DNF Review: Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins

Posted 16 January, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 24 Comments

DNF Review: Hex Hall – Rachel HawkinsHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on 28 May 2010
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 337
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Purchase

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.

I had quite high hopes for Hex Hall before I started it. Several reviewers whom I am almost always agreeing with loved it, and it’s a genre I love, too. Alas, Hex Hall and I weren’t meant to be.

My Hex Hall review:

I almost stopped reading Hex Hall at 37% of my kindle edition. I found the story to be very slow, I wasn’t all that interested in Sophie, and I also thought a lot of things didn’t make much sense – mostly because they were glossed over, and even Sophie had no idea about how to navigate her world. Being a witch raised by a human for sixteen years can’t have made anything easy for Sophie, but I had trouble caring what would happen to her.

When I almost stopped reading at 37%, I saw some reviews on Goodreads where the reviewers said they had trouble getting intoΒ the story, but that it got better, so I thought to myself, if it gets better, I’m going to kick myself later if I don’t continue with Hex Hall. So I picked it back up again, and painstakingly made it to 59% before I decided Hex Hall and I would not have a great love story.

In many ways, it makes me sad, because I love witches, I usually enjoy paranormal romances, and even more so when those stories are set in a gothic setting, a boarding school where there is mystery, a mean teacher and some mean girls as well… Hex Hall did give me exactly that – maybe a little bit too exactly for my taste, or maybe I’m just YA’ed out for a while. Sophie acted in a childish way more often than not, and it was difficult to want things to be good for her. Even with some fun one-liners and a sure sense of humor, I couldn’t get into the story fully.

Some Hex Hall quotes:

But it didn’t look like a school. It looked like a cross between something out of an old horror movie and Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.

Never had encouragement sounded so much like a threat.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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24 responses to “DNF Review: Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins

    • I was disappointed in more ways than one, Angie, because I really thought I’d enjoy Hex Hall – it’s the kind of story I usually love. However, maybe I’ve outgrown the boarding-school for outcasts trope for now.
      Have a great Friday πŸ™‚

    • I am wondering if I would have enjoyed this one more if I had read it a couple of years ago, Stormi. It’s so difficult for me to DNF, too, I always prefer to finish what I start πŸ™‚

    • You know what really made me sad about DNF’ing this one, Melanie? I’m kind of afraid I’ve ‘grown out’ of YA paranormals. That would just not work for me at all. And I know so many of my fellow bloggers loved Hex Hall, and I kind of feel like I’m missing out on something because I didn’t.

  1. I read this one a while ago and while it was a fun story and I enjoyed it, it was a bit simple. I think I read it in one day during summer vacation and gave it 3 stars. It was fun, but there wasn’t really much beside that. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t for you. Hope your next read was better!

    • I think I would have enjoyed this much more if I had read it a few years ago, Lola. Now that I have read many different kinds of stories with witches in them, it just didn’t do it for me.

  2. It’s so hard to like a book when you don’t connect wiht the protagonist. I actually have this on my TBR from a while ago but have never checked it out, not sure it’s for me after reading your review. There are too many great reads out there to spend time on ok ones. Hope your next read is an awesome one Lexxie, have a great weekend!

    • True, Lori. I have to have some kind of connection with the MC, even if it’s just to find him or her strange or annoying πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend yourself.

  3. I remember loving this and the series although in retrospect I think I might not have enjoyed it as much if I were to read it today. It’s more like MG-YA and because the genre has evolved ever since and more badass witchcraft book has released, this does pale in comparison. Sorry your time was wasted πŸ™

    • I think if I had read it a few years ago, I would have loved it, Braine Too bad I know so many badass witches now πŸ˜€

  4. Well that sucks. I think that if you can’t connect with the heroine, it’s the kiss of death. Seriously. I’ve seen this book around and I can thank you now because my TBR is ready to topple over because I have so many! *snickers* I hope the next book you read is AUH-MAZING! πŸ˜‰

    • LOL I hope it’s not only because of me that your TBR is ready to topple over, Christina! Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

    • See, I think I’d have really loved this one a while ago… I’m kind of less sad about DNF’ing if you think the 2nd and 3rd books weren’t good.
      It’s actually very, very seldom that I DNF a book, and I think this is only the 2nd DNF review I’ve actually written. I felt like I could legitimately write a review since I read more than half of the book πŸ™‚

    • I’m pretty lucky, Shan, because I almost always enjoy the books I read πŸ™‚ And many other readers and bloggers really enjoyed Hex Hall, so don’t let my lack of enthusiasm keep you away from it.

    • I know, it truly has all the ingredients for a book I could love, too, Berls. I don’t know why, but it really didn’t do it for me at all.

  5. Oh, I’m sad this didn’t work out for you, Lexxie. And it makes me nervous as I have it waiting on me. I guess it’ll just keep waiting awhile longer. πŸ™‚ Life’s too short to read *bad* books. <–and by that, I just mean books that don't work for us. At least you gave it a valiant effort!

    **BIG HUGS**

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: Teaser Tuesday ~ #53
    • Yeah, I’m sad, too, Brandee. You might still enjoy it, though, it *does* happen that we don’t agree 100% on stories we read, right? and I do think I gave this story a very good chance before I gave up on it.
      *BIG HUGS*

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