Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Book Review: Hex Hall

TITLE: Hex Hall
Book 1 in the Hex Hall series
AUTHOR: Rachel Hawkins
CATEGORY: Young Adult
GENRE: fantasy
PREMISE: Sophie lands herself in trouble and is sent to Hecate aka Hex Hall a school for delinquent witches, warlocks, faeries, shifters, and even a vampire or two...
MY REVIEW: I start by saying I didn't have high expectations for this book. It sounded like a Harry Potter rip off and to be honest...it kind of is. Actually it's more like Harry Potter rolled together with Percy Jackson and Evernight. So yeah, original this book series really isn't.
However, I enjoyed it still. Most of it is because Sophie is an enjoyable narrator. Like the Percy Jackson books (incidently these books are from the same publisher: Disney Hyperion) her quirky sense of humor really carried the book and you find it hard not to like her despite maybe a few annoying traits. Then there's the fact that the author actually is a pretty decent writer. This is her first book and I have to say, despite some amatuerish quality (long description sequences for instance) she has definite potential. If this is her writing on the first book I can't wait to see what happens when she starts to develop her talent more.
Another part of it is that it wasn't full of all the YA cliches that have been present lately. No love triangle (so far, I really hope the author doesn't try to make one between her, Archer, and Cal), for once the girl isn't completely obsessed with a love interest. Yes, she has a crush on the hot bad boy but she freely admits it's mostly a crush and that eighty percent of it is that he's hot. She's not going around declaring that he's the only one for her and actually stands up to him! So nice to see for a change. In fact, her love life was a minor issue in this book that was actually mostly about her dealing with this world, prejudice, and family secrets. Also, her friend was actually a lesbian which considering this was from Disney publishing really surprised me (in a good way) and no she wasn't stereotyped to death and she actually did comment on finding girls attractive. There were also one or two twists I actually didn't see coming.
So okay, this series isn't the most unique idea in the world. But it makes up for it for trying to avoid the cliches that come with those ideas and just being plain enjoyable. I was kind of grinning throughout this whole book; it's that fun. I can't wait for Demonglass, the second book in the series which comes out next year.
WHO SHOULD READ: Percy Jackson fans, Harry Potter fans, Sabrina the Teenage Witch fans, you like books about witches
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five

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