Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 genies
Published: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pages: 336
Source: Library Loan
Format: Hardcover
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

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.

My Thoughts

A three genie rating usually equates to an average reading experience, but the book's state of mild-mediocracy is not the only reason why I have given Hex Hall 3 genies. It was really a culmination of a multitude of things I did not like, and mainly because this novel had me split so half and half. There were parts at the beginning where it was spine-slitting hilarious; I loved the prom, but then other sections like closer to the end for instance where it got seriously weird. When it came to rating, I felt very conflicted.

Sophie has a very distinct voice, opinionated, funny and spunky. She is very likable and easy to relate to. But she fell a little inconsistent at times with her emotions. I get that teens at that age are unsure, but I do wish there had been a little more depth.

It bothered me that all the really profound parts of the book which should have actually occurred were rather summarized instead; like when she (Sophie) reads in the library we are just told this happens rather than there being an actually scene for it. Also, Sophie seems very occupied swooning over Archer to really care that say, she is in a new state and house. She's moved a ton of times, big whoop, so have I! I still feel weird adjusting to new environments and people, and things do appear distinct; whereas at Hecate I got the impression that she had seen it all before. Not a good way for a reader to feel, but to be fair that only happened at certain parts. The fact that she had a brain for the majority of the book greatly contributed to the 3 genies on this review, so there, good going Hawkins.

Another thing that bothered me was how casual sex seemed to be taken. It is kind of implied that Jenna got it on with Amanda, while Elodie and Sophie were each respectively prepared to get it on with Archer. And all these girls are a little over 15.


Seriously, so sex doesn't matter? Is that what you wanted to say, Hawkins because that is exactly how it came across. I am way past 15 and will be an adult shortly, you do not see me staging ways to lose my V card!! I do not want to begin imagining the teenagers or preteens who will pick up this book or their understanding of something as private as sex after reading certain scenes as I have! It wasn't necessarily bad that there was sex mentioned in the book as much as how lightly sex itself was perceived. [Like when Sophie tells Jenna about Elodie's V-card losing plans, they laugh that she says she will give herself to him, unable to understand why she doesn't just say sex. (hide spoiler)]

Why is it that way? Why would someone even write it in that light, especially after knowing the audience? It bothered me. And I do not care that the youth are experienced or that there are teen moms popping up every day, it shouldn't be encouraged. I will not dwell on it further, but it is something to consider; kids are extremely impressionable and if anyone should know that, it would be a teacher, who works with them every day and whose job it is to leave impressionable difference (positive) on their lives. Like the kind Hawkins is supposed to be.

My favorite characters were Cal and the headmistress. I wish there had been a little more of those two, and I'm definitely reading 'Demonglass' for them! I didn't like Jenna per say, I felt bad for her, but not really. She wasn't someone I warmed up to, possibly because she technically chose to be a vampire and then proceeds to hate the way people perceive her kind! The race known for blood-draining millions and leaving them for dead, the persecuted walkers of the night. Yeah, okay.

*Rolls eyes*

Um, people hate vampires...and witches...and werewolves...amd zombies. Should have thought that through, Jenna!

The only thing I hated was the predictability of the novel, it was a tad too formulaic. Also I disliked what happened with Archer because there is still so much more to that character it seems! I also wished Sophie spent more time with Cal...I do love my lumberjacks! He seems a great fit for heror meand I want more out of this character.

So, other than a few choppy lines, the overall plot is decent and definitely more than bearable. Keep in mind what I said about sex, but it wasn't a bad book.

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