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Hex Hall #1

Hex Hall

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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 tag-along 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.

323 pages, Hardcover

First published March 2, 2010

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Rachel Hawkins

26 books15.7k followers

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5 stars
49,400 (35%)
4 stars
47,861 (34%)
3 stars
30,974 (22%)
2 stars
8,501 (6%)
1 star
4,005 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,736 reviews
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,193 reviews2,903 followers
July 24, 2010
I've wanted to be a witch forever. Long before anyone uttered the words Harry & Potter. You see, there was this awesome movie called Teen Witch. Have you seen it? Well the girl finds out she is witch, turns her little brother into a dog, gets to meet a famous singer AND snags the most popular boy at school. All because she had magical powers. I so wanted to be a witch.

Perhaps that is why I loved this book so much, or maybe it's because Hex Hall is a laugh-out-load, fast paced and easy read. It could really go either way. The point is, however, that it was marvelous.

I've been trying to write this review for days. I'm not sure why I find it so difficult to explain why I find something so enjoyable, but for whatever the reason I do. Ask me why I don't like something, I can write you a list a mile long, but describe why I like it.... I just do that's why!

It could be Sophie, the main character. She is just an enjoyable protagonist. She's caring, open-minded, a good friend, and she might be a little gullible at times, but that is what makes her so great. She isn't a perfect character, she makes mistakes and we get to laugh at her for it! Well sometimes.

Maybe it was the plot. I will admit at times it was a little predictable, but it was never slow. And I might have thought I knew what was going on, but Hawkin's really threw me for a loop. I'm sure it will leave you craving the next novel as much as I am.

Then again it was probably the writing. Simplistic and addicting.

I might not be able to vividly express why I thought it was amazing, but it just was. I'm so very much looking forward to the next novel and more of Sophie's adventure.
Profile Image for Jo.
268 reviews945 followers
August 2, 2011
OK, I originally gave this 3.5 stars.. but I have decided just to give it 4 stars.

“I’m experiencing some teenage angst, Mrs Casnoff,” I answered. “I need to, like, write it in my journal or something.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Wow, I read that book in about five hours…. I probably should get some food. Laughter is the only sustenance I need.

High Points.

Sorry, what was the question?
Sophie. Jenna. Boarding school. MAGICAL BOARDING SCHOOL FOR DELINQUENT PARANORMALS. Ghosts. Flirtytirty boys. Diversity. Cellar shenanigans. Tattoos. Curses. Bustles. Evil bwitches. Ms Hawkins’ deliciously wicked sense of humour.

Low Points.
Yeah, I’m morally opposed to faeries.
And characters being jammed into restrictive stereotypes…. LET THEM SOAR.

I loved Sophie and I could really relate to her because I have magical powers , I canoodle with warlocks on a regular basis, she’s such a massive goon. She was so useless and awkward and unaware of herself and goofy and sarcastic and she was such a refreshing narrator because she seemed really… well, real. So many books that I (and my friends!) read are completely saturated with AFPs who are so simpering and vomit-inducing and they get so angry and frustrated because they didn’t ask to be so heart-stoppingly beautiful and have all these boys fall over themselves to be with them. Gaaaaaah.
So, when Sophie exploded onto the page with her delinquent paranormal ways, her refreshing humour (a perfect vessel for Ms Hawkins’ gentle ribbing of the genre, no cliché is safe around her!) and boob sweat, it was like taking a breath of fresh air. Although, I wasn’t impressed by her opposition to freckles. What in the world is wrong with freckles?!

“So, I have a destiny,” I said. “Crap.”

Yes, sometimes Sophie’s sass and smart-arse comments bordered on a bit much… but if she toned that down just a tad, I imagine we’d be best friends forever and sit up all night eating delicious snacks and chortling over her being a witch and having sexy men fawning over her and how it was so cute that I was completely ordinary and stuck with the bad dog in cargo shorts and his excessive slobber.

Love Interest.
Well, in the beginning I could take Archer or leave him. Sure, he was pretty (“So you think I’m pretty?”), and clever and funny and a bit of a wild boy (WILD BOYS….sorry my Duran Duran references are a knee-jerk reaction now… or you could say a Reflex. Ohhh yeah) and he was a massive douche to Sophie but then, wait, he’s actually secretly nice and loves herjsaq9ijecdjksla;sohdfio02eidjfvsn… sorry I just fell asleep.
Yeah, he was fine…. He coasted. He was on my radar but he wasn’t making any waves.
That was until the end when he suddenly got much more interesting. And ripped, apparently. He’d been keeping that secret under his scruffy blazer and un-tucked shirt, wasn’t he?!
And then we have Cal, who isn’t necessarily a love interest in this book but I’m guessing he’s going to lope into the sequel with his plaid shirt and his axe and his rippling pectorals and his inevitable dark and brooding past that Sophie finds mysterious and intriguing.
But, yeah… I’ve not worked out how he’ll feature in the sequel yet. It’s got me completely betrothed baffled.

