, but others of us are always up for more paranormal titles, especially if they’re clever enough.

P.S. After reading Hex Hall I will never look at a Capri Suns the same way again.

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Hex Hall

I had really wanted to read this book for a while and I finally decided to check it out of the library and I am glad that I did! While this book did come off as more juvenile it was funny and adorable and just completely awesome. It mixes paranormal ideas in with mystery that leaves you guessing until the very end.

I loved the plot of the story. Students being attacked by a mysterious predator? Yes please! It was up to the main character, Sophie to find out who was behind the attacks while trying to discover exactly who she was and why everybody seemed to have a problem with her.

This book takes place in a magical school for prodigium (Witches, fae and shapeshifters) called Hecate Hall, also called Hex Hall by the students. I love magical schools (Um, Harry Potter!) and this school did not disappoint.

The characters were well developed and quite likeable, except for the mean girls but the point is to hate them. Sophie did come off as a little petty in the beginning but I still found myself liking her. She's funny and she sticks by her friends even if everybody else is against them.

Then there is Archer Cross, the resident sexy bad boy. And trust me you won't believe what happens with him *No spoilers here just read to find out*.

Then finally there are Anna, Chaston and Elodie. The three mean girls who try to get Sophie to join them in the beginning but eventually make it their sole mission to make her life miserable. They do a pretty good job of it. But by the end of the novel I found myself actually liking Elodie.

Overall, I found this book to be a quick enjoyable read and I reccommend it for anybody who has any interest in paranormal topics, whether it be witches, fae, shapeshifters or magical schools, this book has it all and combines it perfectly with mystery that will have you up turning the pages until you find out what happens

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Hex Hall (A Room with Books review)

Why, oh why haven’t I read this book before?

It’s no secret that I’m very finicky when it comes to my paranormal reading choices. I find a lot of them to be pretty similar, especially when it comes to the lovey part of the story, but Hex Hall isn’t one of those copycats. I loved the originality of this story. Yeah, there’s a boarding school where paranormal creatures go, but that’s really where any similarities with other paranormals stop.

I loved all the mythology (that’s probably not the right word at all, but I’m going with it) in the story. The witches, shape-shifters, and faeries were all interesting. I hope I get to learn more about the shape-shifters and faeries in the other books.

The characters were all fantastic. Of course, Elodie was fun to hate, but Hawkins managed to make her multi-dimensional enough that I actually wanted to like her sometimes.
I really liked Jenna and the way she would stand up for herself, but was still sensitive. She wasn’t all big-bad-scary-vamp or anything.
Oh, Sophie. Sophie was seriously awesome. She was sarcastic as heck, but didn’t pretend to be hard as nails. She still had feelings and they got hurt like a normal person. I really appreciated that. But man, did she go all kick-a**when she needed to. Plus, she was a good friend and I always love a good friend :]
Then, of course, there’s Archer. Who doesn’t love a sarcastic, hot warlock? I can certainly appreciate one ;]

The Nutshell: Not only does Hex Hall bring originality to the table, but it has fantastic characters too. Characters aren’t something I usually notice, but Hawkins has some doozies here. I like Hawkins’ versions of witches and the magical world in general. I found it all to be very original and intriguing. If you’re wary of paranormal (like me) I highly advise giving Hex Hall a chance. It’ll make you gasp from all the twists and turns as well as laugh outright from all of Sophie (and Jenna’s) quips. Oh, and there’s kissing, just to sweeten the pot ;]

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Humorously Addictive

Sophie Mercer is a crack up. She is very fluent in sarcasm, as Archer has said. I love this novel and even the second one. The third is already out, can't wait to get a copy. Any who, the story is inviting, you'll want to keep reading, a complete page turner to readers, like myself, who love Paranormal genre books.

Good Points
The best parts were when Alice finally visited her and taught her how to control her powers to its full potential. She had some difficulty because she wasn't actually a dark witch. She was a demon, Alice was her great great grandmother who was turned into a Demon. Also I liked the part when she and Elodie flew on brooms, classic. The second installment is much more fun than the first. Demon Glass will leave you craving for Spellbound. :)
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Cliche YA Paranormal Romance

Mix together angst and attitude. Then pile on the romance and rebellion. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins is an addicting read. I wanted to guzzle it like a fizzy soft drink. Unfortunately, by the end, I also felt as if my teeth had rotted.

