21 June 2011

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

This book is by far my fastest read. I literally read it in a four hour stint because I could not put it down. Usually, this book is not what I would go for. My sister recommended it to me and I took it, feeling apprehensive about the whole thing. One point to be made is that it is teenage fiction, and therefore revolves around things like school, boys and angst. However, the book is not just about a normal person, it is about a witch who goes to a reform school for magical beings.

I know, this all sounds very Harry Potter. And in fact, you can tell that the idea did come from there. The writer doesn't try to hide that from us at all, which I like. There is even a little joke at her own expense here. You can see rather a lot of parallels with Harry Potter and Hex Hall; A ball, a school, witches, wizards (or warlocks), vampires, werewolves, a forbidden wood, resident ghosts, some sort of magical enforcement and a journey of self discovery.

Thank God then, that the writer added a first person style and a sense of humour to the book, or else your mind would scream Harry Potter at you throughout the whole read. I really like the main character, who is female by the way. She is so sarcastic and witty that I can relate to her entirely, even though I am very aware of her rather clumsy powers.

I don't want to give too much away about the plot, but believe me when I say that the school and the inhabitants are where the similarities end. The book is definitely for the teenage generation, but I have to say that I did have a good laugh at all the jokes that were included. Rachel Hawkins really knows how to bring characters to life and did a good job of showing the emotional turmoil of a teen.

Had the book not reminded me so much of another magical series, I would have given this a higher score. However, the backchat and general feel of the book redeemed this. I give it a 6 out of 10.