Google+ Reading Teen: Quick-Fire Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Friday, May 3, 2013

Quick-Fire Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirits
*Book 1 of a series that may not be a series.....
Hex Hall spin-off
by Rachel Hawkins
Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (May 14, 2013)
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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?
At a Glance:

Like Hex Hall, the series that this spin-off started from, School Spirits is a quick, fun, and highly enjoyable paranormal read.  Rachel Hawkins does a fantastic job of making every moment count, entertaining us from beginning to end with her quick wit and quirky sense of humor. 


This book is a spin-off of Hex Hall, but can be read separately.   You won't really miss anything by not having read that series first.  But you're going to want to read it anyway.


I love that the cover stayed true to the original Hex Hall books, but with a twist.  I've always thought these covers were lots of fun, and really reflected the spirit of the book.


There was a lot of excitement going on in Izzy's life, which you might expect from a Monster Hunter.  The Brannicks have always hunted the creatures that go bump in the night, and Izzy is just doing what she's always done.  In this book, there's a creepy ghost that's haunting the school she's just started, and figuring out the mystery motive of this nasty ghost makes this book really creepy and fantastic.


I really enjoyed the little mini-romancey moments in this book.  Romance wasn't a main point, and it actually seemed more realistic than a lot of books written for this age.  This is usually a time for little crushes and "testing the waters" which is what Izzy experiences. 


Izzy was awesome!  I loved being inside her head.  She isn't familiar with normal teenage life because she's been kept away from all of that her entire life.  Listening to her try to decide what the right way to respond to any given situation was so funny.  I was afraid that she would just be a clone of Sophie (from Hex Hall), but she was funny and endearing in a completely different way.  I just really enjoyed her.


I guess that Dex would be considered the hero-ish :P  I loved him so much!  He was so quirky and.....kind of Magnus-y, if you know what I mean.  The interaction between Dex and Izzy was great, which isn't surprising, considering banter seems to be Hawkins' specialty. 

Favorite Supporting Character:

I'm going to have to go with Torin!  I absolutely loved him!  Torin is a presumed dark warlock who is trapped in a mirror because of a spell gone wrong.  He's mysterious and snarky and I really want to know what happened to him. 

Something I loved:

I just really love the light feel that this book has, while still having a mystery and intelligent dialog. 

Something I hate:

Sadly, I learned that there are no plans at this time to continue this series. 

This really drives me crazy!  I don't know why this is happening, but my guess is, of course, money.  :( I just hate that they would publish the first book in this series without seeing it through (I know this is not the author's decision).  This book is not a stand-alone.  I mean, the main arc of this particular story is resolved, but there are so many other things this book brings up that aren't even close to being wrapped up.  What happened to Finley?  Why is Torin trapped in a mirror?  He fortold things that he saw in the future, but we don't ever see that come into play.  And other things I can't mention.  It seriously kills me that I may never know.  It's like when you start watching a tv series, and it just gets cancelled without any finale.  It just sucks.


No cliffhanger exactly, but many things are not resolved.

Would I recommend it?

Hmmm.....this is a tough one.  I really liked it a lot, and if the rest of the series was being published, I'd say YES, DEFINITELY.  But, since there's no guarantee that you'll ever get the full story, I'll say read at your own risk.  I think it was worth it, but you have been warned. 

Moral of the Story:

You should just homeschool.  Also, if you decide to be a cheerleader, you're probably going to die.

Book Doppelgangers:

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Clarity by Kim Harrington

  • Profanity: Mild
  • Sexual Content: Mild
  • Violence: Moderate
For more details, check out School Spirits on

1 comment:

  1. Loved Torino too! My review will be up on Monday and I felt the same as you about most of the book. I had no idea there was no book 2 planned!


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