Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion Books/Disney
"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 supported 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 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."
"Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom. Again. I knew it was her because in the three months I'd been going to Green Mountain High, I'd already seen Felicia crying in the bathroom twice."
I'm officially a fan of Rachel Hawkins. It honestly only took a few chapters to make me realize what a great writer she is. This book is just... in a word... fantastic. It's got all the elements I can possibly ask for: Fantasy, Romance, Humor, Mystery, and so on. It's such a fun story that I got into immediately. So hard to put down, but it honestly was a fast read.
I love the idea of some hidden island that takes care of wayward fantastical students. Of course, I think the whole boarding school thing is so exotic (I'm sure it's not really), so I was pretty much destined to love the setting. Also the fact that it was set in Georgia gives a lot of room for humor about the weather. I think one of my favorite analogies was in the first page of the first chapter: "I always wondered what it would be like to live in somebody's mouth." That's pretty damn accurate! :)
One thing I found a little weird about this story was the lack of male characters. I mean, there were dudes in the school... but only one was there for the romantic interest. The rest of the males were teachers or worked at the school - not students. I know there were a few little cameos of guys, but it was so played down that it's like they weren't really around. I guess I could have used a few more dudes to balance out the story (my opinion, obviously).
But even through that, I really enjoyed this book. It's so light hearted even through so much drama. I loved the main character and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Oh, that's another thing - there's got to be a next book. There's a little bit of a cliff hanger. I mean, this story definitely has an ending... but there's an obvious continuation. So look out for that! I know I will.
I'd absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for that fantasy romance genre. Or really anyone looking for witch stories... or ghost stories... It's just great for lots of readers. I think mostly girls are going to get into it, but I'll not hesitate to hand it to a guy. But that's just me :).
Check out Rachel Hawkins' Blog. She talks a bit about the next book in this series. There's a link to her website there too, but I tried it and didn't get a whole lot from it. Maybe it was just my computer. This is also her debut book, so she counts for my Debut Author Challenge. w000t!
Other Blog Reviews:
The Story Siren
The Book Smugglers
Zoe's Book Reviews
The Compulsive Reader
There are tons of other reviews out there. Take a sec to check them all out! Did you review it?