Best Friend.
Lesbian vampire. Um, LOVE IT. Jenna was fantastic and, although Sophie was sometimes a bit unnecessarily cruel to her (Um, wallowing in self-pity?! I’d like to see you try going through what Jenna did, Miss Mercer!), I liked the easy and natural sounding dynamic the two of them had. I have to admit when she came out of the coffin my eyes did begin to roll and my lips began to curl, my natural reaction to vampires. But I needn’t have worried because Jenna was actually a decent vamp and kick-ass unlike so many of her un-dead chums.

Theme Tune.
OK, when I first picked up this book I was all smitten and smug (smuggen?) because I had already chosen THE BEST SONG for this book. But then Ms Hawkins with her devious twists and turns (which I will not divulge) completely blew that out of the water. So I thought I was snookered.
But then I thought, no. Because I love this song and it is perfect for seducing unsuspecting warlocks in a basement this book…. Until it… well… wasn’t.

Witchy Woman by Eagles

Angst Level.
4/10. This book is relatively tame in the angst level. Sure there are a few bits that are borderline grim, but this book is mainly a one-way ticket to FUN TOWN. (That’s right, FUN TOWN) And it was really refreshing to just sit back and take in the view.
Although… I gather the sequel is going to be a lot darker.
And that’s just fine by me.

Recommended For.
People who want to book a one-way ticket to FUN TOWN. OK, I promise that that’s the last time I’m going to say that… it’s actually making me cringe. People who are looking for a new fictional best friend that will make them realise how boring and ordinary their lives are. People who have always thought their world would end when their acceptance letter to Hogwarts got lost in the post… don’t worry, Hex Hall will take anyone. People who would be able to think of witty responses to a werewolf lunging for your jugular. People who are sick of others being suspicious when they ask them to join their secret coven. People who immediately think of singing Pocahontas songs when they’re outdoors. People who will always lust after the groundskeeper. People who wish their detentions had been that fun… mmmhmmm. People who maintain that boys who are rude/arrogant/downright nasty are just that way because they are completely and secretly besotted with you. It’s true. Right? People who wish their stoopid school had had a prom so they could wear beautiful dresses and get their hair done all fancy… we did get to go to Alton Towers though, which was amazing and didn’t end with a gabiilion girls crying in formal wear, which I imagine happens a lot at proms. Although, I probably would have more luck finding a prom date than finding someone to go on Air for the third time in a row. Wimps.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,638 reviews34k followers
April 26, 2011
Fun! This book really grew on me. It took several tries to get past the first couple of chapters, but once Sophie finally gets settled in at Hex Hall things start moving along. The witchy battles are pretty cool, there's good build-up of the mystique behind the school and behind Sophie's past and powers, and the author does a nice job with creating a variety of different characters with distinctive voices. I especially liked BFF Jenna and the super cute and witty Archer, and Sophie herself turns out to be a pretty kick-ass heroine.

It did take me a little while to get used to the author's voice, but the humor actually gets to be really good as the story develops and I've gone back to giggle over certain passages again. Overally, this is a really terrific debut and a fast-paced, entertaining read. It's always a plus when a YA author manages to surprise her audience with twists and turns in the plot too, and there are a couple of really good ones here that will leave readers on the edge for more.

Besides...you can't not love a girl who tries to stop an attacking werewolf by yelling, "BAD DOG!"
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
May 16, 2011

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book, almost as surprised as I am by the fact that I actually decided to read it. I'd all but given up on young adult novels that feature any of the following: vampires, werewolves, witches, shifters, fairies, angels, demons... you get the idea. Young adult fantasy and urban fantasy seems to have been constantly churning out more of the same, but Hex Hall really ticked all the right boxes for me.

Granted, a boarding school for witches and whatnot isn't exactly original and it's a hard field to compete in when you're up against the likes of J.K.Rowling, but I liked Hawkins' laid back and kind of chick-lit style writing. The novel reminded me of something in between Vampire Academy and this TV show that I used to love when I was a kid called 'The Worst Witch', maybe I'm wrong but I'd be willing to bet that not many people outside of the UK have heard of it. Anyway, you basically have all you expect from a regular high school: bullies, bitchiness, crushes, dating, school dances, etc. But then you also have the added trouble that comes with supernatural creatures and magical powers: killers on the loose, demons being summoned, bullies that can turn you into a slug...

