Debut author Rachel Hawkins takes the supernatural teen genre to a new level. She incorporates the usual - witches, vampires, faeries, werewolves - and puts a new spin on their world.
Just when you thought your teen life sucked, we are introduced to Sophie Mercer, witch extraordinaire. Only, there really isn't anything extraordinaire about her, unless, of course, being a witch falls into that category. She attends public high school, moves around quite a bit, and happens to cast spells that go awry. After one such spell causes chaos at prom, Sophie's public school days are over. Her father has her whisked away to Hex Hall, reform school for those like Sophie, you know, the "freaks" of society - witches/warlocks, faeries, shape-shifters, and a vampire. Her first day is more eventful that her prom fiasco, and she racks up enemies even before she enters the doors. Ah, so it goes when you're a teen witch. The question is, can she survive her classmates as well as the ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her? From page one Hawkins will have you hooked with this world she has created, a world that is not unlike your own.
While Hawkins brings a new, witty approach to this genre, she also captures the dynamics that are typical in high schools - the queen bee, her followers, crushing on queen bee's boyfriend, friendship, misunderstanding, trust, self-discovery. This book is like Pretty in Pink meets Prodigium. (Now, isn't that a visual?)
I am a sucker for a great witch story, and Sophie's character fulfills my love of all things witches. I enjoyed taking this journey with Sophie, moving from a normal life to one at the reform school in GA. (Who knew GA could be this cool?) Hawkins really captures the experiences and frustrations of being a teen girl, you know, because there is a bit of Sophie in all of us. Sophie's character brings a breathe of fresh air where witches are concerned, and her vamp roommate, Jenna, is definitely worthy of more page time. And lets not forget the hotness that is Archer, a character that will cause hearts to skip and readers to swoon.
And did I mention the plot twist will leave many of you gasping out loud? Seriously, she is a sneak, that Rachel Hawkins.