Author: Rachel Hawkins
Reading Level: Ages 14 and up
Summary: 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 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.
My Review: This one is woefully over due. Sorry about that. Anyway, this may at first glance seem like a lame mash up of HP and every other fantasy story out there. But Hecate Hall is no Hogwarts. It is a reform school for rebel magical creatures, where they are sent when they misbehave. I definitely enjoyed this different twist. This book is full of witty and clever characters, I really liked Sophie's narrative, she was a funny and likable heroine as well as one you could feel sympathetic towards since she is so obviously a fish out of water in her new surroundings. The supporting cast is also top notch, from Sophie's vampire roommate Jenna, who has an obsession with the color hot pink to Sophie's snotty conniving rival who's name escapes me at the moment. Anyway she was good. :P Oh and of course the ever enigmatic bad boy with a secret soft spot for the main character who always seems to crop up in every YA book I've read recently. The murder mystery sprinkled throughout this book is a page turner, creepy and intriguing I had a lot of fun reading it and it kept me continuously guessing. There are twist galore in this fantasy fare, and while it's not the YA book of the century if you want to read a light weight novel to rest the brain, one that's a lot of fun you need not look further than Hex Hall.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommend: Yes indeed for fans of lightweight mystery and fantasy