I remember loving Rachel Hawkins‘ Hex Hall series years ago. The magic! The excitement! The romance!
Yeah, Hex Hall even got me invested in the romance. Rachel Hawkins, if you’re ready, know that this is high praise. I’m not easily swept away by romance. In fact, I’m kind of a cranky old lady about romantic subplots. But this story is honestly so funny and charming that I found myself just swept up in the magic of it all.
And you know what? Years later, the magic of Hogwarts for Delinquents is still potent.
What Hex Hall is about:
Sophie Mercer, wayward Prodigium extraordinaire, has blown it for the last time. She was just trying to help out a lovelorn classmate, but when her spell backfires in the worst possible way, the hapless teenage witch is packed off to Hecate (a.k.a. “Hex”) Hall as punishment.
Being sent away is only the beginning of Sophie’s woes. Her new roommates is a vampire whom everyone highkey suspects of murder. Her teachers are too fond of the “learning by doing” method when it comes to battle training. Her crush is totally taken—by the mean queen bee.
Oh, and someone starts attempting to murder the students. That kinda puts a damper on things, too.
My thoughts on Hex Hall:
This book is honestly just super-fun. It’s a fast, easy read that you can devour in one sitting. The heroine, Sophie, is easy to root for. She’s snarky and perfect and has done nothing wrong, ever, in her life.
Sophie would disagree with me, of course. She’d say that she’s a disaster-prone mess. To that I say…agree to disagree. Her snappy, sassy demeanor and unflappable nature in the face of evil is reminiscent of the original badass—Buffy. She honestly elevates the story tenfold. Had she been any less sardonic or self-depricating, I probably wouldn’t have liked this book at all. Hex Hall is a very character-driven story, so it’s important that the leading lady is also amazing.
The other bright, shining star of this novel is, of course, Jenna. She’s sweet but also bitter; she’s lonely; and her sexuality always takes a backseat to things like her personality, and the fact that she’s suspected of multiple homicides. I think that Jenna was the first openly lesbian character that I read about in a YA novel (keep in mind I first read this book like ten years ago), so that’s another reason that I have a soft spot for her.
On the dark side, you know who I have no love for? Archer. Seriously, his face may be pretty, but his personality is kind of rotten. He doesn’t deserve Sophie, I can tell you that for suresies. Every time I think of him I’m just like:
(And okay, it turns out Archer is LITERALLY A BAD GUY WHO BELONGS TO THE OFFICIAL BAD GUY ASSOCIATION and I know that later books reveal his complicated-yet-sympathetic backstory and absolve him of his behaviour in Hex Hall but JUST LET ME FEEL VINDICATED IN MY DISLIKE OF HIM)
I suppose, in a way, the novel is realistic; you can’t control your emotions, and you can develop a stupid, out-of-control crush on someone whom you know isn’t that great of a person. But this is also a novel about a school for witches, werewolves, and one very pink vampire. I didn’t exactly come here for a hyper-realistic story, now, did I?
Anyways, Archer is a bit of a sore point for me. But I love Sophie, and I love Jenna, and two awesome people outweigh one jerk every day of the week.
Have you read Hex Hall? Did you like it? Have you read the whole series? Have you read the spinoff series (yes, that is a thing that exists? What other books feature awesome lesbian vampires? Or just awesome lesbians? And finally, if you attended Hex Hall, what would you be? A witch? A werewolf? A vampire? So out of there?