I won't say that I expected to hate it, but I did expect to be bored. I never imagined there would be moments that made me laugh out loud and annoyingly stereotypical bad boys that are actually hot enough to get away with being annoyingly stereotypical bad boys. Yes, you heard me right: another young adult novel with another hot but dangerous male love interest... but this time I completely loved it. Maybe my mid-life crisis came early but I thought Archer was really hot. If I'd been at Hex Hall I know I would have both hated and wanted to be with him at the same time. I think I liked him most because he had a sense of humour and didn't say really stupid cliched phrases like "I'm wrong for you because I'm so badass" - okay, maybe it doesn't quite go like that but I hate literary heroes that believe they're so bad that they've earned the right to apologise for it. Ugh. My point: Archer wasn't like that.

The mystery was alright but it wasn't my favourite bit; the novel's strength was in the characters and the dialogue, not in the plot behind it all. Basically: someone died, someone was accused, real culprit was found out... the end. Probably was what stopped me from giving it 5 stars, my full marks demand a better story. But what the heck, it was fun, I enjoyed it a lot, and I now have every intention of reading Demonglass.
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
261 reviews1,041 followers
September 24, 2022
Welcome to Monster College! I mean Hecate Academy

I’m sorry but how is this book not more wellknow haha (ಥ ̯ ಥ). It has all the elements!

We got juvenile delinquent SUPERNATURALS, heroine coming into her powers, secret society trying to kill all supes, and a murdering spree at the monster college!


So allow me to set the scene:

Sophie Mercer, witch delinquent extraordinaire

I love Sophie’s attitude and snarkiness. There’s something about this character that just makes you grip the pages and keep reading until it’s done. She is fierce, loyal, brave and one of the most goddamn sarcastic and wittiest characters I have ever read.

“I should say upfront that I have never been in a cellar in my life. In fact, I can see no reason why anyone should ever go into a cellar unless there is wine involved.”

She’s new to the school so naturally she makes friends and enemies within the first… 3 days there ??

We got a GAY vampire BFF named Jenna and she is the ONLY acceptable *SPARKLY VAMPIRE* in my opinion !


I friggenn loved their friendship, it was finally friends who each had their own fully realized characters and stories *and finally legit LGBT+ represent, and not just tokenized*

Plus they were funny as fuck when they were together trying to survive school and learning their powers

The world building not only was the general premise of the world to help train troubled teen supes was just bloody brilliant.

But I also just love how this book didn’t take itself seriously. It took all the funny school cliches and worked it into the supernatural theme that just made the book all the more fun to read. For example we got

The witchy mean girls Anna, Chaston and Elodie

“I wondered if they had rehearsed this weird three-way-talking thing they had going on.
I imagined them sitting in a circle in their dorm room, brushing their hair and saying, "Okay, so I'll say we feel bad, and then you'll say that your hot boyfriend thinks she's pathetic.”


Fucking iconicc

Archer, typical hot bad boy in YA novels. He a powerful wizard who sorta totally abuses his power and sasses the fuck outta everyone

”You know," someone said off to my left, "I usually find a blocking spell to be a lot more effective than yelling 'Bad dog,' but maybe that's just me."

I turned. Leaning against a tree, his collar unbuttoned and tie loose, was a smirking guy. His Hecate blazer was hanging limply in the crook of his elbow.

"You are a witch, aren't you?" he continued, “Maybe in the future, you could endeavor not to suck so badly at it.”


Okay ya’ll know that YA is definitely not my style to say in the least….

But this was the first series I ever read that first sparked my love and interest of books…. To me, this was my first Kate Daniels type hype book

Each of these characters are DEVELOPED with their own stories, motives, backstories and fucking dope ass abilities.

A quick, easy read with lots of intense action and witty one-liners. I love how this school is for all the shitty supes that are trying to figure out their powers while surviving school, AND theres a murderer running around or some shit

So being YA, ya gotta be in right mind slash age to really enjoy it otherwise it could lose those same levels of *spicy* and surprise, Sophie and this world will always have a special place to me

“She plunged her snout into my hair and took a deep shuddering breath.
A warm string of drool dripped from her open maw onto my bare shoulder.
I forced myself to stay very calm, and after a moment, she released me.
Giving a bashful shrug, she said, "Sorry. Werewolf thing."
"Hey, no problem," I said, even though all I could think was, Slobber! Werewolf slobber! On my skin!”
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
November 2, 2015

As to date, this has been one of the most enjoyable fantasy books I’ve read that deals with otherworldly creatures like witches, vampires, faes, werewolves, shape-shifters and demons (collectively called as Prodigium) through the author’s creative effort of putting them all together in one monster high called Hecate Hall or simply Hex Hall.

It’s a fast, fun read told by Sophie, a supposedly powerful witch who at 16 barely knows anything about her real powers. Thus, she gets enrolled at Hex Hall which has this Vampire Academy/Hogwart’s vibe but more inclusive.^^

I could practically imagine Rachel Hawkins do this in front of Richelle Mead and J.K Rowling after writing the book.

Or probably not. Lol!

It’s very enjoyable because the heroine is funny, witty and sarcastic. Exactly my kind of gal! She doesn’t care so much about her appearance. She also knows how to properly appreciate other people’s beauty without a tinge of jealousy.

The narration and dialogue are delightful and easy to read.

“'I'm experiencing some teenage angst…I need to, like, write in my journal or something."

The events are fast-paced and very interesting. The author manipulated these fantastic characters pretty well and created interesting conflicts and twists although personally, I think the plot could use a bit more action. But this is only the first book of the series, so I’m sure there’ll be a lot of those in the sequel.

This is highly recommended especially for young readers (or even old) looking for a light, enjoyable fantasy read.
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,375 followers
December 9, 2018
It's been years since I read Hex Hall for the first time and for some reason I got a strong feeling that I need to re-read this one. After six years.

So, here I'm and this time in English.

The main character is 16 which is a little younger than books I usually read right now. But honestly? I did not care at all! Sophie is so damn hilarious. I love that girl!

I thankfully did not remember much about the book, except for the fact that I'm Team Archer! Yay! Nothing changed here.

I was pleasantly surprised, how much I've laughed. Really liked this one.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
596 reviews3,590 followers
July 9, 2016
"Archer is smart and funny in addition to being hot. Elodie [his girlfriend] is stupid and dull."

The second, the second, I read that line, I logged into Goodreads to check which year it was published.

2010. Also known as YA's embarrassing puberty years. I tend to stay away from books published during that time since they're filled with unhealthy romantic relationships and girl-on-girl hate. YA now is like college you, all grown-up and cringing at the occasional photo of your tween self that pops up on Facebook.

Hex Hall is juvenile YA. The writing is a more inane version of Meg Cabot's style, filled with cutesy internal monologues and pop culture references. The plot is an typical mystery type without much punch.

And the girl hate. God, the girl hate.

"I turned and saw Chaston, Anna and Elodie walking toward me. They looked amazing in the fugly gym uniforms. Shocker."

Unlike Tina Fey's masterpiece, the girls don't make up and sing kumbaya. I thought it was heading that direction for a while and was sadly let down.

In the acknowledgements, it surprisingly states Hex Hall is mostly about the power of women.

What power? The power to tear each other down?

"Even her essay for Lord Byron's class was about the way physical beauty enhanced a witch's power, supposedly because it gave her easier access to humans. It was ridiculous."

No, it's smart. Ethics aside, it's a damn good tactic.

The feminism in Hex Hall reminds me of this movie I watched recently: White Chicks. (I know, it's been out for over a decade, but I wasn't interested until I saw a gif of one of the protagonists telling the other to hold his poodle, so he can beat someone up). It's not devoid of female bonding—Sophie and Jenna's relationship was nicely done—but it relies on knocking down other women to build the home team up. In White Chicks, it's the fake Wilson sisters and their friends against the spoiled heiresses who are willing to sleep their way onto the catwalk. In Hex Hall, it's Sophie and Jenna against the witches' coven who are obsessed with power and their looks.

I'm sure you're all tired of me banging on about feminism, but it's something I unconsciously look for when I read. I weigh other factors too obviously—plot, pace, characters, the realistic aspect, etc, but gender equality is up there. If a book is awesome enough, I can overlook certain aspects, like Six of Crows's arguably archetypal ending

Hex Hall just fails on all fronts.
Profile Image for chucklesthescot.
2,909 reviews118 followers
October 19, 2011
Well this is just the same old tired format for paranormal YA boarding school romps. I've seen the same story time and time again in books like Secret Lives,Evernight,Firespell, and it is just boring me.

1)misfit teen sent to boarding school
2)she doesn't want to be there
3)gets on wrong side of popular bitches on day one
4)instant crush on sexiest guy at school
5)her only friend is a fellow misfit
6)grim teachers
7)obnoxious students
8)murderer on the loose

The characters are either obnoxious muppets or cardboard cut-outs that have no depth or interest to them. The teachers don't seem to give a damn about discipline-explain to me why the werewolf who attacked Sophie on her first minute on campus got no punishment? Is attempted murder seen as acceptable at this school? The only one who was given a stern talking to was the guy who saved Sophie by using magic to protect her from the werewolf! Strange moral code from the head teacher don't you think? As usual in these books, the kids do what the hell they like with the teachers ignoring them, which defeats the whole purpose of the school in my opinion. These kids are sent to this school because they can't control their power so surely they should be watched closely!!! I hate stupid plots like this.

*sigh* I think it's time to give up on these cloned books and pick up a proper urban fantasy book with a decent story and characters that don't bug me to death.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alexandra Bracken.
Author 36 books24.7k followers
July 28, 2009
HEX HALL is an insanely fun, hilarious, and HOT book! I can't even tell you how many times I laughed out loud (or had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard)! Sophie Mercer is now officially one of my favorite heroines and I just might be a little bit in love with Archer Cross, too. :) I can't say enough wonderful things about this book, only that you need to pick it up ASAP when it debuts next March. I'm only sad that I have to wait so long to read the next book in the series!!
Profile Image for ♡ ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ♡.
2,752 reviews450 followers
April 9, 2021
Sophie ist eine Hexe. Als sie für eine Mitschülerin einen Liebeszauber macht und dieser gründlich schiefgeht, wird sie nach Hecate Hall geschickt. Hecate Hall - auch Hex Hall genannt - ist eine Art Internat für Hexen, Elfen, Gestaltwandler und Vampire. Schon bald geschehen schlimme Dinge: Schülerinnen werden brutal angegriffen. Sie haben kleine Löcher im Hals, und so wird Jenna verdächtigt, für die Angriffe verantwortlich zu sein. Jenna ist der einzige Vampir in Hex Hall und Sophies Freundin und Zimmergenossin...
Ich habe dieses Buch sehr gerne gelesen. Es ist ein Buch für Jugendliche und junge Erwachsene, und sehr anspruchsvoll ist der Roman zugegebenermaßen nicht. Aber Sprache und Schreibstil sind gut gelungen, und auch die Idee an sich finde ich sehr gut. Endlich mal wieder ein Fantasyroman, in dem Vampire nicht die Hauptrolle spielen.
Profile Image for Daiane.
179 reviews204 followers
December 13, 2015
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

It took me a while to start reading this book. My last Rachel Hawkins one didn't attracted me that much and It's not an original plot. A young witch who screw up and let humans see her magic. Firstly, how can she be that dumb to show her magic to others like nothing? Who she doesn't even know that well and is like "let me be your fairy godmother. Ops, sorry..."

Then she is sentenced to a magical boarding school for delinquent supernatural beings...

And there she makes friend with this pinky girly vampire who is her new roommate

"This room looked like it had been decorated by the unholy lovechild of Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake.”

And falls for the hot guy who is the mean queen bee's boyfriend, who btw, has some Draco Malfoy vibe.

“It’s Archer Cross, and I’m the first one. Now what about you?” He squinted. “Let’s see . . . brown hair, freckles, whole girl-next-door vibe going on . . . Allie? Lacie? Definitely something cutesy ending in ie.”

Anyway, The first half of the book was really tiring. Sophie is too slow and sometimes she was too dumb. Although I kinda liked when she was really useless as a witch because, well, we are useless.

“I wish I could say that I suddenly discovered my inner warrior princess and expertly leaped at Archer, weapon hoisted high, teeth bared. That would have been cool.
Instead I raised the stake to about shoulder height and took two, maybe three shuffling steps forward.
Then viselike fingers clenched my throat, the stake was wrenched from my hand, and a sharp stabbing pain shot up my right thigh as I landed on the ground with a thump that knocked the breath out of me.”

However, It was full of unnecessary parts and some characters were not well explored. There were people (or monsters) that were really well introduced and they never appeared again. Or were just a cameo in the corner of the story. I also expected more from the professors. Not a Minerva McGonagall kind of development, but something. There were also things told over and over again, like the reader didn't get it the first time. And the second. And the third...

So, as all normal schools, at Hecate there were also evil bitches, I mean, witches. Sophie is called to the "coven" but... You know. We also get the hate-love plot as a bonus and things happens...

And FINALLY, at the end of second half, the book starts for me. Archer is still far away from my head. He still bothers me and how he was described, with all his hotness... I don't know, it was just too lame. I'm actually more interested in Cal...
And we get action!!!

And the plot twist, even though it's not THAT good, it's still really interesting. I wasn't expecting the end and all the mystery got me by surprise. That really increased my ratings. So yes, I recommend this book but be aware of the laziness in the beginning and all the teen feelings.

"Sorry, sorry. I'l try to stop with the pop culture references."
Profile Image for Lucy.
102 reviews1,814 followers
January 2, 2012
My main impression from the book is that it's meant for the very bottom of the age spectrum it's being marketed for. I'd say 10-14 years old because the writing is extremely simplistic. Of course, there's a lot of dead teenagers flying around so it's a weird mix of older, more mature themes and fairly immature writing. The world building is so-so. There wasn't a lot of depth here despite being charming in a general kind of way. Female Harry Potter, Sophie Mercer is not, but still fanatic Potter fans might find something here.

The book moves at a brisk pace and Sophie, the female lead, is adorable and funny. The book tosses a lot of cliches in a blender and while you're perfectly aware you're being served every paranormal plot device ever it still goes down smoothly enough. I wouldn't recommend it to adults who like reading the genre. I'm giving my copy to the teenage girl who lives next door.
February 6, 2016
This book was pretty good. There was action, suspense, and some romance. The main character was witty and any reader would be able to relate to them since she had boy, friend, family and identity problems. This book occasionally reminded me of Harry Potter because of some of the teachers being both harsh and grandmotherly at times. Rachel Hawkins also captured the rea high school life and drama in this with their own version of Prom, cliques, relationships, and talking about teachers behind their backs. The ending was sad somewhat but you are going to have to read to find out what it is :) Overall this book is good if you are looking for:
a good introduction to a series
and great characters.
Profile Image for Hilly 🎐.
710 reviews1,324 followers
May 26, 2019
4.5 stars

Super duper cute!
I loved this simple book so much because it's funny and has magic with a cool magic school setting which I enjoyed a lot!
Sophie is one of the most funny characters I read about. I mean, only Gwendolyn from Rubinrot is funnier than her.
I loved a lot Archer Cross and I can't wait for it!

I will not have a crush on Archer Cross, I will not have a crush on Archer Cross, I will not...
[...] "Mm-hmm," Jenna agreed. "Anything else?"
"I have a crush on Archer Cross."
Jenna laughed. "How original of you."
Profile Image for alittlelifeofmel.
888 reviews346 followers
November 30, 2017
I am possibly one of the only people who hasn't read Rebel Belle so I didn't know how amazing Rachel Hawkins was at writing! There is nothing extremely spectacular about her writing there aren't really intricate profound quotes and there aren't any special qualities that set her apart like poetry prose or anything of the sort, but all of that is why her writing is so great. She took a very plain storyline, something done before, and made it incredibly unique and beautiful because it was so real.
For instance, her characters were so perfect. Sophie was everything you would expect her to be given her situation. She was a giving caring character who was also definitely selfish and she second guessed herself and others all the time, all the while giving chances to the underdog. She is in reality a well rounded character that I could see existing in the world and that's so rare.
Besides the supernatural beings, this was a very realistic book. They go to classes, they sometimes suck at classes, she got detention, there was a cute boy with a girlfriend who happened to be the mean girl. It was basically the supernatural version of mean girls if they had been at a boarding school and I loved it.
So simple. This is not a book that you spend 100 days trying to get over, this isn't a book that you can't stop thinking about, but it's a really good fun book to immerse yourself in for a few hours. Really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Sophia..
61 reviews2,583 followers
April 23, 2012
Harry Potter :
Magic Castle. Forbidden forest. Courses to learn spells. Werewolves. Very powerful headmaster. Special relationship between headmaster and one student. Said student appears to be the Chosen One. Humble, but still very gifted.

Anna and the French Kiss :
Boarding school. Girl doesn't want to be here. On her first day, meets lesbian roommate and hottest boy in school. Then meets Queen Bee and is bullied.
Doesn't talk to Dad but likes Mom okay. Earns detention, and ends up with hottest boy.

Vampire Academy:
Magic castle. Vampires. Courses to learn how to fight. Kick-ass heroin.
Doesn't know Dad. Learns that he is the Evil incarnate.

Sounds familiar? Yeah, well, not surprising.

Because it seems like Rachel Hawkins, on top of having a bad author behaviour, also thought that it would be a good idea to put all this stuff in a cauldron, shake it up, and call the stinky result Hex Hall.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,514 reviews861 followers
January 2, 2019
Ok. It’s time I admitted to myself that I have a penchant for fantasy set in a school setting. I’m too old for this to be the case but unfortunately my heart and mind don’t care! My first outing with this author and she definitely has similarities to Maureen Johnson books, which I also love. So in this world we have prodigious who are witches, fae, vampires, ruled by a council. Also demons. There’s a love interest and bullying and a feisty funny heroine. Very enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,487 reviews7,790 followers
February 21, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

My apologies in advance for what you are about to read. When I find my feelings about a book I’m reading are on the “meh” side, I tend to lose focus easily. I space out and take a lot of reading breaks. Sometimes the result of those distractions is a complete crap gif-filled mess instead of a review.

Sophie was just trying to cast a love spell that would make the quarterback ditch his cheer captain date and take the most unpopular girl at school from zero to hero.

Unfortunately, the spell worked a little too well . . .

That failed attempt at witchcraft is the final straw for Sophie’s (human) mother and absentee (warlock) father. Sophie now has to finish her schooling at Hecate Hall, a reform school for Prodigium who can’t keep their powers under wraps.

Upon her arrival, Sophie meets some mean girls

who want her to join their coven

but she’s not so sure they are the type of girls she wants to be associated with

Rather than joining a clique of bitches witches, Sophie befriends her roommate Jenna – a vampire who is believed to have killed a former student.

Sophie doesn’t believe Jenna could be a murderer, but when additional students start being attacked – with two holes on their neck, no less - it seems there is indeed a blood drinker of sorts on the loose.

(That image is for all the ladies. You’re welcome.)

The story gets a little convoluted as it jumps from mystery solving to every day teenage witch activity (complete with some broomstick riding

and spell learning)

to really normal teenage behavior like getting super stoked about the upcoming All Hallows Eve Ball

where the girls’ dream dresses seem to have been inspired by “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”

All in all this wasn’t a terrible book, but I’m not a fan of book series in general and I’m really not a fan of reading 323 pages where 200+ probably could have been cut and combined with book #2. I continue to cross my fingers in hopes this trend will pass and authors will only be signed to produce one book at a time. Hopefully the result will be books that aren't always soooooooo open ended.

Off topic: In my quest to hunt down what seems to be every witch-related picture/gif on the interwebs, I discovered a couple of things. First, Nicole Kidman has really jacked her face up with surgery/botox/whatever.

Second, I need to watch “The Witches of Eastwick” again (and hot diggity dog was Susan Sarandon smoking hot in that movie).

Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
737 reviews1,264 followers
December 27, 2019
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at www.nikihawkes.com

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 won’t be sorry!
Profile Image for Beatrice.
1,142 reviews1,673 followers
November 18, 2015
I would like to thank Ate AJ and Ate Rachel for recommending this book to me. (Click their names to read their reviews) This paranormal fantasy novel is fun, quick and entertaining to read. I've listened to the audio book and is narrated by Cris Dukehart (she's really good by the way).

When a spell gone bad, a young witch Sophie Mercer was sent to Hecate Hall (Hex Hall) as a punishment of exposing herself to humans. Students consists of young Prodigium or supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches etc. Things happened when there are mysterious attacks towards the students and they think Jenna (Sophie's vampire roommate) is responsible for these attacks. Sophie doesn't believe in it and she's about to find out.

The setting somewhat reminds me of Harry Potter and the Hex Hall's history made me curious. It's pretty interesting and I want to know more. Sophie Mercer is such a fascinating character. She's witty, hilarious and sarcastic at its best. This lady made me laugh out loud. As for other characters, all of them are interesting. Especially Archer Cross. Oh how I love this bad boy warlock. Lastly, the plot twist in this book is something I didn't expect. I was like "WHOA! Now, that is one good twist!" What a great surprise.

Overall, I really like this book. I am definitely going to pick up the sequel. If you are looking for a light fantasy novel, give this one a try. :)
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 8 books154 followers
July 11, 2021
This YA book was entertaining enough. Candidly, there wasn't really much originality to it. It has all the common paranormal being types in it and has story-telling elements we've all read before. But I still enjoyed it. Sophia's voice in the narration was enjoyable. It also had a few nuanced twists I did not see coming, so that was pretty cool.
Profile Image for Elena Salvatore.
220 reviews112 followers
May 1, 2017
(What? It's iconic...)

This was one of the first books that I added to my TBR pile, right after taking recommendations from Booktube and I was really excited to start reading it (even tho I had postpone for years.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).
It isn't really what I had expect but that doesn't mean that I enjoyed it any less, just that the hype for this book was too high.

When I finally got a chance to pick it up, it took me only a few hours to finish the entire book in one sitting.
It is really fast paced and lightly written. Our protagonist is quite funny and the story is very interessting but I honestly have to say that this was the most anticlimactic "battle" I have ever come across, nothing didn't really happened. Literally nothing.

Sophie is a teenage witch who struggles to keep her powers hidden, which makes her and her mother move alot. She has never met her father. The only thing she knows about him is that her powers came from his side of the family and that when her mother found out he was a Warlock, she dumped him and left without knowing that she was pregnant. When Sophie was born she thought it would be better if he wasn't involve in her life, so everything that Sophie knows about her powers are the things that her mom read about in houndreds of magic books and from discovering some thing by herself.
This did seem to work until one day she went to far and was forced to enroll into Hex Hall, an academy for supernatural missfits. There she finds her first best friend, 3 enemys and big crush on a guy she shouldn't crush on and all that on her first day there.
But when her best friend get's acused on the murder on her former roomate and other 2 attacks, Sophie tries to find out who was really behind them, while struggeling with her powers and discovering that she maybe plays a bigger part in all this then she realized.
In the end she has to ask herself, where come her powers from and why is her lif in danger? Who can she really trust when friends and foes look so much alike...
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,884 reviews5,814 followers
August 3, 2016
**3.5 stars**

When my husband asked me what I was reading today, I summed this book up to him as, "Harry Potter chick lit". I meant that as a complement. "Hex Hall" is a really adorable and spunky YA paranormal read. It is what Mythos Academy tried to be before it fell miserably short. I was shocked at how much fun I had reading this book.

The most successful parts of this story were the characters and the witty dialogue. Sophie was an awesome MC. She was funny (I surprised myself by laughing out loud at some of the phrases Sophie dishes out), accepting, and not clichéd (bonus points for that one!). I found her to be totally relatable and believable.

A typical Sophie line:
I opened my eyes to stare at a bright blue tulle monstrosity with a skirt that would hit me at mid thigh. I'd look like the really slutty bride of Cookie Monster.

The secondary characters were also pretty great. How could I not love a lesbian friend in a mainstream YA novel... I can't, I must love her. Three cheers for diversity! And Archer is such an adorable boy to crush on (even if that makes me a touch pervy).

What kept this book from being a great read was that it was a bit too slow for my tastes. It wasn't spooky enough, or dangerous enough... it just wasn't enough for me. The pace dragged at the beginning and the excitement came too little too late for my tastes. However, I'm excited that I have another YA paranormal to get behind!
Profile Image for Temi Panayotova-Kendeva.
369 reviews71 followers
September 2, 2018

Тази книга буквално я заглеждах от години по книжарниците и така си и остана - не стигнах уж до нея. Докато официално си казах "Искам я пък" и си я взех, макар и 2ра ръка от момиче, което я продаваше в olx.bg. И така книжката стана моя - лошото на копието, което имах беше, че липсваха 20 страници - а после имаше и още няколко еднакво принтирани. Очевидно е доста старо копие... Все едно де - много ми хареса пък. Всички, които твърдят, че е супер посредствена, напълно грешат. Да, няма някакъв велик замисъл в книгата; да, героите не са описани велико - ама пък на мен си ми хареса. Много си падам по книги за вещици или хора със суперсили! Супер бързо я прочетох и даже почвам следващата! ;)
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
September 15, 2013
Going into this book, I had no idea what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised! It was quite entertaining with many twists and turns so it only took me a few hours to read. I will definitely be picking up the next book at a later time!
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
July 4, 2012

The characters were all awesome, the setting was great, and the plot was exciting!

I really enjoyed the main character, she was witty and snarky.

Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
778 reviews519 followers
February 28, 2011
Meh-meh. I really think that a bEarding-school story would have been far more orginal than this "followed-all-baking-instructions-for-paranomal-young-adult" boarding-school girly-girl, let's-kiss-the-presumably-hot-and-bad-but-taken warlock, "three-mean-girls-shall-you-be" witchy-washy is.

Please pat me on my back! Finishing this with only skipping half a page now and then took almost all my witch-power for today.
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