When Reading Becomes Magic

It’s Guilty Pleasures Friday and I think it’s about time we talked books again here on the Happiness Project!  I’ve been a bit slower with my reading progress this year, and feeling underwhelmed by some of the books I’ve started.

Therefore, it was a delightful change of heart when I finished reading Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins the other day.

Hex Hall is the story of Sophie, a teenager who cast a love spell gone wrong (hmm – I may have cast a few of those myself as a teen).  Endangering herself and all magic beings by showing her power in front of humans, Sophie is sentenced to Hecate Hall, or Hex Hall as the students call it.  A little bit Crime and Punishment, Hex Hall is the boarding school for misbehaving witches, faeries, shapeshifters, werewolves, and exactly one vampire – who just happens to be the most hated person at the school, and coincidentally, Sophie’s roommate.

Raised by a human mother, Sophie knows nothing of her magical family’s past, and with flying colors on her first day, manages to piss off the three snootiest teen witches she’ll ever meet.  For Sophie, this is going to be a long year.

I must say at the start of the book, I judged it to be easily “figured out,” and thought the book contained too many similarities to the recent book/film hit, Beautiful Creatures.

I was wrong.

About halfway through the book, I didn’t want to put it down!  Things started getting dangerous!  Students were mysteriously attacked, left with bite marks and no memory!  It seemed like Sophie’s crush, Archer, may be more than what he seems.  And the ghost who was randomly appearing to Sophie, was now giving private magic lessons in a graveyard!  I love cemeteries!

The hardest thing for me to do right now is not give away the amazing jaw dropping twist the end of the book reveals!  I’m dying to tell someone about it, but then why would you read it?

So you have to read it for yourself!

Sometimes, it’s fun to lose yourself in a story, even if it’s another YA paranormal read and you already have too many of those on your bookshelf!

Hex Hall was fun.  And best of all, it was surprising.  And I think more great things will come from the author, who’s completed the Hex Hall trilogy with the sequels, Demonglass and Spellbound.

Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins lives in Alabama and is working on another trilogy series currently.  She taught high school English for 3 years before leaving work to pursue her bigger passion – the book that became Hex Hall.

If you’re interested in learning more about her, I linked to her blog by clicking on her photo.

Give me a shout!  Have you read Hex Hall?  What did you think?  What other books have completely surprised you once you got into them?

And what’s next on your “To Read” list?

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9 responses

  1. Love the cover and the premise of this book! I just finished “Sutton” by JR Moehringer and plan to finish Ellie Soderstrom’s pre-release, Silver Sickle in the next week.
    Good luck with your book!

    1. Ooh I have Ellie’s book in my queue too! I’ll have to check out your other recommendation now! And yes, I love the cover of Hex Hall too.

  2. I love witches and magic!! I have this on my reading list and I can’t wait to check it out!!

    1. This is defintely a cast of your favorite characters Tiff! Enjoy!

  3. “Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone” surprised me. It was a Christmas gift from my mom way back when it first came out. I had little desire to read a YA novel about a boy wizard, so it gathered dust for months. I finally got around to cracking it open the following June, I believe…and immediately fell under its spell (pun intended). Which is why, when “The Hunger Games” came out, I had no qualms delving into that one! The moral of the story truly is, cliches be damned, don’t judge a book by its cover.

    1. I almost wrote that, but it doesn’t fit Rachel’s book because her cover is awesome! lol. But I hear ya, Mark, cause I just read Harry Potter for the first time last year and I enjoyed it too! Plus I LUV me some Hunger Games!

  4. Valerie Johnson | Reply

    Thanks for posting this! I downloaded the entire series to my nook and am halfway through the second book. I am thoroughly enjoying Rachel Hawkins’ writing. She’s created an super-engaging plot and a pretty cool cast of characters. I have to set it aside now (sadly) as I need to get back to editing my stinky first-draft synopsis of my middle-grade novel. I’m pitching it at the Writers’ Institute this weekend. Will I see you there??

    1. Good luck! Have fun at the conference! I won’t be there this year, I’m going to the DFW Conference first weekend in May. So glad you’re enjoying the series! It was pretty fun.

      1. Valerie Johnson | Reply

        I’ll be interested to hear how you like your conference. Good luck to you too! (DFW = Dallas Fort Worth?)

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