Friday, July 26, 2013

School Spirits: Review

Author: Rachel Hawkins
ISBN:  1423148495
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Book Source: Netgalley

Buy From: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

Review:

The second I was done with The 'Hex Hall' series I had to start up on School Spirits. I had it for review way beforehand, but for some reason it never really occurred to me to read it until, well, I got Hex Hall. But I did love the idea, and was wondering whether it can be treated as a standalone book or not. I think it definitely works as a standalone book - aside from some rare references to the Hex Hall series and Sophie.

Izzy's sister is missing, and Izzy's been out of it since then. So her mother decides she needs a simple mission this time around, a minor ghost haunting to take care of, no big deal. The problem with that is, it requires Izzy to go to school - something she's never done before - and try to fit in whilst taking care of the ghost issue. Before she knows it, she's friends with a group of misfits who believe in the supernatural and are searching for the ghost as well. They have these gadgets - which Izzy finds ridiculous - but it's the most fun she'd ever had. The thing is, one of those friends, Dex, is supernatural, she can sense it, she just doesn't have a clue what. To make matters worse, the ghost is acting a little bit difficult.

After reading Hex Hall from Sophie's point of view, this book was definitely new and different, since it tells the story from a Brannick's point of view, a.k.a a supernatural being's hunter instead of a supernatural being. Izzy is this very new and complex character. Hating most supernatural creatures, but having to tolerate them since her cousin is one. She's obviously more in terms with what her cousin is now, that doesn't mean she's very happy with the whole thing. Then the added part of blaming herself for her sister's disappearance and the uncertainty of starting a new life in school. It was all new to her, and I loved the way she adapted to things.

Rachel Hawkins' writing is incredible. It has this very funny way about it that you can't help but laugh your way through the book. But also, when things get bad, the writing switches to increasingly intense and I enjoyed the interesting ride between the books in the first series, which led me to this series obviously and having so many high expectations. Writing-wise, and character-wise, this book did not disappoint, it was as incredible as I had expected.

When I first started reading this book, I hoped it would shed some light on the relationship between Izzy and Torin - the warlock in the mirror from the Hex Hall series. I don't think it explained as much as I had wanted, which really disappointed me. I wanted more on Torin's story and his odd relationship with Izzy. I guess maybe in time - had this book turned into the series it should have been - it might have been cleared up. Other problems arising from the fact that this book is NOT a series are: The relationship between Izzy and Dex, where is that going? The second one is the major plot line, and so yes, I'm a pile of frustration at the moment. Is there any way to get another book out of this series? It's so bad to have it end right where it started!

Rating: 4/5!

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