Friday, September 24, 2010

Hex Hall, Rachel Hawkins

Plot summary:

Harry Potter Sophie Mercer is a new student at Hogwarts Hecate Hall, an academy for paranormal juvenile delinquents teens who can't control their magic. So they learn a bunch of lame stuff rather than powerful stuff, because as everyone knows, if your kid's out of control, you should make them feel STIFLED AND BORED. Sophie, a natural witch on her dad's side, is not impressed, but she soon makes friends with the awkward Ron vampire Jenna, who is cute and pink and I wanted to snuggle her. I'm just saying. She also immediately crushes on the school bad boy (groan) Archer, who is of course dating the school bitch queen Draco Elodie.
Sophie also has to contend with an odd girl who seems to be stalking her, a teacher (Snape "The Vandy") who hates her because of her father, and the enigmatic Dumbledore headmistress Casnoff. I'm not even going to make Voldemort jokes: too easy.
The plot revolves around a series of attacks on a coven of witches who want Sophie to join them. That's the MYSTERY, see. I'll leave the rest for you to discover.

My Review:

Okay, first of all, I should just say that this novel KNEW what it was trying to be, dammit, and it did exactly what it set out to do, as far as I could tell. Which is definitely a plus, since the debuts I've been reading lately either seem a little insecure of themselves at first (Birthmarked, review coming soon, I actually did like it) or just totally fail at what they try to do (The Line).
What it was, was not exactly my cup of tea. I felt like this book was a perfect hybrid of Harry Potter and Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. Or, Harry Potter: the American Juvie Edition. I'm not criticizing, exactly, but I'm not a huge fan of either of those series so I guess that's why I didn't love this.
I DID love Sophie's snark. I'm always up for a good bucketful of snark, and Sophie was a pro, probably because her mom left her dad after she found out he was a warlock, so Sophie's had barely any contact with him, and had to struggle alone with her (super-powerful) magic. I also, as I said, loved Jenna. She was an interesting character, although a little predictable.
The rest...I dunno. It was just all sort of formulaic. I wasn't very surprised by anything (Lesson #1: DON'T TAKE CANDY FROM STRANGERS) or very heartbroken over certain turns of events, although I might have been if I was more surprised or cared more about the characters in question. I DID laugh a lot in this book, and by that I mean more than once per chapter. There's plenty of humor and cleverness in this book. :)
I did NOT like the deus ex machina in the climatic scene. I can't even talk about how much that deused everyone's machina. I really can't, because it would be too spoilery and I want to see if YOU'RE surprised and deus ex machined.
I also, if you couldn't tell, didn't care much about the romance. Bad boys are a dime a dozen and honestly, this one had nothing in particular to recommend him over others. BUT if you like bad boys, I suppose this is a good formula.
Overall, it was an enjoyable, fast-paced read, and I will probably read the next one, but I have plenty to read while waiting for it.

Rated: 3/5
Recommended for: Harry Potter fans and/or Ally Carter fans
Notes: I totally ship Cal/Sophie.


Drake Sigar said...

So my future book Parry Hotter still has a shot at fortune?

Bahnree said...

I'm guessing so. ;)

Snazel said...

Heh. Harry Potter must really be a big influence in your life. You also compared Twilight to it, and the Black Magician trilogy.

And I didn't think Archer was the bad boy? Maybe I just have different criteria for bad boy.

Bahnree said...

*doesn't remember those comparisons, but believes you*
That's because HP and Twilight are both teen phenomena, and I don't LURVE either of them.
What did I say about BMT and HP?

Jenna called him "resident bad boy" in their first conversation about him.

Drake Sigar said...

Can we not say Twilight out loud? It sends me into a frothing rage. :P