Title: School Spirits
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: School Spirits (Book 1)
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
ISBN-10: 1423148495 (Disney-Hyperion)
ISBN-13: 978-1423148494 (Disney-Hyperion)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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!
Quick & Dirty: This was a great light paranormal read with a fun plot and cute characters.
Opening Sentence: Killing a vampire is actually a lot easier than you’d think.
Isolde Brannick is no normal girl. She has spent her whole life hunting paranormal creatures. She lives with her mom at the old Brannick compound. There use to be hundreds of Brannick’s and their life’s work was to hunt and kill paranormal creatures, now it is just Izzy and her mom left. A year ago her older sister Finley disappeared during a routine job and they haven’t seen her since. For months Izzy and her mom searched for her but they never found any leads. After a while they decided it was useless and they went back home and back to their normal lives. They find a new job that involves a ghost haunting in the quaint city of Ideal, Mississippi. The haunting is happening at the local high school and they decide that it would be best for Izzy to attend the school to try and figure out what’s going on. Izzy has never attended public school before and she doesn’t really know what to expect or how to fit in.
Luckily for Izzy she makes some pretty great friends right off the bat. Romy is a cute Asian girl that Izzy meets on the first day and she happens to be part of a ghost hunting group which is ideal for Izzy. They soon become friends and Izzy joins the group so she can try and solve the real haunting. Other members of the group consist of two cute boys, Dex and Anderson. Anderson is a few years older and totally has a thing for Romy. He is into the ghost stuff, but Izzy suspects its more to spend time with Romy than anything else. Then there is Dex, he is a very fashionable, sweet guy that just recently moved from New York. Izzy can’t help but think he is totally cute, but she has her suspensions about him. Izzy is able to tell if someone is a paranormal creature just by being near them, but when she touches Dex she can feel that he has some kind of magic. She has always been able to tell what kind of creature someone is but Dex is a mystery and Izzy plans to figure him out.
Izzy is a sweet young girl. She hasn’t really experienced much of anything outside her life of hunting. She has never really been around boys or really had any friends besides Finley. So going to high school for the first time is a whole new experience for her. Having her first crush, going on her first date, and her first friend sleepover are all fun things she gets to do. She becomes more confident with herself as the book goes on and I liked that. I liked Izzy and I am excited to get to know her better.
Dex is the love interest in the book. He is very cute and fashionable (but totally straight). He lives with his Nana because his parents died when he was a kid. He has asthma attacks that can sometimes be really serious. He is an oddball but he is confident in who he is and it shows. He has an instant connection with Izzy, but really she lives in a different world. She knows that her time in Ideal is going to be very short so she tries not to make any permanent connections so it won’t be as hard to leave when the time comes. That’s a lot easier said than done.
I really enjoyed this book. I can’t help but compare it to the Hex Hall series that Rachel Hawkins also wrote, and I have to say that I didn’t love it quite as much. It was still really good. The plot was interesting and I was surprised by some of the twists that happened. I thought the characters were fun and I really enjoyed getting to know them. This was a really light fast read that I devoured pretty quickly. I am really excited to see where the series goes and I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good paranormal read.
For one second I thought someone had just flipped on another light, but no. This wasn’t the harsh fluorescent of the hallway lighting, or the dull amber of the bathroom. This was slightly bluish and very, very familiar.
Taking a deep breath, I steeled my nerves and turned around.Mary Evans floated in the hall just behind me, her long white dress barely brushing the ground. In the picture Romy had shown me, her hair had been styled into some sort of fancy updo, but now it straggled down her back. She didn’t speak, but her eyes roamed over me, confusion on her translucent face.
“Hi, Mary,” I said, my voice loud in the quiet hall. Okay. This was good. This was confirmation that the ghost stalking Mary Evans High was in fact Mary Evans. But it was hard to feel glad about that when I remembered that the same ghost had nearly killed a guy.
“You need to leave this place.”
Her head jerked up, lips curling back in a snarl, and I stepped back. The cold metal of the lockers pressed against my shoulders, and I swallowed hard. “You can’t stay—” I started, and then there was a rush of wind as she suddenly surged forward. It was like I’d been dunked into a tub of ice water. I couldn’t see anything but that blue light, and all around me there was this horrible sense of pressure, like hands were pushing on me as hard as they could. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was her voice in my mind, shrieking so loudly I could barely make it out. Pay they have to pay have to pay, over and over again. Images played behind my eyelids. I saw blood on a microscope, saw Mary’s ghostly hand clutched around the base. Then there was a cave, and fire? Something bright, something that burned.
And then suddenly the cold and the pressure were gone, the shrieking was silent, and Mary was no longer up against me, all around me.
She hovered there in front of me, chest heaving in and out as though she were still breathing, and she had a frantic look in her eyes. Her mouth opened in a silent scream, head tilting back to cry at the ceiling.
And then she rose up, hovering high over my head before vanishing.
School Spirits Series:
FTC Advisory: Disney-Hyperion provided me with a copy of School Spirits. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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