REVIEW: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Title: School Spirits
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 297, Hardcover
Source: Audiobook, Library

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? 

  • This book kept me guessing. I didn't figure out the culprit and it wasn't for a lack of trying. Even though some of my guesses had some substance, I was more wrong than I was right. So as far as mystery goes, I guess it was pretty good. 

  • Izzy's lack of normal teenage experiences and inability to easily fit in made for some pretty entertaining moments. My favorite was when she dislocated a popular boys shoulder with a dodgeball throw. Not sure how realistic that is but it was comical. 

  • You can always count on Rachel Hawkins to deliver a light, funny, and entertaining read. The appeal of the Hex Hall series carries over to School Spirits. The world is compelling, the Brannicks are badass BUT... 

  • All of it fell flat. I don't really know what happened - the promise was there but... I wasn't totally buying what Hawkins was selling. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for something on the juvenile side but I finished this book just thinking "meh". 

  • I didn't love any of the characters. Even Izzy herself. And I found Dex's character to be somwhat unbelievable. But he's got a lot of fans so excuse me while I run from the death glares you are probably shooting me through the computer. 

So here is the harsh truth. I found School Spirits to be a less-funny, less-interesting less-convincing version of the original series. It troubles me to say that because I still consider myself a Rachel Hawkins fan but *shrugs*. From the reviews I have seen, I seem to be the black sheep, SO I advise other Hawkins fans to take what I say with a grain of salt. 

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