Series: Hex Hall

BOOK REVIEW – Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins

BOOK REVIEW – Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel HawkinsHex Hall (Hex Hall #1)
by Rachel Hawkins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

“You’re just not used to meeting women who don’t fall all over your ass like you’re in a boy band or something,” I said when our laughter had subsided a little.
I’d turned back to my essay, so I had to look up when I realized he hadn’t answered me.
He was looking at me with a small smile, a strange glint in his eye. “So why didn’t you?”
“Excuse me?”
“Well, according to you, women are always falling all over me. So why didn’t you?…”

This is one of those stories where it was very good and very entertaining, but I’m not quite sure what to say. There were so many characters and so many situations that I don’t think I could adequately identify everything that made this book so special. I think my favorite thing about this author, though, is her ability to make a gravid situation appear lighter than it actually is and to add humor to every scene.

It’s nice to be involved in a world where everything isn’t as serious or angsty as other books in the genre are. It’s almost like taking a vacation.

I tugged at the hem of my brand-new Hectate Hall-issue blue plaid skirt (kilt? Some sort of bizarre skirt/kilt hybrid? A skilt?) and wondered why a school in the middle of the Deep South would have wool uniforms.

Sophie is a witch who is trying to live among the humans-forever trying to fit in and always doing the wrong thing-thus landing her in Hectate Hall, a school for the wayward witches, warlocks, shifters, and what-have-you that have done something wrong in society that has drawn attention to them personally. Hectate Hall is also, in a way, a safe haven. Because the main goal of all the witches and such is to stay under the radar-there are elite groups designed to hunt and take down these otherworldly folk, and using their magic publicly draws a big neon sign showing ‘they do exist!’ and that leads to massacre. Humans wouldn’t be able to handle the knowledge that they live among magical beings and that is also a stimulant for why they must never know about Sophie and those like her.

She shook her head, her pink stripe falling in front of one eye. “Just thinking. Man, Sophie, it’s only your first day and you’ve already befriended the school outcast, pissed off the most popular girls at Hectate, and developed a full-blown thing for the hottest guy. If you can manage to get detention tomorrow, you’ll be like, legendary.”

I liked all the characters and how they were represented in this book. Each character had a little cliche to them, but not in a tired way. We had the mean girls, the outcast, the teacher out to get everyone, the hot, mysterious bad boy, and the new girl. I think it goes without saying that I loved our bad boy and new girl the best (along with her vampire best friend who was AWESOME), but in a cast of supporting characters, these guys were all pretty fun to follow.

…But then Archer’s hand tightened on my waist, and Jenna slid completely from my mind.
I looked up to see him studying me intensely with an expression I’d never seen before. Well, one he’d never directed at me before.
“She was right,” he murmured.
“About what?” I said, and my voice didn’t even sound like mine. It was low and breathy.
“I did want to spend the ball with you.”

Archer is your typical bad boy, but there is something extremely sweet and intriguing about him. Sophie is labeled an outcast because of who her father is, and more than that, she is the new girl, but at no time does Archer treat her rudely or unlike anyone else at the school-some might say he showed affectionate feelings towards her when no one else would give her the time of day. But along with his snarky and personable jibes and conversations with Sophie, he also has a mysterious side to him. We don’t quite know everything there is to know about him and it shines through in certain instances leaving us wondering if there is more than we are seeing.

In fact, the more time we spent cataloguing in the cellar or blocking each other’s elbows in Defense, the more I began to suspect that my crush might be deepening into something else, something that I really didn’t want to put a name to. It wasn’t just that he was hot-although, believe me, that was definitely part of it-it was the way he ran his fingers through his hair. The way he looked at me like I was actually interesting to talk to. The way his eyes lit up when he laughed at my jokes. Hell, that he laughed at my jokes.

All in all a very fun and refreshing take on the paranormal side of things. This author is on my radar and I have now read two books by her that have been home runs in my eyes. I think I will always consider reading a book by Hawkins if ever I need a good laugh and fun story-there aren’t many authors I can go to for light, funny reads that don’t have a large cheese-factor lodged into the story (as I mentioned in my Rebel Belle review by same author). So now I will continue through the second book (already 50% in) and see where this series takes me-I can only hope that I get more and more of that not-so-bad boy I love so much-I just can’t get enough!

BOOK REVIEW – Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

BOOK REVIEW – Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel HawkinsDemonglass (Hex Hall #2)
by Rachel Hawkins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

He laughed softly. “I can’t see you, but I have a feeling you’re cute when you’re jealous, Mercer.”

Well, damn!
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I must say….one minute I was getting very, very bored, and the next, I was gasping and covering my mouth with one hand due to the dramatic occurrences unraveling before me. I think this is one of those situations where, while the second book was super good, it lacked a little of my favorite character….and let me correct you before you make unfair assumptions-I am not that girl who rates based on whether the male lead is wholly present or not (see above^^^^^my rating is clear), but if the story can’t stand on it’s own, that’s when I will squeal about the lack of that male presence.

I have to say that I abhor when certain reviewers rate lowly due to lack of the male lead-you know who you are-and don’t base the rating solely on the story’s merit or action. If you are one of these people, that’s okay! It’s your right, but I will not trust your reviews as they are…there is more to a story than *gasp* a hot dude. Now, even on my profile it says I will give any book with a ‘smidgen of romance’ a try-and maybe that makes me biased-but that’s my prerogative…take it or leave it.

For the first time in a long time, I let myself remember Archer, really remember him. His brown eyes and slow smile. His laugh, and how I felt when I was with him. How his voice sounded when he called me “Mercer.” The way he had kissed me.

I don’t know why I felt I needed to say that above. Maybe it’s to defend this particular book’s honor against some of the negative reviews it received, or maybe it’s because too many of my favorite books and/or series have been bashed and rated poorly because the male is not present. Well, it’s bullshit, and too many excellent and expertly written novels get bashed all because of the ‘second book formula’. It’s that damn routine where something epic happens at the end of book one (or, hey. NEAR the end) and then we see minimal guy time in the next. It almost always happens in trilogies, as far as I’ve seen, and it is a tad aggravating that it inevitably seems to occur frequently, but I also kind of like it in a weird, messed up way.

“It just seems like overkill when you already have a dagger and I have superpowerful magic at my disposal.”
“Superpowerful?” He stood up, a gold chain dangling from his fingers. “Let me remind you of two words, Mercer: Bad. Dog.

I was one of those (before GR, B.G., if you will) that read the sappy, inevitable HEA, cliche, cookie-cutter, and overdone romances that are so common these days. Maybe that’s why I cringe when someone asks me to read a NA with no paranormal or dystopian or even a little fantasy in it-I NEEEEED that peril, I NEEEEEED that action, I NEEEED some angst and kick-ass situations. I’ve read all the cookie-cutters, bring on the pain. Anyways, wow, this is turning into a impromptu bio, that is why I have grown tolerant, if not a little fond, of male absences or sticky situations where the hero/heroine are separated for a time because, well, I’ve found that absence, both in real life and even more so in books, makes the heart grow fonder.

…I turned away, but he reached out and caught my wrist.
I could feel my pulse hammering under his fingers. “Mercer, that day in the cellar…” He searched my face, and I could sense him struggling for what he wanted to say. Then finally, “I didn’t kiss you back because I had to. I kissed you because I wanted to.” His eyes dropped to my lips, and it was like the whole world had shrunk to just me and him and the shaft of light between us. “I still want to,” he said hoarsely.

So, I think it’s quite clear what I’m trying to say here-there were definitely some moments where Archer was severely missed and I was a tad bored by the story, but in no way did it hinder my love for this series and it only made the story that much better when he was in it. That’s what happens when the author chooses to separate the leads-it makes the story stronger when they are reunited.

…”Let me guess,” I hissed, nodding at the chain. “Something else you stole from Hex Hall.”
He pushed himself to his feet. “Guilty.”
“Where the heck was I while you were playing Grand Theft Cellar?”

I believe it goes without saying that I adore Archer and everything Archer-ly inclined, so I will just say that he is, if possible, sweeter, hotter, and even more endearing in book two-quite swoon-worthy I must say. And then there’s Jenna, her vampire best friend. I didn’t love her as much, but in the end, when it mattered most, she came through and was supportive of her best friend and that’s what mattered most. It warmed my heart and brought me back to her side…not that I was ever on the opposite.

He shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I wish we weren’t like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I’d met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something.” Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, “Is that a thing humans actually do?”

And finally-the elephant in the room that is a love triangle. I do believe this was a baby one, not even to really be considered, but I have to put it out there and shelve it thusly. We have a new contender, kind of, for Sophie’s heart, and while he is both sweet and kind and even a tad smexy, he is not Archer-no contest. I’m even going to go so far as to say that I bet you know who this not-so-mystery man is, but as it is, I won’t mention him further.

It sucks that we miss people like that. You think you’ve accepted that someone is out of your life, that you’ve grieved and it’s over, and then bam. One little thing and you feel like you’ve lost that person all over again.

(I SWEAR that is SUCH a coincidence that this quote was one of the chosen ones lmao-I rarely use the word bam-must have been fate)

A great read, if a little dull at times, and then a BAM-tastic ending. I love when they are crazy and out of the blue-no one is safe, and no one sees it coming. Those are the absolute best endings and they offer so much more than the prophesied or predictable endings-those are good sometimes, too, but they just aren’t as…BAM. I don’t know how else to say it lol. You’re walking down the street, minding your own business…then BAM! Bus? lol (Friends shout out muahaha) So yeah. If you loved or even liked the first book, you’ll likely adore this one if you give it time to marinate and progress-I often find the best books have the most ‘killer’ endings, don’t ya think?

“Cross,” I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noise behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers.
Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.

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