School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Fantasy and young adult
Release Date: May 14, 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?
First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Disney-Hyperion for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t read the Hex Hall series (but I so want to) so I went into this book without much of a back story. With that being said, School Spirits is a good novel. It’s not the greatest nor is it the worst with the story mostly concentrating on Isolde “Izzy” Brannick and how she deals with a ghost case somewhere in Mississippi. From the beginning, the ending is pretty predictable, even the ‘bad guy’ is easy to spot the second they are introduced in the story. Rachel Hawkins could have done a much better job making it less predictable. But I do like most of the characters, especially Dexter, he’s so goofy.
Out of all the demon slayer type of books that I’ve read (which is a lot) School Spirits has to be one of my least favourites. There is just so much wrong with it other than its predictability. Finley is supposed to play quite a huge part in the novel but she doesn’t. Instead of finding clues and other things related to Finley’s disappearance, there’s only about ten pages devoted to her. The rest of the book is mostly just them missing her. I also don’t like how unrealistic the friendships are in the book. Izzy has been taught for fifteen years not to trust mortals yet, she throws all of those lessons out the window for people she’s only known for roughly two months? That’s insane and unbelievable. What’s even worse is that she tells them what/who she is and what she does because she thinks it’s a good idea. If her friends were supposed to know what she is, she would have told them in the beginning and not near the end. Telling her friends that these monsters are real kind of defeats the purpose of keeping them safe and out-of-the-way. And the mother just kind of goes with it saying (and I’m paraphrasing this) “Okay! You can tell them all about what we do! They can come with us! Who cares what the council might think about humans knowing that monsters exist.” What kind of monster slayer says something like that?!
For me, I think that the romance moves pretty fast as well. It feels like Rachel Hawkins rushed the ending and stuffed as much lovey-dovey romance stuff in it as she could to make up for the quite disappointing ending. There isn’t much demon-slaying going on throughout the novel either. I wish there was to level out with the amount of unrealistic predictable things.
What I like about this book are some of the characters, like Dexter. There’s just something about a guy named Dexter that you have to love. Whether it’s his psychotic tendencies, his arrogance, or his goofy, hilarious jokes at the worst times imaginable, everyone loves a guy named Dexter. He’s so funny, saying the worst things during intense moments that I can’t help but laugh. I also like the writing style because it’s quite fun and entertaining, helping the book create a chill, laid back feel. The relationship between the mom and Izzy for the most part is relatable. Their struggles not only with each other but with themselves shows just how broken people can be when a loved one is suddenly taken away from them.
Overall, School Spirits is an okay read, definitely for people who like a bit of supernatural things in their stories, but I don’t recommend it for people into demon-slaying books because there just isn’t enough of that going on in here. And although this is a fun, entertaining read, it isn’t very realistic or intense.