Thursday, May 16, 2013

REVIEW: SCHOOL SPIRITS by Rachel Hawkins


Title: School Spirits
Series: School Spirits, #1
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley
My star rating: 5/5

SUMMARY

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’m crazy about books where the main character is different from the usual breed of YA characters. Isolde, or Izzy as she’s known to her family and friends, is definitely unique in a lot of ways. I mean, how often do you get to read about a character who has access to a four-hundred-year old (though he looks eighteen) evil warlock trapped in a mirror who loves to watch tv shows with her about other high school kids? And when last did you read a book where the protagonist has never gone to school before, and now goes to high school for the first time? Or, a high school student – yes, this very same protagonist – who does not own a tv and who has never eaten at a fast food joint before in her life. Lastly, do you know of any other teenage prodigium who “accidentally” dislocates a student’s shoulder in dodgeball? No? This book, my fellow bookaholics, is loaded with surprises and originality; reminding me again why I’m such a huge Rachel Hawkins fan. 

If you enjoyed the Hex Hall series by this author, you’ll have no difficulty settling into this story about a sheltered girl on a mission to rid a high school of a malevolent ghost. Izzy is an uncomplicated character to like. She’s na├»ve in an innocent, endearing way, but should not be underestimated as this girl kicks butt like it’s nobody’s business. I couldn’t really relate to her, but it was refreshing seeing what we take for granted from her point of view as the simplest things is new to her. At Mary Evans High School Izzy quickly makes friends and before long she’s the fourth member of her new school’s ghost hunting club. This four-member ghost-hunting gang very much reminded me of the Scooby gang, only without Scooby and a lot cooler. The same day Izzy gets kicked out of Phys Ed, she meets Dex, whose storyline has quite a twist at the end. Dex is a great character with a colorful personality and a wicked sense of humor. Romy with her exuberant personality also grew on me in no time. These three characters, Izzy, Dex and Romy, worked really well together and emphasizes the author’s versatility when it comes to creating unique characters.

The plot was engaging and had loads of unpredictable twists and surprises, but some of it was quite easy to spot in advance. Nothing spectacular about the story, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. My favorite parts of the book included the scenes with Torin. I liked Dex, but Torin is charismatic, inventive, romantic, interesting and…well, hot. I hope he gets more of the spotlight in the next book in what’s looking to be an awesome series. I’d kind of like for him and Izzy to somehow get together, if only she’d be willing to break the spell that’s trapping Torin in the mirror. Anyway, the book cover is absolutely gorgeous, which fits in perfectly with the stunning covers of the Hex Hall series and the reason I started reading books by this author in the first place. 

Rachel Hawkins delights and engages with yet another spellbinding novel that will keep readers glued to their seats and turning the pages at a frantic pace. School Spirits is an entertaining must-read suitable for middle-grade and YA readers, or any fan of the paranormal genre looking for a light, satisfying read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. 

 



 

  
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School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins has 215 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.

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