My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The entire Hex Hall series was a guilty pleasure for me. I read them all in quick succession at the beginning of my winter break, and while they weren’t particularly intellectually challenging, they were fun, easy reads with pretty much non-stop action.
We come to meet Sophie Mercer, the protagonist of the series, in the prologue. Sophie, who apparently has bounced around from school to school her whole life, has run into a crying, lovelorn girl in the bathroom at prom and decided to help her out. Using magic. Which she does not control very well. In fact, Sophie’s spells have a tendency to be far more powerful than she intends. When the young man who is the object of the crying girl’s desire practically kills everyone in the prom in his haste to get to her as a result of this particular botched love spell, not only is Sophie outed as a witch by the very girl she was trying to help, but she is also sentenced to two years at Hex Hall, a reformatory school for dangerously out of control kids with supernatural abilities. And the sentence is passed down by none other than her own estranged father, who, it turns out, in addition to being someone Sophie has never even laid eyes on, is also a very powerful warlock and the head of The Council — the governing body of all Prodigium (the very pompous name for the supernaturally abled).
Within the first week at Hex Hall, Sophie has fallen for the dark, brooding bad boy, almost gotten eaten by a werewolf, pissed off the popular girls (who are an actual coven, in this case, instead of just a metaphorical one!), has ostracized herself from almost everyone by befriending her new roommate, the only student vampire on campus, and is well on her way to a miserable start at this crazy school full of fairies, shape-shifters, witches, and assorted others. When it turns out that witches keep getting murdered and attacked, and the blame is being focused on Sophie’s vampire roomie, Jenna, Sophie’s life gets even more complicated. She is sure that Jenna is innocent, despite the attacks prominently featuring two small holes in the victims’ necks and general loss of blood, but if it wasn’t Jenna, who was it, and what the heck is really going on at Hex Hall?