Friday, February 19, 2010

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Sophia is a witch - and she's not very good at hiding it. Somehow, no matter how much she tries, something always seems to go wrong....and finally, something goes very wrong indeed and she finds herself sentenced to a reformatory for supernatural creatures. Hex Hall is a miserable, gothic ruin and Sophia is not happy about being there, especially when she makes enemies of the most powerful witches and finds out she's rooming with the school outcast. Not to mention someone is killing students....

I scooped this ARC up at ALA rather on a whim, when I was in my "collecting paranormal ARCs for summer reading prizes" mode. But the description sounded kind of interesting, so I gave it a chance. I liked it! There was some romance, but it wasn't the main focus of the story. There was some mystery, but no searching for clues and the mystery is "solved" rather suddenly at the end. The main focus of the story is Sophie's growth as a person as she gains confidence in her powers and learns that she has a dark side and will have to decide how to deal with it. Of course, there is plenty of action and excitement - and humor! The exhibitor said it was funny and snarky, and she was right! Very funny, very snarky. Sophie isn't too polished and urbane to be believable, but she has a witty remark when she needs one.

The only thing I'm really grumped about is the cover - the ARC has a rather bland white cover with the title in a fancy black font. I just checked out what appears to be the final cover on the book on Amazon and...first of all, why the cat?? Sophie says specifically at the beginning of the book that she's allergic to cats and doesn't have one. The ghost is supposed to be wearing a green sweater over a flowered dress, not a green dress. And both models look older than 15 or 16.

Oh, and it's a series. More series? Moan.

Verdict: So, I liked it but I'm not sure about whether the cover will appeal or not, plus I have soooo many paranormal books on my list already...do I really want to begin another series? I'm putting it on the "see how much money I have at the end of the year or maybe wait for the paperback" part of my order list. Hey, I'm organized!

ISBN: 978-1423121305; Published March 2010 by Hyperion; ARC provided by publisher at ALA

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