Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hex Hall - Parajunkee Review

Hex Hall (Book 1)
Hex Hall (Book 1) by Rachel Hawkins

Purchased from

PJVs QUICKIE POV:  A light, fun read, Hex Hall entertained me for the couple hours that it took to read this novel. A great book to pick up for a bit of escape of the teen paranormal genre won't be disappointed, unless you like your books to have some depth. Taken at face value, Hex Hall is what it is, light, airy and entertaining, much like if Wizards of Waverly Place were translated into book form. 

REVIEW: Sophie Mercer is a witch. She found out when she was 12 and since then has been trying to live by incorporating it into her lifestyle.  It is not going so well, especially when her spells inadvertently go wrong. Like the one she casts at prom that led to lots of screaming, some bodily harm, and the girl she tried to help screaming, "Witch!" Hence, the reason Sophie is now attending Hecate Hall, known to the creatures that are forced to attend, as Hex Hall.  Home to faeries, witches, shapeshifters and one vampire, Hex Hall is juvie for the Prodigium (paranormals).

In Sophie's first day there she has alienated and pissed off the three other dark witches (and popular group), crushed on the hottest boy in school and scored as a roommate the only vampire at Hex Hall and a suspected murderer. Sophie has quite a year ahead of her.

When mysterious attacks begin happening on the other witches of Hex Hall all eyes land on Sophie's roommate and only friend, which is only natural considering they have been drained of blood. Even though Sophie wants to believe that her only friend is not responsible for these attacks...she can't help but wonder. In order to exonerate her friend, Sophie must find out exactly who is responsible for these attacks, without becoming a victim herself.

Take Evernight, House of Night, and Harry Potter put them all in a blender...puree. Voil√† -- Hex Hall. I can't tell you how they are alike for fear of spoilers so you will just have to take my word for it. Besides the obvious inspirations, Hex Hall did entertain and I found myself enjoying the read.  I was surprised though, considering this book is published through Hyperion Books for Children (Disney), with the amount of grammatical errors that peppered the pages. Tiny tid bits, but they were enough for me to stop and reread.  Someone was slacking in the editing department the day this one got approved. Nothing serious to detract from the overall of this book though.

Likes: Cute and fuzzy characters, I even liked the bad guys. The ending had me quite upset, those betrayals always hurt big time. I could see a younger teen really getting into this kudos. The house/school was well laid out in words, I could totally imagine it and it would translate well to film if it was picked up. Twists and turns kept me on my toes...always finding out more and more as the pages turned.

Dislikes: That it had very obvious influences. It was a bit on the shallow side, Sophie had a lot to deal with and I think her emotions were very well...shallow.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Younger teens should really like this book and there is nothing in the pages for parents to worry about.  It might be a little too light for older readers.  Fans of the above mentioned books and tv shows should get into this one.

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1. Sophie is abandoned by her father for her supposed protection. Do you believe there is anything that justifies abandoning your child?
Unless Daddy is some kind of monster himself I think separating the child from their parent is never good and in the end wreaks havoc on a child's psyche. Nothing worse than a little girl with abandonment issues, especially when it comes to her future love life. 


Poor Sophie, abandoned by her father and than later by the boy she is falling in love with, can you imagine how that will pan out in her 20s. Sounds like the makings of good Urban Fantasy novel to me. LOL
2. Did Hex Hall remind you of any other series? SPOILER***
Oh yes indeed. I think I mentioned this a lot in my review. I can see a future made for Disney movie in the making - oh wait I think they might have done a Wizards of Waverly Place movie like this one already.  Not to mention the obvious Evernight parallel: Girl is the paranormal, boy is in the secret society bent on killing said paranormals. Wanna bet what is going to happen in Demonglass??? Said boy realizes that these paranormals aren't what his family has stated they are...and he really loves her, lets run away together (could be wrong but that is what happened in the Evernight series). Then there is the wizarding/witch school which brings Harry Potter to the forefront of my mind, though it did not have that whimsical feel of the Potter series.  But, I do know of another series that is a boarding school, full of witchy vampires...House of Night series.

3. Normally when you think of Dark Witches and White Witches, you think good and evil. This series seemed to have a different take on that all together. It almost had an apathetic take on human life with only care taken if their secret might be revealed. Do you find this disturbing or real?
 Disturbing. I'm reading another novel Necking right now with similar don't-care-if-people-die mentality and personally I find it makes me really not enjoy reading about these characters. It might be real, if paranormals existed, would that uphold the sanctity of human life? Probably not. As a human do I want to think that? Nope.

4. Looking forward to the next book, or pass on it? Why?
I might pass on this one. Even though my tastes in literature run to escapism, I do try to read books with a bit more depth. You can still read light books, that still have an emotional levity to them.  When I pick up these bubble gum books, while entertaining, I still feel like I didn't get anything out of them, but a waste of a few hours while I read. Much like watching a reality television show (but at least when I watch those I feel better about myself in the end, cause I'm not like any of those loons on the tv).