Review – School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Title: School Spirits
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: School Spirits #1
Related Series: Hex Hall
Source: Library

Description from 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!

Review

I read Hex Hall earlier this year and enjoyed it, so when I saw that Rachel Hawkins had written a spin-off series, I knew I’d have to check it out. I haven’t really heard much about it, so I pretty much went in blind.

School Spirits starts off with Izzy on a hunt, trying to kill a vampire. When a distraction almost leads to her death, her mom decides it’s time to try something else. So Izzy and her mom are off to Ideal, Mississippi to track a ghost who nearly killed a teacher. In order to track down the ghost, Izzy must enroll in a public high school for the first time in her life.

On her first day of school, Izzy meets two of the coolest characters in the book, Dex and Romy, who also happen to be members of the Paranormal Management Society (PMS, for short), who are also trying to track the ghost. She joins the club to try to get more information, and to stop the silly humans from doing something stupid, but she becomes friends with them. These two characters are eccentric and amusing, which complement Izzy’s straightforwardness very well.

Watching Izzy navigate her way through high school for the first time was amusing at times, but sometimes I forgot I was reading a paranormal book. It just felt a little too school-centric sometimes, and I felt like very little of the actual reason she was there (the ghost) was delved into until the last 80 pages or so. I also really enjoyed seeing her relationships form with Romy and Dex, since she’s never really had any interaction with people outside of her family, let alone normal teenagers.

I found the actual ghost storyline to be really interesting because she wasn’t an everyday ghost for Izzy and presented more questions than answers. I was definitely intrigued and just wished that there was more of it. When it was there, I thought it was really great, and the twist at the end was something I didn’t see coming. I had my own predictions, and I was way off on all of them, which was definitely a plus.

Overall, I thought that School Spirits was a good start to the series. While I didn’t love everything about it, I thought it set things up really nicely, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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