Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

May 6, 2013 4 - 4.5 Stars, Ghosts, Kick-Ass Heroines, Paranormal, Rachel Hawkins 20 ★★★★½

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
Published by Disney Hyperion on May 14, 2013
Genres: Ghosts, Paranormal
Pages: 297
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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!
How come Rachel Hawkins has slid under my radar until now?  I’ve heard of her, of course, but somehow I’ve managed to not read any of her books until School Spirits.  That will change, because I’m happy to tell you that School Spirits was wonderful.

Izzy Brannick comes from a long line of ass-kicking monster slayers.  But with the mysterious disappearance of Izzy’s sister, Finn, it’s up to Izzy and her mother to hop from town to town, dispatching evil creatures and never staying anywhere long.

All goes well until Izzy and her mother arrive in Ideal, Mississippi.  After being homeschooled her whole life, Izzy’s mother informs her that she’s to attend the local high school to investigate a seemingly simple case of a ghost haunting the grounds.  Izzy doesn’t have a lot of respect for or fear of ghosts.  After all, they can be eliminated merely with a bit of salt.  But Ideal’s ghost proves to have a healthy tolerance for sodium, and Izzy’s simple case becomes potentially lethal.

Fortunately, Izzy is not alone in her ghost-busting.  She immediately hooks up with her school’s Paranormal Management Society, otherwise known as, er…PMS.  The three existing members of the club welcome Izzy with open arms, having no idea that she is a REAL ghost buster.  Romy is the head of the club, and she’s one of those girls who is charmingly lacking in self-consciousness.  So what if most of the school sneers at Romy’s belief in the supernatural.  Dex captures Izzy’s attention immediately, in part because he has a boldness that straddles the line between charming and brash, but also because Izzy detects a bit of magic in Dex, although she’s unsure of its nature.  The big question is whether or not Dex knows he possesses magic.  The last member of the group is Anderson.  He’s the least fleshed-out, and he’s most distinguished by his crush on Romy.

Even though Izzy’s mother instructs her not to become attached to anyone at school, Izzy can’t resist the charms of her PMS crew.  She’s at school to do a job, not to make friends, so Izzy must hide her close connections from her mother.  Meanwhile, the ghostly entity at school is becoming more and more dangerous, and it becomes increasingly clear that Izzy may be in over her head.  She’s given some assistance at home from Torin, a warlock who has been imprisoned by the Brannick family for generations in a mirror.  Torin is a fabulous character who undoubtedly has a great back-story, and I hope we learn more about him in the sequel.

Even with all the spooky goings-on in little ol’ Ideal, Hawkins, as channeled through Izzy, never loses her sense of humor.  Every character has his/her moment to shine with a well-timed quip or two.  One of my favorites came from Izzy when she hurled a ball at Ben, the school’s douchebag supreme, during a game of dodgeball.  Izzy dislocated Ben’s shoulder and as Ben lay on the floor in pain, Izzy observed, “Ben did look a little…crooked.”  The book provides a great mix of wit, action, scares, and supernatural lore.

Note – I was provided with an ARC by the publisher for review.

Review posted at  Goodreads.


20 Responses to “Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins”

  1. Kristen Williams

    You and I both somehow made it without reading any of her prior books. You’ll have to let me know when you start Hex Hall. Maybe we can read along together 🙂 I really loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel. Great review as always.

  2. Kay

    Great review! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m going to give this one a shot. I read the author’s other series, Hex Hall, and it was pretty good.

    Kay @ It’s a Book Life

  3. Angelica Joy

    Fantastic review Stephanie! I also need to read School Spirits soon, I love Rachel Hawkins from her Hex Hall series. I’ve read the first chapter of School Spirits, was meant to read on but I had committed to tours etc and before you know it I haven’t gotten back to it 🙁 I have joined the Netgalley Challenge and the Clean Sweep ARC in hope that I get through my ARCs LOL

    Angelica @ Paperback Princess

  4. Tina Kohrman

    I really really really want to read this book. I love reading books that deal with ghosts and I am really excited about this book! Thank you for your great review.

  5. AmelArmeliana

    I read her book Hex Hall Series and liked it. Well, not my favorite but I like it.
    This book sounds good and I’d love to read it. Great review, thanks 🙂

  6. Jaime Lester

    I LOVE the Hex Hall series. Love it, and I will reread it again and again. When I read the final page of the last book I was so stinkin sad that it was over. And then I heard about this one, and I think my hubby thought I was having a fit because of my excitement. I knew that, if she kept it up in this new series, this one would become a favorite. From the reviews that I have read for this, it sounds like I have another one that will be reread repeatedly. I love Rachel Hawkins ability to mix very humorous, laugh out loud moments, with highly emotional, scary or heart-pounding moments. She is a fabulous author and I am looking forward to School Spirits and any other book she graces us with!

  7. sshah605

    After reading ur review I am much more excited about this book from all the other May releases. It totally sounds like I a book I would love to read!!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge