Dwayne's Reviews > Hex Hall

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
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's review
Feb 21, 2010

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Reviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf

This debut novel from Rachel Hawkins is hilarious! The character Sophie is funny and invigorating, with a wit and personality that attracts rather than repels. Her humour is especially amusing, and her fresh, vibrant voice captured me from the very first page. Sophie was such a loveable, enjoyable character at times I wanted to yank her out of the pages and transform her into someone I could physically interact with! Which says a lot since Sophie isn't even my favourite character - Jenna the vampire is. Unique, extremely loveable and very pink - although she is anything but a barbie girl.

Sophie and Jenna aside, I felt that the novel was a gentle read. The plot was not as complex as other fantasy novels and the creepy factor was either eliminated or toned down. Its occasional distinctions from conventions were, I felt, slightly on the safe side and were crafted to be easily understandable for younger readers. I should say Hex Hall definitely seemed to be aimed for slightly younger teens - though I must also add that I enjoyed it no less.

The book also features mystery and a dash of romance. I like how the plot reflects a weave of all these themes together; not one is dominated by the other. I was not suffocated by the mystery surrounding Hex Hall but only intrigued. The addition of romance in times where the tension settled was a well welcomed distraction. Sophie's wit and hilarious sarcasm thrown to the unavailable campus crush, Archer Cross, creates a wonderful blend of romance.

Although I was very much interested in the mythology Hawkins drew, I was not entirely fascinated by it. I did not 'ooh' or 'aah' at any particular points in terms of the descriptions and I wanted more details at most parts of the novels. I do take this is the first in the series so maybe the succeeding books should compensate for this.

The ending, or lack thereof, took me off-guard - I was really pleased with the twists in the plot. It made the mystery and romance all the better and answered most of my hanging questions. My only complaint was that I felt it ended with a cliffhanger - I wanted more! I kept turning the page to see if maybe I just missed an extra page, but it really does end where it did. It definitely had me wanting the sequel for a resolution.

Hex Hall is a fairly enjoyable read which should suit younger teens and avid fantasy fans.

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