Just prior to adolescence, Sophie discovered that she is a witch. Since that time, Sophie’s powers have gotten her into kicked out of nineteen schools in three years, but why should that stop her from using them again on prom night? To her credit, Sophie tries to use her powers for good. Poor Felicia doesn’t have a date and so Sophie steps in to solve that problem in a big way. It doesn’t faze Sophie when Felicia admits that she wants to date the same popular boy who is in every other young adult novel. Never mind that he is the SGA president, football captain, and everything good. Sophie can handle anything! She also has a soft heart. Still, you’d think someone who has been kicked out of nineteen schools might tone down the display of her powers, but Sophie apparently lacks that discretion. She conjures up a big dark cloud with purplish light, sends lightning racing across the sky, and…. The rest of the details aren’t important. All you really need to know is that this extravagant display of witchcraft lands Sophie in a reform school for wayward “Prodigium”; otherwise known as witches, faeries, and shape shifters.

I forgave Hawkins for that bizarre description of Sophie’s witchcraft, because of these two lines: “I kept concentrating, and as I did, the cloud swirled faster until it was a perfect circle with a hole in the center. The Magic Doughnut, as I’d dubbed it the first time I’d created one on my twelfth birthday.” Ah-ha! Upon reading those lines, I decided that Hex Hall would be a light teen romance and so I stuck with Hawkins even when the first chapter turned farcical. Unfortunately, all too quickly Sophie’s sense of humor morphs into plain old adolescent attitude and angst. My notes about the book’s best highlights stopped growing, with the one exception being the attempted murders that happen halfway through. It’s not a good sign in a book or a movie when you start wishing for slayings. Okay, I didn’t actually start WISHING for murders to happen. Hex Hall isn’t that bad. I just found the murders a refreshing break from the routine adolescent fare which filled the rest of Hex Hall. As such, my notes about the the book’s worst highlights grew longer and longer until I ran out of room.

When you think of female teen fiction, what comes to mind? If you said bad boys and mean girls, you’ll have nicely summarized the bulk of Hex Hall. In chapter two, Sophie meets Archer. He is leaning against a tree, his collar is unbuttoned, his tie hangs loose, and on his face is a smirk. Yup, that sounds about right for your typical “bad” boy. After rescuing her from a werewolf, he angers Sophie by insulting her powers. Yup, that also sounds about right for an opening scene. After all, if Archer was nice from the start, what would be his attraction? And, if Sophie liked him from the start, what fun would there be in his pursuit of her? Next, in chapter four, Sophie meets the three “charmed” ones. They are pretty and mean. What else would you expect? After all, if they were plain and kind, what would the pay-off be when they finally accept Sophie? Oh, there is one other thing that female teen fiction should bring to mind: friendship. My favorite character is Jenny. Besides being Sophie’s roommate, she’s loves pink and gets her beverages from a blood bank. She does the latter because is she’s also a vampire. Oh, she is also suspected of those attempted murders. She’s one of the more interesting characters in a parade of clichés.

To a certain extent, Hex Hall reminds me of the movie Mean Girls, because initially Sophie doesn’t want anything to do with the three “charmed” ones. From them, she learns that there are two different kinds of witches. White witches do minor spells such as love potions, fortune telling, and other seemingly innocent things such as make “bunnies and kittens and rainbows appear out of thin air.” Dark witches, on the other hand, cast major spells that as control weather, raise the dead and, as Sophie puts it “spells that hurt people”. When Sophie realizes exactly what kind of witches they are, she turns down their offer to join them. In turn, the leader Elodie accuses Sophie of thinking she is better of them, but Sophie claims that isn’t her reason. This scenario is one of several where I think Hawkins missed an opportunity to instill moral values into Hex Hall. While I dislike preachy novels, I also admire those authors who slip little snippets of wisdom into their books. Another missed opportunity occurs when Jenny tells Sophie that students aren’t allowed to use their powers to be lazy, but then nothing else is ever said about this idea.

