Review: School Spirits (School Spirits #1) by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirits (School Spirits, #1)School Spirits (School Spirits #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Page Count: 304
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: eARC from publisher for review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

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School Spirits is a super cute and fun book that I really enjoyed reading. I found it to be a quick and easy read that was very entertaining. While it's a bit lighter on the supernatural aspect than Hex Hall, it's full of humor and intrigue that kept it interesting until the end.

I loved Izzy when she was first introduced in the last Hex Hall book. I am so glad this story is about her, because I really didn't like her sister, Finley. (If Finley does make an appearance in this series, I hope she has a personality transplant first. Just sayin'.) Izzy is completely likable and has a cute naivety about her that I really enjoyed. She has a really big heart, but she is still fearless and kick-ass when she needs to be.

After Finley goes missing during a mission, Izzy's mother decides she and Izzy should move to a small town while she looks for clues about Finley's disappearance. To keep Izzy busy, she is given a mission by her mother - to find and banish a ghost that is haunting the local high school. This also gives Izzy the opportunity to try and be more like a normal teenager by going to high school, which is something she's never done before. Izzy is so adorable and completely clueless about the goings on in high school. She lucks into finding a trio of friends who run the school's Paranormal Management Society - or PMS for short. Soon after she arrives at the school, the ghostly incidents escalate and become dangerous, so it's a perfect time for PMS to jump into action! Izzy has her new friends unknowingly help out with her investigation.

The secondary cast of characters in School Spirits were fun and extremely likable, even though none of them possessed supernatural powers. Dex is certainly a cutie with a quirky fashion sense, a wonderful attitude, and a touch of vulnerability. He's an all around good guy and just perfect as Izzy's (potential?) love interest. Izzy becomes instant besties with Romy, the other girl in PMS. Romy was full of wit and sarcasm, and has a very fun personality. Anderson is an ex-jock who has a thing for ghost hunting, but is only in PMS to get close to Romy. I really enjoyed the friendships that Izzy develops with the PMS crew, and I really liked the witty banter and easy camaraderie when they were all together.

My review wouldn't be complete without mentioning Torin. How I love that man! He has so much personality and is so dashing and charismatic. I didn't think he had as much attitude and snark this time around, but he does bring a bit of humor and levity to the storyline. I'm still hoping that he'll get out of the mirror soon and become a 'real live boy'. (Yes, I just totally gave a nod to Pinocchio.) As much as I would love to see Torin and Izzy get together, it IS a little creepy that he is 400 years old, AND he's known Izzy all of her life and watched her grow up. A relationship between them may be a bit icky, but I am glad that they are at least friends.

I really loved reading School Spirits. It was cute and funny and a super fast read. The writing is terrific, and the plot progressed at a nice pace. Even though there isn't much in the way of action, I thought there was enough witty dialogue, supernatural elements, mystery, and romance to keep me reading and not want to put the book down. School Spirits is a wonderful start to a new series. This is a spin-off that can be read on it's own, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the Hex Hall series. I can only hope that I won't have to wait too long for the next book in this series!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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  1. Glad to hear that you like it! Sophie s an amazing protagonist with her witty, sarcastic personality and all, and I was kinda afraid that Izzy was not really brilliant, but you didn't seem to think so :)

    Gotta read this as soon as it get out! Nice review :D

    Neysa Kristanti

  2. I have heard a lot about Hex Hall and its sequels. so I have really wanted to read it for a lone period of time
    This one looks interesting, too
    GREAT review, Sandra
    Your reader,

  3. Sandra, new follower :)

    At this point in time, Rachel Hawkins isn't doing a sequel to School Spirits, lack of time I believe as she's got to write other series' however, I think she will eventually write a sequel considering the open ending.

    I've only read Hex Hall and book 2 and I don't recall much of book 2 so I'm going to re-read the series. I don't even recall Finley :(

    Everyone seems to love Torin but I just thought he was creepy and I was unsure whether he could be trusted.


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