I went into Hex Hall, being an idiot and expecting some of the garbage that other popular ya books has turned out to be. Instead I got a great book.
We got introduced to a girl who just wished to help - a small girl who had only about just discovered that she was a witch, and who therefore thought that she could save the day. Of course she did, I mean - if I woke up with superpowers, sure I would try to help half of humanity! And Sophie does exactly that. Unfortunately for her, her superpowers tend to… overdo things a bit. So she gets send off to Hex Hall; a school where they teach young witches, shape shifters and fey how to blend in with normal people.
Thought the premise sounded intriguing, I still thought this would be something like House of Night - too much focus on everything but plot. But if there is one thing this book isn't, it's House of Night-ish. Instead of dragging, clumped writing, Rachel Hawkins writing is smoothly and quirky, her character's can talk with each other without it feeling forced and her world expanded more and more as she drew us into her universe. Rachel Hawkins has one of those seldom gifts where her writing is both easy and still beautiful. She didn't need purple prose, and as far as I cam remember, she never use purple prose. Everything is beautiful, magnificent but easy, which also makes it so easy to see everything as if you were there. The world expands and moves and sometimes take a turn, but it never gets stuck. And that was one of the best thing about this novel.
The other best thing, let me say it right now, is Sophie. I usually dislike main characters, especially from the YA genré, because they tend to be either seriously stupid and do dangerous stuff, or just whine halfway through the book. Sophie does not do that. She was a fresh character, and I instantly felt drawn to her. One of her best features were her humor which Hawkins easily spun into her novel. Sophie was both intriguing and lovely to read about, and watching her story unfold was a great experience. I never felt that she was stupid either - many other main character's take stupid risks where you just want to smash them and yell 'THAT'S JUST LAME YOU IDIOT',but Sophie is both reasonable and I never felt that she did anything out of character.
But I only gave this book four stars. Now, how can that be? Well, that will be because of the romance. I instantly did not like the designated love interest, not only because he was stupid, possessive and quite a jerk, but also because it was so easy to see who she would end up with. There isn't much of a competitor to him in this book, but that only makes it so much easier to see that she will probably end up with him. I hope not, but I will probably be disappointed. If she don't, though, I will yell out of my window in glee or something like that.
One other element I want to praise is the magical element, it was just phenomenal.