The above criticisms aside, my biggest peeve is how much Hex Hall is a Harry Potter clone. To start, Hecate Hall is housed at a remote location. Students can reach this location only by ferry. Inside the school, a spiral staircase twists up three stories, seemingly supported by nothing. Pale and cold people sometimes sweep by the students. I’ll give you one guess as to what they are. There’s only one bathroom on the entire floor. One teacher picks on Sophie and even some of her peer despise her because, unbeknownst to Sophie, she possesses the strongest powers available to a witch. There is a groundskeeper and even a forbidden wood. While the young adult world could benefit from books that buck the trends, I wouldn’t have minded a good Harry Potter clone. The problem is that Sophie is sent to a reformatory school. With that little catch, Hawkins is off the hook when it comes to providing readers with a cleverly imaginative world such as Rowling provided in Harry Potter. Hecate Hall is pretty plain. For example, its dining room is simply a large room that has a jumble of tables shoved into it. While there are actually chandeliers, these are covered with what look like garbage bags. As for the food, even though it whets Sophie’s appetite, don’t you think a banquet should consist of more than macaroni and cheese, chicken, shrimp, and chocolate cake?

While I love a good fantasy, Hex Hall wasn’t one. Sadly, too many of the young adult paranormal books I’ve read have disappointed me. This puts me on the hunt for the exception. Or maybe I’ll just stick with young adult fiction that has nothing to do with witches, vampires, werewolves, and faeries.

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So Good!

I love this book! After reading it I actually asked my parents to send me to some old english boarding school! Haha I can dream right?? But anyway I really enjoyed this story and I thought it was very well written. I loved the characters and the love story and mystery and suspense all in one! Definitely a must read!

Good Points
The plot and characters are expertly written!
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Adored!

I found this book utterly charming from page one. Sophie cracked me up with her charm and wit, and I found her absolutely captivating and empathetic.

Oooh, and that kiss. Oh my.

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Two Thumbs UP

Have you read this book yet? WHY NOT?? It's fascinating, humorous, atmospheric (southern Gothic FTW), and has a delicous (frustrated) romance! And the plot is twisty, the characters are vivid, and the stakes are HIGH.

I can't discuss my fave parts without being spoilery (except the HAWT kiss ... swoon.), but trust me. If you love adventures, paranormal, romance, and funny, this is the book for you.

Good Points
Hilarious, awesome setting, suspense, and HAWT kissing
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Excellent book!

Excellent book! Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down until I was done. It's such an easy and wonderful read. The story was just right. I didn't figure it out until about 30 seconds before the main character!

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3 Stars For Hex Hall

Reader reviewed by The Fable Fairy

Witches? Check. School for paranormal beings? Check. Mean clique? Check. Hot boy? Check. Must I go on? Obviously deciding to read Hex Hall was a no brainer. Especially since any book that has the slight resemblance to Harry Potter will have me frothing at the mouth. 

Hex Hall is not a book I would recommend if you are looking for a thrilling read that will keep you up well into the night. It's more of a book that you would grab on a rainy Saturday afternoon to pass the time. With it's decent size text and the diction used, this book was a quick and fun read. 

My favorite part of this little number, besides the cover, would have to be Sophie's dialogue with the other characters as well as her own thoughts. Many of the things she says and thinks are ozzing with wit and sarcasm. Hawkins had my laughing out loud. No, seriously. Laughing. Out. Loud. 

I also enjoy how the Hawkins never made Sophie this uber perfect character who automatically fell into the swing of things once she arrived at Hex Hall. Sophie makes countless mistakes from doing and saying the wrong things. It's her ignorance that makes her such a lovable character. 

However, no one was as lovable as Jenna. I felt more drawn to her in that she is her own person. She sticks out like a sore thumb at Hex Hall and embraces her differences rather than attempting to fall into step with the rest of the crowd. Jenna was her own person, who enjoyed her own things, and wore and said what she liked. Yes, she did have inner conflicts like everyone else but she was much better at hiding her distress from others. 

As I have said before, the novel wasn't anything special. It had it's moments and there was some mystery involved but nothing that had me jumping in anticipation. Although, I am thinking that Demonglass will be far better at stirring up my emotional pot because the ending of Hex Hall left so many unanswered questions. 

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