School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
Release-May 14th 2013
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?My Thoughts:
Fun fun fun! I simply adored Rachel Hawkins series, Hex Hall, and was rather sad when it finally came to an end, but I was happy to learn that we were getting a spin-off. I wasn't ready to let go of this world just yet and I'm happy to say that Hawkins hasn't lost her touch. School Spirits is just as fun and marvelous as I'd hope it would be.
Like all the Brannick women, with their fierce green eyes and blazing red hair, sixteen year old Isolde has all the wonderful traits that comes with hunting down pesky prodigium. Fast reflex, quick healing and in Izzy's cast, she can always sense where a prodigium is and even what kind it is. That little talent usually comes in handy, but not on the night when she let a sniveling Vamp get in her head and get the best of her. A year ago, her sister Finely disappeared during a easy routine job in New Orleans that involved a coven of dark witches selling spells to humans. It should have been a fast job. In and out, no big deal, but Finley never came back. Which brings us to Ideal Mississippi. Aislinn felt like her daughter, Izzy could use a little distraction, get her confidence back on track and what better then a no-brainier ghost hunting job over at Mary Even High. Only Izzy would have to actually attend a real life high school, with real life teenagers. Sure, she's trained to fight powerful dark creatures and monsters, but normalcy? What's that?
School Spirits turned out to be such a pleasant surprise. True, I was a little worried that I wasn't gonna enjoy it as much as I did with Hex Hall. I have this nasty habit with judging and comparing series with spin-offs, but I wasn't even done the first chapter before I found myself sinking with ease. The world, the writing, the humor and wit, it all felt so familiar. I've always been such a fan of Hawkins imagination and love that she gave us another exciting story that's set in the same world, but with new sparkly characters for us to get to know and fall in love with. I also found it very clever that Hawkins decided that her protag would go to a normal high school with normal non-magical students compared to Sophie's experience. But still makes sure to include all the magically fun and lovely paranormal goodness we've come to expect in these books.
Izzy Brannick is such a remarkable protag, I love her just as much as I loved her cousin, Sophie Mercer. She has such an easy personality, doesn't take her talents to seriously but still knows what she's capable of. She has one of those big giant genuine hearts where even though she's not exactly in her comfort zone in a-first-time-school, she still knows what's right and wrong (just don't play dodge-ball with her. Trust me). Soon she meets a new group of enthusiastic characters. Romy is a sweet Asian girl who set up a club called the Paranormal Management Society or PMS (hehe). She's all about supernatural weirdness.
Anderson is one of the members, he's a sweet guy and is all about Romy and then we have Dex which I adored! Dexter is your average charmingly adorkable, fashionably eccentric guy who has asthma and lives with his Nana, whom he adores, which in turn, makes me adore him more. He's instantly liked as soon as we meet him. Great personality, sharp zingers and has that fun chemistry that I like in my leading men.
Together this group of friends hit it off beautifully, sharing wonderful banter, sarcasm and wit while trying to solve a ghostly encounter at Mary Evans High. People are already getting hurt and it's up to Izzy and her friends to put this ghost to rest, but ends up having a very unexpected twist.
I liked Izzy's mom, but I thought she was a little to distracted throughout the story, but one very unusual character I really enjoyed was Torin. I liked his wisdom and his advice, but he's also good-humored and even though he's a 400 year old dark wizard trapped in a mirror, he makes me feel like I can trust him. He has an old fashion charm and as this air of mystery surrounding him. I'm dying to know more about his back-story and what Izzy has to do with him come the end.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with this book. It's a delightfully fun and entertaining read fit for fans who are looking for a more lighter paranormal/supernatural escape but still crave some pondering mystery, a bubbling romance, sensational writing and a new cast of colorful and witty characters that will capture your heart from minute one. I'm so excited to have a new series to love from this amazingly talented author and I can't wait to see where Hawkins takes us next!
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