Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Published By: Hyperion

Date of Publication: March 2 2010

Categories:Boarding School, Fairy, Fiction, Ghost, Series, Urban Paranormal, Vampire, Werewolf, Witch, YA

Pages: 323

Summary (from goodreads.com): 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 student 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.

Review: I have to start off by saying that I love the way Rachel Hawkins incorporates humor into this novel. There were a few times that I went back and read certain parts cause they were really funny. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book like that.

Archer was a great character to be Sophie’s love interest. I love guys like Archer – a little bit mystery, a little broody, there’s just something that you can’t pin down with him. It’s very mysterious, and it makes me want to read more to learn what it is.

The cast of supporting characters is great too. There’s a lot of them, because the story takes place at a boarding school. But they each have their own identity and voice, so they don’t all blend into each other. It’s kind of cool too, to have so many supernatural beings all in one book – everything from witches to werewolves, and everything in between.

I found it hard to put this book down because there was always something happening – there weren’t any slow or boring parts. The pacing was great.

While it would be easy to group this book with the other boarding school paranormal books just by reading the summary, it’s definitely more than that. It’s fresh and original and deal with more than just the paranormal. There are lots of teen stuff in there too, like friendship, betrayal, relationships, and even prom.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, Demonglass. I HAVE to find out what happens to everyone, not to mention the cliffhanger!

Connect with the Author:

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Blog

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Nighshade by Andrea Cremer

Published By: Philomel

Year of Publication: October 19, 2010

Categories:YA, Urban Paranormal, Werewolf.

Pages: 452

Summary (from goodreads.com): Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Review: If you haven’t read this book yet, you have to!

Nightshade has gotten quite a few comparisons to the Twilight series, though I liked it a lot more than Twilight. Yes, there is a love triangle and werewolves, but that’s where the comparisons end for me. I thought the writing and plot lines were better than Twilight.

At first I was a little confused about the different groups of people – Keepers, Guardians, and Searchers, but before long I had it figured out. Don’t let this confusion keep you from reading the rest of the book! It gets easier to understand, and oh so good the further you read.

I definitely liked Shay and Calla together better than Ren and Calla at the beginning of the book. I’m not totally sure why though. I can’t deny that there was definitely chemistry between Ren and Calla, but it just didn’t feel totally right. Shay and Calla just felt right. However as I continued reading Ren managed to grow on me. So now I’m torn, I don’t know who I want Calla to end up with.

I loved the actual book. The cover is beautiful. Calla Lillies are one of my favorite flowers – they’re absolutely gorgeous. Each chapter started with a black page with a picture of the moon on it. Each chapter’s moon was a little fuller than the one before. Also each chapter had one of four symbols – earth, air, fire, or water. I’m hoping these symbols are explained more in the next two books, because I think there’s more to them than was explained in Nightshade. So not only was it fun to read, it was also a beautiful book to read.

If you’re in need of something to read and you loved Twilight, I would definitely recommend Nightshade.

Connect with the Author:

Twitter

Website

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Published By: Egmont USA

Year of Publication: 2010

Categories: YA

Pages: 372

Summary (from goodreads.com): Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappearedand her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel’s returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Review: What can I say other than I really enjoyed reading this book.

I thought the pacing was great. There was always something happening and I didn’t find myself being bored anywhere in this book.

I thought the characters were great too. I really liked Grace. She seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders. I also liked that she was almost a goody two shoes. In YA literature I think it’s easy to come up with characters who get themselves in trouble and don’t care about anyone but themselves – some of the stereotypes of teens. But I found it refreshing to read about a character who has a good relationship with her family, volunteers, and goes to church.

The way that Daniel was introduced to the reader was great too. You didn’t find out exactly what happened the night Daniel and Jude were together at the church until the very end.

The next book in the series, The Lost Saint sounds pretty good, and after liking The Dark Divine so much, I will definitely be reading it. Unfortunately I have to wait til December 28, 2010. Check it out on Goodreads in the meantime.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Published By: Simon Pulse

Year of Publication: 2010

Categories: YA, Urban Paranormal, Werewolf

Pages: 336

Summary (from Goodreads): Torn between two destinies?

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire’s new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?

Review: I thought this was a great new take on werewolves. Christine Johnson did a great job at putting her own take on a classic creature. I loved the cover – it drew me to the book and I wanted to know what it was about.

The writing was great. Things were described so you could picture the scene perfectly in your head without going into needless details.

I really liked reading about Claire. I found her to be a character that I could really relate to. The themes of change, identity, and not liking yourself were great to have in this book. I think they’re things that everyone can relate to in their teenaged years. Those things are tough to deal with being an adult, let alone for a sixteen year old, but I think Claire handled herself pretty good.

The pacing of this book was great – I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen without any boring parts. I basically didn’t want to put it down.

I will definitely be reading more books by Christine Johnson.

Image: Goodreads

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.