Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #1
Genre: Teen Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: 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.
This is one of those books that I’m kicking myself for not reading sooner. One of my best go-to girls for books recommended it to me like three years ago when it first came out, but it wasn’t until I got an arc of Hawkins’ latest, School Spirits, that I finally got motivated enough to pick it up. Stupid. I loved it! It was fun without being cheesy, dark without being depressing, and all-around a delightful book.
Here’s another reason why I’m kicking myself: I love books that take place at schools. Give me a school for anything, basket-weaving, sword-fighting, dog-sledding – you name it. If it takes place at a school I want to read it. What I liked about this Academy in particular was how much of an impact it had on the story. Everything from the location of the school to how the students felt inside it transformed Hex Hall from a setting into a character. Hawkins used a lot of great imagery when describing it setting the mood for the entire book.
The overall “feel” for the book is probably my favorite part. While the school had a tremendous impact on that, it wouldn’t have been near as memorable without such a lovable protagonist. Not only is she fluent in sarcasm but she also maintains a quiet strength in the things that make her different from everybody else. And she was funny – I cracked up several times throughout the book. What’s more, I enjoyed all of the side characters just as much… particularly the love interest. ;)
Overall, this book delivered a memorable setting, great protagonist, a fun mystery, paranormal creatures, and a compelling love story. It blew my expectations away and has quickly become one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Recommendations: if Vampire Academy and Bloodlines are on your favorites list, you should definitely give this book try. It’s perfect for those who like paranormal and want a fun and memorable mystery/love story. If it’s already in your TBR pile, pick it up now – you wont be sorry!
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