Stuff for the Teen Age
Hex Hall: A Review
Sophie Mercer is a witch. But not with many perks. She has no broomstick to fly, no spell books, no talking cat (she’s allergic).
She can perform magic. But not particularly well. And not without a lot of unforeseen... complications.
Sophie and her (non-magical) mom have lived in nineteen states. They lasted the longest in Indiana (four years). They only made it two weeks in Montana. And most recently, well, that didn’t go too well either.
In fact it went so badly that Sophie’s been sentenced to Hecate Hall; a reform school for wayward witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
If Hex Hall wasn’t bad enough, Sophie also ends up rooming with the only vampire on campus, alienating a trio of students, and making a total fool of herself in front of a gorgeous warlock. All on the first day. At least her vampire roommate is nice.
Things at Hex Hall only get worse as Sophie learns more about her magically gifted father, develops a major crush, and makes even more enemies and social blunders. Oh, then there’s the matter of the weird attacks on students that look suspiciously like the work of a vampire. Sophie thought passing as a human was hard, but it living as a witch is going to be way harder in Hex Hall (2010) by Rachel Hawkins.
Hex Hall blends elements of concrete fantasy and campy fantasy in a way that is refreshingly unique. It also works really well. Sophie is a narrator grounded firmly, and perhaps unwillingly, in the magical world while also essentially being an average teenage girl (much like the girls shown on the cover–go figure!). Hawkins capitalizes on both aspects of Sophie’s character to create a heroine that is entertaining and very authentic.
Hawkins’ writing here is sharp, clever and vivacious. This is a book will have you laughing out loud and biting your nails in suspense–sometimes at the same time. Filled with action, humor, awesome characters, and a few twists Hex Hall offers readers a few surprises and a lot of fun.
Possible Pairings: The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Fire by Kristin Cashore, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde