March 3, 2010

Review: Hex Hall (+ Contest)

By Rachel Hawkins
Available now from Disney-Hyperion; Review Copy

Book Cover

Sophie Mercer was an ordinary girl until her witchy powers began to develop. Her mom had to tell her about her true heritage though Ms. Mercer kept some secrets. But Sophie couldn't keep her spells under wraps, and now she's at Hecate Hall (aka Hex Hall) until she turns eighteen. (I'm not sure how she began the book at her senior prom without being eighteen, but I'll go with it.)

I liked Sophie's open mind and inner strength. She doesn't go along with the other witches to fit in because she knows what they are doing is wrong. She befriends her roommate Jenna, even though she's a vampire, wears too much pink, and is suspected of a fellow student's death. But she does have her faults: she falls for bad boy Archer and allows Elodie to push her too far. (Luckily, they both know how to forgive.)

Rachel Hawkins lets the mysteries unfold at a good pace - including some surprise reveals. (There's nothing better than when an author hides a secret so well that you don't even know to look for it, yet it still flows with everything that came before.) The prose is simple, but Sophie's voice is funny and engaging. She's the kind of character you want to spend time with, which makes even the slower parts enjoyable.

I'm a little tired of obvious sequel-bait endings, but at least Hawkins resolved the major mystery. I'm not sure if I'll reread HEX HALL - it felt a touch below my reading level - but I'll happily return for the second book in the series to see where the characters go next. I can see why people were excited by Hawkins' debut - it's a charming take on the new-student-at-magic-school plot.

I have one fitted T-shirt to give away, printed on a Bella tee in S, M, or L. To win, comment with your size and what you would do to get sentenced to Hex Hall, reform school for wayward Prodigium. Contest ends March 19.

Don't forget to read Rachel's guest blog.

My HEX HALL ARC will be one of the blogiversary contest prizes.


  1. Great giveaway. Please drop my name in the hat!

  2. Oh boy, I have no experiences with delinquency. To get sentenced to Hex Hall, I'd probably do something with my magic powers that involves academia: getting all the power to go out in the middle of a test, making classmates' papers fly everywhere, generally, and just basically being a big disruption!

    stephxsu at gmail dot com

  3. Hm. I'd probably get sentenced to Hex Hall for ALWAYS being late to normal school and curfew and stuff. I always used to be prompt, but now there never seems to be enough time in the day!

    Size: L (?)

    Sara @ The Hiding Spot

  4. Hm. I'd probably get sentenced to Hex Hall for ALWAYS being late to normal school and curfew and stuff. I always used to be prompt, but now there never seems to be enough time in the day!

    Size: L (?)

    Sara @ The Hiding Spot

  5. Spreading rumors ;P I'm a huge gossiper, but usually with safe topics. Who knows?--maybe I'll spread a vicious rumor that gets me sent there xD

    I think I'm a medium...?


  6. I would get sentenced there for reading "subversive" materials instead of textbooks in class. :)

    (size L)

  7. I'd probably:

    1. Turn the principal into a chicken
    2. Give the meanest popular girl a horses face (like literally)
    and 3. When everyone is taking a test, turn the tests into talking tarantulas.

    And shirt size is S?


  8. For some reason fire comes to mind, but that seems a bit drastic. Or, maybe if I was just lighting a camp fire and there were witnesses, probably. I think an M will fit me.

  9. Probably for scamming people out of their money :d


    faked_sugartone at hotmail

  10. I'm a size small. I'd get sentenced to Hex School by throwing a massive party while the headmaster was away.

  11. Great review - I'm very curious about this book! I'd get sentenced to Hex Hall by...stalking a few celebrities and throwing myself at them on the red carpet ;)

    Enter me if this contest is open internationally! I'm probably a size L.


  12. I'd probably get sentenced to Hex Hall for stalking a few people....haha

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

  13. I saw this book on the shelf at the bookstore today. It's got a beautiful cover and I can't wait to read it! :)


  14. I would probably get in trouble for turning people into cats. Cats are way better! :D

    Size Large, don't judge. ;)


  15. Oh thats easy MWHAHA!
    I would set up my army of people who suck at geography *ie Haiti is next to Vietnam which is next to england which is next to china.*
    and then we brainwash the worldsl population!!! MWHAHA!


  16. I'd probably get sent there for breaking curfew! Size medium.

  17. I'm size S. I'd probably cheat in an important test to get there!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  18. Really thinking this sounds interesting. Sentenced for breaking curfew. Size L

    gr8kidsgr8fam at yahoo dot com

  19. size small, i'd probably get sentenced to hex hall for stealing chocoalte(;


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