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!
The moment I started reading School Spirits, I realized how much I missed Rachel’s writing. There’s a certain happy comfort level when you crack open a new story by one of your favorite authors, and I live for that moment.
So how did I feel about this new story, one sans my beloved Sophie and Archer? Well, I’ve got to say that I LOVE IZZY. There’s something about her bold naivete about the most common of things, like attending a public high school (I know what you’re thinking, she wants to do that?) or experiencing those blushy moments of first love. I like her no-nonsense mother as well. I love the way Rachel wrote their exchanges, because there’s a hint that Izzy’s mother understands Izzy’s curiosity about normal teenage things (like being part of after-school clubs, pep rallys and sleepovers), but they’re both overwhelmed with the mystery and associated grief of finding her sister.
Rachel also gives Izzy a wonderful supporting cast in her Paranormal Management Society friends. I could easily picture Romy, Anderson and Dex and their collection of ghost-hunting paraphernalia. But, let me take a moment to explain why I loved Dex from the second he appeared on the page. He’s just plain sweet and is a perfect counterbalance to Izzy’s intensity. I’ll admit to turning pages just to see if there’s another scene with the two of them (yeah, I did that with Sophie and Archer, too but Izzy and Dex are, well, different and yet perfect for each other).
I won’t spoil any twists and turns but I will say that there’s was a whoa, whoa, WHOA moment. I think I texted a few of my friends with a “well played, Rachel Hawkins, well played” message. Because that’s what bookish friends do when they don’t want to spoil things for each other but want to acknowledge that you really should read this book sooner rather than later. Or, at least, that’s what I do to my very patient friends.
A quick side note on one of my favorite characters from the Hex Hall series, Torin, the warlock who is trapped in a mirror. He’s a great companion to Izzy, guiding her and goading her, but mostly fangirling with her over episodes of “Ivy Springs”, a teen TV series that Izzy uses as research for what passes for normal in a public high school.
I’m dying to find out what happened with Finley, how the Izzy/Dex friendship will play out and if a certain trapped-in-a-mirror character will be set free. But according to Rachel’s post, we will have to be a little patient. This story’s earned my patience, and I will wait.
My Over All Rating: