Friday, May 28, 2010

Lazy Book Club for May: Hex Hall Discussion

This is our discussion of Hex Hall. If you haven't finished yet (this is a LAZY Book Club, after all) please just bookmark this post and come back. We'd hate to spoil any surprises for you. And trust us, there are surprises. We've handled this post with a handy-dandy "Read More" link, so if you stumbled here and haven't read yet, DON'T CLICK THE READ MORE BUTTON!!


So, Hex Hall. How much did you love this book? Because I freakin' ADORED this book. There are many reasons to love it, but let's start with the obvious: Sophie. Sophie was great because she was SO powerful but SO average. I don't mean BAD average, I just mean RELATABLE average.

I agree with that. I liked what Gwen had to say about this, "For starters, I think everyone (or most everyone) can relate to the teen angst this poor girl feels. I remember that feeling that I didn't belong, wondering what my life was about and where it was going, and of course I remember young love." Sophie has a lot of characteristics that we can all relate to. It made it easy for me to fall right into this book.

Mmm... Young love. We're gonna get to Archer in a bit, yes? Yes. But back to Sophie, I loved her wit. She was snarky but not bitchy. That's a fine line to walk and I think she walked it perfectly.

I also liked that she had this HUGE hurdle to overcome (I mean, she's shipped off to boarding school just to find out that people are trying to kill her, after all) and she doesn't turn into some whiny oh-woe-is-me type of girl. She relies on herself and the people around her. People like her best friend, Jenna. (I am SO TEAM JENNA, by the way.) She rocks.

It would've been easy for Sophie to accept the "cool girls" who wanted her to be part of their coven. Instead she trusted her instincts and stuck with Jenna. Picksee had a great point about their relationship: "I particularly loved Sophie and Jenna's relationship. And their interactions were some of the more realistic I've read in a while. It was so natural." I really appreciated that aspect. There weren't any forced BFF4EVAH! moments. They were just two girls who 'clicked', despite their oddities. Or maybe because of. Ashley agrees, saying: "I also loved the friendships between girls -- they aren't always easy or nice, and I think that Rachel Hawkins captured a lot of that awkwardness and insecurity that comes with teenager-hood, even if it was witches and vampires instead of nerds and cheerleaders." Girl friendships are very seldom easy. By the way, I'm totally getting a pink streak. *winks*

You would look great with a pink streak. Especially in the school pick-up line. I think Picksee made a great point about Jenna's sexuality: "Also, I really liked that Jenna being a lesbian was so nonchalantly part of her character. It wasn't some big plot point-it just was." Not only was it just part of the story, but it wasn't a complete cliche.

Agreed. She was perfectly executed. All the things we talk about: Her pink streak, her vampirism, her lesbianism, her affinity for fluffy pillows... they're just part of HER. It doesn't feel contrived or like it was pulled out for effect.

Right. Exactly. Soooo, can we talk about Archer now?

We can DEFINITELY talk about Archer now. Where do we begin? Archer is smart, aloof, hot, and notices Sophie. What's not to like? And then, of course, there's the cellar... *swoon*

Oh the cellar... that was actually Katarinasmama's selling point when she first recommended this book to me. I think she sums up the Archer scenes well with this comment, "But, I forgot to mention the very best part, at least for me. And that was the romantic pairing of Sophie and the Snarky-Cute-Boy-On-Campus, Archer. It was so well written that I flipped pages and held my breath whenever they were in mere view of each other."

But Archer is a plant. He's a *gasp* EYE! He's the big "what-if" that I'm waiting on with the sequel. I love the part where Sophie, astutely, asks if witch hunters don't have a good reason sometimes. He looks at her and I think that might be the moment he really sees her. I loved that moment.

That's a good question. I wonder if Demonglass (the sequel) will go into that more, perhaps some from their perspective? Probably not, but it will be interesting to get more in-depth with the witch hunters.

Well, TWO of our readers (score for Jonna AND Hoping4More) brought up a little Demonglass spoiler and quote from Rachel's website, which I loved.
"I WILL say that part of why I <3 Archer and like writing him with Sophie is that in a lot of ways, they're on a very similar path; both of them have been lied to, both of them have roles they're expected to fill, and both of them are struggling with Doing The Right Thing/Finding Themselves. All of this is a very round about way of, Archer is NOT a bad guy. But heck, to me, Alice isn't a villain. Elodie isn't a villain. Everyone is doing what they think is right. So...yeah. Morally ambiguous FTW!!" - Rachel Hawinks

Which is sort of where I was going with my thought above. Right or wrong is in the eye of the beholder sometimes.

Agreed. Although Elodie was kind of a bitch. At first.

And now can we talk about Cal? There's just something about him. Picksee had an interesting perspective on Cal: "I LOVED that Cal, a male, was the healer. Women are so typically tied to being healers and caretakers--and it was interesting thing to think about that many healing women back in the day were accused of being witches when someone got sick and that they're herbal remedies were poison, etc. But, in this case, it was a male who had the healing gift." I wonder if that's why I was drawn to his character. I kept expecting more from him and I'm hoping we get it in Demonglass.

Yes, Cal. I hope we see more Cal in the future. I also want to see some Elodie in the next book. It'd be interesting to see the consequences (eternally) of her bad decision.

Oh right! I hadn't even thought about Elodie playing a role as a ghost! CRAP. I need more coffee.....

*laughing* Well, what can I say? I'm kinda vindictive, so I liked to see Elodie "get hers" for what she'd done.

Anyway, so we've established that we have great love for Hex Hall. We did receive one "negative" comment, and negative might be a bit harsh, that Hex Hall was "juvenile" compared to other YA titles we've read. I'd seen this particular complaint on other websites and reviews, as well, but I don't necessarily think of it as a negative. Where the book was an easy read, it wasn't lacking in plot or character development. A lot of YA books that we read (and love) treat their protagonists as if they were mini adults. Shiver and Twilight are both like that, and the set-up (absent parents, busy lives) allows for it. Despite being sans parents at a boarding school, Sophia Mercer isn't a self-reliant 30 year old in a teenager's body. I feel like the tone of the book is actually in keeping with the MC's age.

I agree, but I also think the humor had a bit to do with people finding it juvenile. Personally, I loved the humor. Jonna summed it up well in reference to Sophie's character, "Sophie was witty, smart, quick, and a bit bitchy, which I loved." <-- Me too Jonna! I think the fact that this book made me guffaw (more than once) is what makes me love it all the more.

Oh, totally! I think the first thing I did after reading the book was to tweet Rachel Hawkins and tell her she was my new hero for using the word "fugly." I mean, how can you NOT adore an author who gets that?

I'm pretty sure Rachel Hawkins had me at "fugly." Seriously. That is when I knew I was holding a gem.

Truer words were never spoken. Hex Hall was a gem, and something tells me Demonglass will be even better. I'd like to point out that we have some AMAZING readers who left wonderfully insightful comments. If you'd like to read them all, click this link: Our Fab Reader Comments on Hex Hall.

Don't forget to check back on June 1st for our announcement of the next Lazy Book Club book! Thanks for playing along with us, we're having SO MUCH FUN!


  1. You two continue to be hexalicious!! I love this Book Club! Thank you for starting it and many thanks to Rachel for writing HEX HALl. She had me at "Bad dog!"

  2. I have a pink streak... two of them, in fact--all the other carpool moms are totes jealous. :)

  3. Jamie - I love your pink streaks. I am totes jealous too!

  4. lol S.. I loved 'Bad Dog' that was hilarious.


Tell us what you think!