Tuesday, 4 June 2013

REVIEW+MORE: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Pub. Date: May 14th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 304
Readership: Young adult
Genres: paranormal

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?

What a cute read! I'm a huge fan of supernatural hunter type books or TV shows. I grew up on Buffy and watch Supernatural to this day. I'm a huge fan of Teen Wolf and The Vampire Diaries which also have hunter elements in them. It was only natural that School Spirits would appeal to me. I mean look at the cover! It's basically a ginger Buffy.

Izzy aka Isolde was awesome. I really enjoyed her as a character. She's such a strong female lead. She was likeable, strong, brave, witty and all around awesome. She had trouble adjusting into high school life since she hadn't been in a school ever. She was awkward in the most normal social circumstances but she still dove in head first. I loved that. She was witty about it and took it all in stride.

But I have to say, Dex was my favorite. He isn't like all the other boys you see in YA novels. Dex is weird. He has asthma. He dresses oddly. He had an old timey way of speaking. He's just different. And that is part of what Izzy likes about him so much. I also loved the gender role reversal. Usually we see the damsel in distress and the pretty boy swoops in to save the day or something along those lines. But with Izzy and Dex, she's the one that has to kind of protect him and make sure he doesn't get hurt.

I really liked all of the other characters as well. I honestly don't think there was a character I had a problem with. I absolutely loved Torin and can't wait to see what happens to him in the future. Romy and Anderson were great. I liked Romy. I loved Izzy's mom. Maya was fantastic. I loved everyone and that's a rare thing for a book.

The plot was great as well. There are points in it that would go over into more books, even though there is no second novel in the works at this point there are things to elaborate on and finish but there was also a very clear start and finish to the case at hand, much like what would happen in a television show (like Supernatural.) I really really do hope there are more books in the series in the future. I really loved it!

*Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing an ARC for review!!


I had the wonderful chance to meet Rachel in Brampton, Ontario on May 25th! Thanks to Hachette me and a few other awesome bloggers got the chance to even have lunch with her and chat with her before she did a signing at the local Chapters. I had so much fun. We had the chance to talk about the novel, as well as her other Hex Hall series. She told us about her writing process, the advice she gives aspiring writers but we also got to talk about Game of Thrones. And how Jon Snow is in Toronto and our quest to find him! It was a fantastic day all around.

Us bloggers with Rachel! I'm the ginger with the awkward smile in the back.


  1. Becca I really enjoyed School Spirits, have you read Hex Hall?

    I don't know my stand on Torin because I don't know if he can be trusted or not, some of things he said eg. when Izzy asked him if he had anything to do with Fin's disappearance, he didn't just sincerely say he wouldn't have anything to do with it, he answers with "she's not the Brannick I need" or somewhere along those lines…that's just creepy. At this point in time I can't decide whether he's an ally or a foe.

    What are your thoughts? What do you think is the story behind Torin?

    1. Hi! I have not. I have physical copies and copies on my Kindle but I haven't had the chance to read them quite yet. I hope to soon.

      I think he's neither. I think he's just a guy that's out for himself. He's one of those morally grey character I love so much. I suppose we'll see if there's a second book. But I think he genuinely likes Izzy. Maybe not the other Brannicks but I think there's something about her that he can connect with.