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{May 10, 2013}   {Review} School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

15826934From 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 the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!


While I enjoyed this novel for the most part, I also found that it wasn’t exactly what I have grown to expect from a Hawkins novel.  It’s not that is wasn’t well written, but rather that it seemed a bit cliché.  The main plotline itself had a very interesting premise, but I figured it out a little less than halfway in, and knowing the ending that far in advance sort of takes the fun out of the story, in my opinion.  Likewise, the idea of a young adult having to mainstream themselves in high school has been done a great deal in books and movies, so I felt that this novel lacked some originality.  Now, I don’t want to sound like I didn’t like the novel, because I did, I just have some personal issues with the plot development and scenarios presented.

The characterization was very well done, though.  I really liked Dex, though he’s about the only one from the Paranormal Management Society that I really liked.  He’s not dreamy, necessarily—in fact, he’s a little sickly, but I like that he’s unusual for a hero, as well as the fact that the story really seems to center around him.  The novel also ends quite well, and it’s not a cliffhanger, which is wonderful because Hawkins just announced last week that there won’t be a sequel for a very long time (maybe not at all).  So, while not all our questions are answered, like where Izzy’s sister really is, the novel ends in what I deem the perfect spot.  Three stars.   

3 stars

Disney Book Group has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley.

I keep meaning to read this, I loved the hex hall series. Is it as good? I am unsure about the change of main character, will give it a try sometime soon.

I’ve only ever read the first in the Hex Hall series, so I’m not a good judge on whether or not this spinoff is as good, but I found them similar. If that helps?

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