Review: Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins
  • Series: Hex Hall #1
  • Published: March 2, 2010
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
  • Reading Level: Ages 18 and Up
  • Pages: 336 pages
  • Source: Library
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.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Have you ever read a book that you thought you'd hate, so you were beyond pleasantly surprised when you realized you loved it? For me, this is one of those books.

Sophie Mercer is a witch. She was raised by her mother, a human, who left her powerful warlock father before knowing she was pregnant with Sophia because he waited so long to reveal his true identity. When a love spell at a school dance goes wrong, Sophie finds herself attending Hecate (Hex) Hall, a school for Prodigium that need help finding the right path. Even worse, she learns that her father is the head of The Council and responsible for sending her there. While having trouble dealing with the evil popular witches, crushing on the hottest guy in school, and trying to prove her best friend and vampire roommate innocent, Sophie begins to uncover some secrets about her family that were hidden under lock and key. Her powers, it turns out, aren't even the least of her worries.

I liked this book. The plot gave way to a lot of humor. I often found myself smiling and shaking my head throughout the book. Humor isn't an easy thing to pull off in books, but Hawkins pulled it off beautifully. While at first I thought the whole witches at school thing was reminiscent of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't, though aspects of the novel seemed to lack originality.

I especially enjoyed the plot twists in this book. They never stopped coming. Right when you think you had a character or event figured out, Hawkins would through another thing at you that left you sitting there in shock. This novel was full of unexpected surprises that strengthened the overall plot and told an awesome story.  

I have to say that a huge reason I loved this book is because of the main character, Sophie Mercer. She has a good head on her shoulders. She's stubborn and stands up for herself, evening the playing field with the evil witches that don't like her, but she's also forgiving. She's beyond entertaining and I love her for that. She carries the book beautifully. What I love about her is that she doesn't fall prey to the illness of insta-love that a lot of YA authors have their leads fall prey to. I mean, after all, the first thing that Archer Cross (the hot warlock on campus that is dating her arch-enemy) heard her say was, "Bad dog!" Not a recipe for insta-love, right? Yay for realistic romances that actually take time to develop! Archer is an interesting leading man. He's sort of a toned down version of Jace from The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. He's arrogant and thoughtful and really enjoys teasing Sophie.

I have to say that I loved Sophie's roommate, Jenna. She's strong and I have to applaud Hawkins for putting a homosexual character in her book. It's rare that I come across such a thing. I'm a huge supporter of the LGBT community, so this made me smile. However, Jenna's sexuality is not in your face or anything. It is mentioned a few times in the book, specifically when she's talking about her past, but it's not anything that will make a reader uncomfortable. No worries.

The pacing in this book was done pretty well. It was a little hard for me to get into in the beginning, but once I got over that small bump in the road, I couldn't put the book down. I'm a bit bummed out that I took this book out from my library and don't actually own it. 
What I'm really surprised about is that the recommended reading level is 18 and up. That seems beyond odd for me. The writing is a bit juvenile and seems like it's meant for a 13 year old, which shocks me that the reading level is so much higher. There is nothing in this book that should give it such a high reading level requirement. If anything, there are a few deaths, but they are not gruesome and unsettling. I would disregard the reading level. Anyone of any age can pretty much pick up this book. It's like The Gallagher Girls series. It's loved by all ages because it's full of humor and all around cute, but it's reading level is pretty low and the writing isn't anything inspirational.

With all that being said, I'm giving this book 4 stars. As I said before, the writing, at times, was a bit juvenile. Because of this, it was a little hard for me to get into the book at first. However, I am now dying for the next books in the series and called up my Dad begging to borrow his car later so I can pick up the rest of the series from the library. Hawkins weaves a tale full of mystery, humor, and plot twists that you will never see coming. With that ending, I have to see Sophie's story continue. Any reader will adore this book and I encourage you to give it a chance!


The cover seems a bit childish to me, but it is repeated throughout the series, so that's a positive. Everything works well together. I don't understand the meaning of the cat. it's not mentioned in the book at all. Oh, well.


4 stars



  1. Great review I really enjoyed this one too it's a really fun series and yes a lot of twists I never expected! :)

    1. Much better than I thought it would be!

  2. Great review! I hadn't heard of this book yet, but it sounds really good, so I'm going to check it out. I'm currently reading A Witch In Winter, also about witches. They fascinate me :)

    1. Haha then you should give this one a chance! It's not focused on witches, though.

  3. Wow, I didn't know the reading level was 18 and up for this. I have to agree with you and say that's kinda crazy. Sophie has a young voice to me, even through her snark, it seems like it's meant for a young audience. Great review, Lili! Demonglass is even better than Hex Hall. It does not disappoint :)

    1. Yeah, I was totally shocked! I think it's a typo on amazon because Demonglass is 12 and up if I remember correctly. Yeah, I can't wait to read them!!!

  4. I won this book a while back and had no idea what it was about but one day my friend borrowed it and after urged me to read it and then I did and I just fell in love with the series :)

  5. Great review, as always! This series is one of my all time favorites. I love it. It makes me laugh and cry and laugh so hard I cry. I just adored it from page 1 until the very end. I can't wait to read your review of the other books in the series.