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 am probably one of the last people on the planet to read Hex Hall. It’s been on my radar for ages, and one of my friends really loved the books and told me I had to read it, but I kept putting it off. However, I signed up for the Witches and Witchcraft Challenge this year, so figured it was the perfect time to cross it off my list. And while I didn’t feel like this was the best book ever, I loved the snappy storytelling, extremely amusing main character, and the use of magic and mystery quite a lot.
I am a huge fan of boarding school books, so that automatically gave bonus points in Hex Hall‘s favor. I also love quick-witted and sarcastic main characters, which meant that Sophie and I got along splendidly. Throw in a romance with a hot bad boy like Archer, and this book had my name written all over it. It sort of reminded me a little of Hogwarts, in terms of the usage of magic and the classes on the history of the Prodigium, but was plenty unique in its own right to not bring on constant comparisons (and let’s be honest: nothing will ever compare to Harry Potter). The isolated setting allowed for a very unique atmosphere; Sophie is cut off from her mom, doesn’t even know her dad, and is having to adjust to a completely new lifestyle. While the story is made up of Sophie’s day-to-day life, it was still plenty full of danger and intrigue, particularly when gruesome happenings begin occurring at the school. There was a nice sense of danger and mystery throughout the entire story.
And oh, Archer. I think I might have swooned over him just as hard as Sophie did! I loved their banter, and the fact that he didn’t seem to care when Sophie kicked the crap out of him in their Defense class. There was just a lot to love about the two of them, from their stilted, awkward conversations, to the surprising turn of events that kind of left me speechless. I can’t wait to see more of Archer himself, because I have tons of questions I want answered, but also want to see more of the two of them together. They just made me smile.
While I can’t say this was my most favorite book ever, I did definitely like it well enough to read the rest of the series. This one had some nice twists and turns to it, and I look forward to seeing what’s going to happen next, not only for Sophie but for those around her as well.