Mundie Moms

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins, Book Review

By: Rachel Hawkins
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: May 14th, 2013
Source: arc from the publisher to review
3.5 Stars: I Liked It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to 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 theNew York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Being a huge fan of Rachel's Hex Hall series, I was really looking forward to reading her spin off, School Spirits. I loved Rachel's writing style in that series. The wit, snarkiness, and the chemistry between Archer and Sophie was awesome. School Spirits introduces fans to Isolde (Izzy) and that boy she talks to in the mirror, Torin, we first met in Sophie's story. After all Sophie and Izzy are cousins. Though Sophie and Archer are briefly mentioned in the story, this book follows Izzy's story.

Izzy and her mother hail from the well respected Brannick family. The family of female Prodigium hunters. Struggling to come to grips with her sister's disappearance, Izzy almost meets her fate in a vampire job she takes as the story opens up. Now suddenly her mom is making them move to Mississippi where Izzy can get back on her feet by taking on a ghost haunting job, but Izzy for the first time ever gets a taste of what it's like to be a real teenager. Going to high school and learning to blend in is much harder for Izzy than it is hunting down a ghost, now through falling in love for the first time, and we've got a story rip with Rachel Hawkins awesomeness.  

Izzy is such a fun character to root for. She's someone who could easily kick your butt, yet learning to be a "normal" teenager gives her this vulnerability that made me root for her even more. She's determined, a little stubborn, strong willed, intelligent, and at times funny. She makes it easy to like her. Even though her sister's disappearance greatly effects her, she is bound and determined to prove to her mom that she can work along and complete the mission at hand. 

One of the things I love about Rachel Hawkins's story is the chemistry she creates between her love interest. True I missed Sophie and Archer's banter in this book, but Izzy has Torin for that, though it's not quite on the same level, and her love interest Dex. Oh Dex! What I loved about Dex is he is NOT your run of the mill love interest. He is flamboyant, charismatic, and boy does he have a fashion sense he's not afraid to sport. I loved him from the moment I met him. Not only is he secure with who he is, he knows how to get to Izzy. In true Rachel Hawkins fashion she has created another great relationship full of banter, and butterflies, and given a touch of complications. 

There are no such things are blissful, uncomplicated relationships in Rachel's books and I love that. Now that doesn't mean that and Dex and Izzy don't have one of those sigh worthy relationships, because they do. They also have a unique problem that makes it hard for Izzy to really get close with anyone, and that's her job. Now Torin and Izzy on the other hand..... Torin is a character I really enjoyed getting to know more, but there's something about him that intrigues me, and makes me wonder if he really is hiding something. I love his unsolicited advice he gives Izzy, and the banter these two have through out the book. At times it made me laugh, and other times question Torin's motives, and at the same time I couldn't help but love him for what he does for Izzy in the end. 

As much as I love Rachel's relationships, I also enjoy the friendships she creates. Dex has a great group of outcast friends who are part of PMS. I know, stop laughing. This PMS stands for Paranormal Management Society and it's made of Dex, Romy and Anderson, who all welcome Izzy into their group with open arms. I enjoyed getting to know these characters more, and loved the friendships they all had. 

While School Spirits wasn't quite up to par with Rachel's Hex Hall for me, I still enjoyed it, I just didn't love it as much as I loved Sophie's story. I still thought this was a fun, quick read. It that has many of the things I enjoy in a Rachel Hawkins book. I know a few people complained about the ending, but I enjoyed it, because it leaves just enough open that makes me want the next story now, (which sadly I've heard won't happen now). Either way, I don't think there could have been a more perfect ending for School Spirits. 
School Spirits is a fun, entertaining paranormal read, and one I'd recommend picking up. 

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