From Goodreads: 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 tagalong 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.
I really liked this novel and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series. The world of Hex Hall is so intriguing and I have to say, boarding schools for the “gifted” is one of my favorite settings for YA novels. Now, of course, there is a lot of predictability that happens when YA novels take place at boarding schools since there are now so many books that have this setting, but I loved that Hawkins keeps her characters and plotline so original. Yes, there are the token enemies, the best friend, and the secret crush, but Hawkins creates them in such a way that it’s not just another run of the mill, “already heard this story in another format” kind of way. Of course, with so many novels now taking place in boarding schools, there is bound to be a little predictability, but Hawkins still managed to blow me away with her many twists and turns, causing me to second guess my assertions as the novel unfolded.
I think what I loved the most about this novel is that you really can’t tell who the bad guys really are. Yes, all the evidence points in certain directions, but then Hawkins throws in a twist and the evidence seems to be dashed to pieces. I love a novel that keeps me guessing, and that’s exactly what Hawkins does in Hex Hall.
Sophia is a strong character and I really enjoyed getting to know her. As a witch only growing up with a human mother, she’s a bit behind when it comes to her abilities, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her grow and learn to wield magic. I also enjoyed her assertive nature and the fact that she sticks by those trodden upon by others.
Hex Hall harbors many different students, fairies, shapeshifters, witches, and even the lone vampire, and I liked learning about the different factions, though most of the emphasis is placed on witches. It was very intriguing, and as the story builds and the students begin dying off, it’s impossible to put aside. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and highly suggest adding it to your “to be read” pile. Four stars.
I purchased a copy of this novel from Amazon.