Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

December 9, 2015 Review 20 ★★½

Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Series: Hex Hall, School Spirits
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Horror & Ghost Stories, Paranormal, Young Adult
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!

SCHOOL SPIRITS is a spin-off companion novel to the HEX HALL series. You can read it separately, but chronologically it does follow the events of the previous Hex Hall books. If I were to compare SCHOOL SPIRITS to HEX HALL, this one just falls short.

Izzy Brannick gets sent to high school for the first time ever to investigate some otherworldly issues. Because of the high school setting and Izzy’s naivete towards all things teenager, this one has a bit more Middle Grade vibes than Young Adult. It is also a bit slow as Izzy learns to navigate her new life, constantly researching via magazines and bad TV shows.

I have nothing against Izzy herself, but she didn’t really have any qualities than stood out, especially against Sophie’s humor from the last novels. She comes off as a bit hesitant and has some issues really believing in herself.

As for the other characters, they were pretty entertaining and I actually liked the love interest, Dex, more than the main character. He is quirky and definitely is not a YA stereotype. We also see more from the mysterious Torin, a warlock trapped in one of the mirrors in the Brannick house. Torin is very mysterious, his motives are anyone’s guess.

Sadly, there are no plans for a sequel as of right now, so there are some questions that might not ever be addressed. I also wish we had seen some character cameos from the previous books, but no such luck.

There wasn’t anything overwhelmingly wrong with SCHOOL SPIRITS, it just didn’t stand out-especially in the shadow of HEX HALL.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.8

20 Responses to “Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins”

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I remember back when I read this, I’d requested and ARC without knowing that it was a spinoff, can you imagine?! Anyway, I quite enjoyed it on it’s own so I’m excited to see that the original series is so much better! I guess it’s not surprising and I mean, clearly the original series is on my tbr shelf now, but you’ve made me all the more interested in checking it out! I guess it’s a good thing that I read this one first, so now the best is yet to come :D Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Alise and I’m sorry that this one didn’t quite deliver compared to the first books! ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

    • Alise

      I totally can imagine, I’m pretty sure I’ve done that xD Yeah, I’m really glad, I think you will enjoy the originals then :D If you read them, let me know! Of course, no worries ^^

    • Alise

      I know what you mean, while the original books were fun this one just seemed lacking :/ Yeah, I believe the author said she wouldn’t be continuing.

  2. Bec

    Hex Hall was so much fun! Though I think it was a series that slowly went downhill with each book if I remember. And those Australian covers were horrible…

    I haven’t decided if I want to read this companion or not. Maybe one day if I want something simple and easy/ more MG to read? I am intrigued by Dex though

    • Alise

      Agreed. Aha, I’m pretty sure you mentioned that to be before. The third book made me so mad!

      It’s an alright read, pretty fast.

  3. Lekeisha

    I’ve only read the first book in her Rebel Belle series, and I loved it enough, but I’m not rushing to read the next book like I thought I would. I’ve read lots of mixed reviews for her books anyway, so I’ll read them if I happen to be bored, and see how it goes. Great review!
    Lekeisha recently posted…One By Sarah Crossan

    • Alise

      I’ve yet to read that series but I really want to! Yeah, her books do seem like a hit or miss for a lot of people. Thank you!

    • Alise

      Dex is definitely a breath of fresh air when it comes to love interests. Yeah, I much preferred the Hex Hall trilogy but ah, well. Thank you!

    • Alise

      It really is! Yeah, they were fun books but this one was just missing that magic from the original trilogy. No problem!

    • Alise

      They are fun, quick reads! I would recommend the original trilogy before starting with this one though. Can’t blame you there, love that series!

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