May 6, 2013

ARC Review--School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

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!

I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Rachel Hawkins' School Spirits was a ghoulishly fun read! (Haha!) And it was a one day read too! Whohoo Starring Isolde Brannick, the young monster hunter from the final Hex Hall book, Izzy is a sixteen-year-old trying to prove to her mother and herself that she is a true hunter.

I can't quite remember how old Izzy was when we first met her, but I know it wasn't Sophie's age, and since Izzy is now 16, it's safe to say some time has passed since we last saw her. And a lot has happened to her since. Such as her older sister, Finn, going missing after working a case. She literally just vanished. Now a year later, her mother and her have stopped actively looking for her, yet it's still always on their minds.

Izzy and her mom have moved temporarily to Mississippi so Izzy can work a simple ghost case at a local high school The ghost is a haunting and people are getting hurt. To make matters worse, complicated? difficult? devilishly fun?! the school has its own ghost hunting club called Paranormal Management Society, or PMS. Yeah, that's what the school ended up calling them! Romy, Anderson and Dex are the only members, soon to be joined by Izzy.

This motley trio soon become the best friends Izzy has always wanted to have, but would never admit to wanting! Romy is a spunky, carefree kind of girl that I took an instant liking to! Anderson, is the "reformed jock", having to give up basketball after a knee injury and has been friends with the duo for a few years. He also has a not-so-secret (only to Romy) crush on Romy! It was rather sweet! And then of course there's Dex! Man, is he freaking awesome or what! He's a different sort of guy, dressing in fancy-ish clothes like one would wear to family get togethers or something fancy like that. Not necessarily suits and ties, but corduroys and pinstriped pants! He reminds me of my cousin who wears the fancy things like that, apparently it's more of a trend than I thought!

Dex was truly remarkable, he's sort of the geeky outcast, yet he was hilarious! Lots of the things he says were just LOL worthy! In one review I read, she compared Dex and Izzy to Archer and Sophie, I find it to be a good comparison. There's differences obviously, but it's the camaraderie or just the way they act around one another or with one another, that seemed so relaxed and familiar. It was quite fun.

I also liked how there wasn't an instance romance between the two. It was a gradual thing, and sure it might have happened a tad fast, but attraction is like that. The "love" part, takes time and that's what I enjoy seeing!

The actual mystery part of the book was phenomenal! I truly didn't see this coming! Izzy is definitely coming into her own and learning how to do things herself. She's a very strong heroine in some ways, yet she's still vulnerable. I like the vulnerability because it makes her more relatable, rather than having a kickass heroine who can do it all! Albeit being a teenager, but YA reads these days are taking massive turns! I didn't have too many of these as a teen so I am eating them all up now!

Izzy definitely grows on you! Her enthusiasm for this case is enjoyable. For in order to infiltrate the high school she must go a high school student! It was fun to see Izzy get a taste of what the average teenager experiences. Everything was new to her. Her only knowledge of what normal teens do is based off one of those cheesy teen soap opera type shows! Some of the episodes or events she described happening were pretty hilarious because it was so ridiculous!

The ending was fabulous!! Total shocks and surprises were to be had! And many more to come! I am most interested in learning about what's happened to Finn. That's bound to come up in the next few books--guessing this is another trilogy! It baffles me as much as Izzy as to what happened to her sister! There's definitely an unsettling feeling to the ending, but nothing too drastic. It's only the precursor to what's sure to be another awesome series by Rachel!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


  1. Ahh I'm soooo jealous you got to read this book already. I'm totally waiting for this one, I love Rachel Hawkins and when I heard there's gonna be a spin off I'm totally back on the bandwagon! I'm glad to read you liked Izzy, I barely remember her as well but I'm willing to get to know her better. Reading your review makes me sooo eager to read this book! Glad you really enjoyed it! I wish I knew beforehand that this one on Net Galley! Great review! Looking forward on reading this soon :)

    We Fancy Books

  2. Ahhh I'm so excited for School Spirits to come out!! I absolutely ADORED the Hex Hall series since Rachel Hawkins made me laugh so much throughout the book! I'm glad you liked Izzy and hopefully I'll like her as well :)

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words


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