Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Becky's View: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
♦publisher: Disney Hyperion
♦release date: May 14th, 2013
♦hardcover, 304 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: acquired from trade
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?

Review: With this spin-off of her Hex Hall series, Rachel Hawkins' books hold their place on my shelves as some of my favorite books. In her distinctive style, she gives us one more story that is so entertaining and just plain fun to read.  

From the moment we meet Izzy Brannick in Spellbound (book 3 of the Hex Hall series) I was so taken by this spunky youngest member of the tough Brannick Family, so you can imagine my excitement when I first heard she would be the main character in this new spinoff series.  I was not disappointed.  She has a fresh voice, so different from Sophia's hilarious constant snarkiness, but still bright and sure of herself, tough in a way that shows the no-nonsense way that she was raised as a Brannick, and sweetly naive to the ways of the outside world.  She's still so funny (how could any character written by Hawkins not be?), but with the fear and sorrow that she feels for her missing sister, we get to see her vulnerable side as well.  She's faced with some major challenges---both in proving herself as a creature hunter and in facing down the hallways of her new high school. 

The story weaves around and keeps you guessing as Izzy works to discover the mystery of the ghost haunting the school and who is behind it.  She makes some great friends for the first time in her life and discovers that being normal definitely has it's up and downs, but she learns to love it and knows she will miss it when it's time for her to move on.  More mysteries pop up when she meets a very unique guy named Dex who she comes to suspect of packing some pretty deep secrets...just one more thing to investigate, all while trying to figure out her growing feelings for him.  Romy is another super quirky character---leader of the school's "ghost hunting club" and the one to give Izzy her first experience of having a best friend.  

The ending was exciting and pretty surprising! Some might disagree, but I certainly didn't see it coming.  The twists kept coming and, for me, even as the ending neared, the guilty party could have been anyone! I really enjoyed this one all the way through---another fast-paced and incredibly fun read from Rachel Hawkins. I hope it continues (though sadly I've heard that this will be a stand-alone).

 Visit Rachel Hawkins online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase School Spirits:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound



  1. Thîs looks so good! I loved Hex Hall, I need to get caught up on the series!


    1. Yes, Hex Hall was amazing---it was fantastic all the way through!

  2. I like it when the ending is surprising! I can't wait to meet Izzy and I loved Hawkins easy writing-style in Hex Hall :)


    1. I think you will love Izzy! She's alot different from Sophia in Hex Hall, but definitely another great character!

  3. I really enjoyed this one too. In a way I liked it more than Hex Hall and I'm looking forward to the next book. I thought the ending was a surprise also which doesn't happen very often. Usually I can figure out who it is.

    1. Glad to hear you were surprised at the end too! I always worry that when I say that, I'll see a dozen other people say how predicable it was! LOL

      Sadly, I've seen Rachel Hawkins indicate that there won't be another in this series. Which is really too bad---I would have loved more of these characters!

  4. I really want to read this book. It sounds like a great read. Definitely adding to my THE list. Thanks for the great review.