Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Book Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

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?
“You are my new hero. Seriously, I might actually be in love with you now. Would it be awkward if we made out?”  
I have a confession to make…School Spirits is my first Rachel Hawkins book. That’s right, I have not read Hex Hall, I just sort of, missed it. I have to question my choices because if Hex Hall is anything like School Spirits I have truly missed out.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book having not read Hex Hall but it was nothing like I thought it would be and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be fairly juvenile, I thought the romance would be consuming and I thought Izzy the main character would be a little too tough and maybe a little annoying. I was wrong on all counts.

School Spirits isn’t juvenile, it is a lot of fun and it made me laugh often but it wasn’t childish. Instead it touched upon some tough subjects and did it well. In the moments where the paranormal stuff was kept to a minimum, it portrayed teen life in a realistic fashion and it reminded me, in parts, of my teen years.

Izzy was not a little too tough and she was most definitely not annoying. In fact she didn’t annoy me once and I admit that I am a massive fan of hers. Rachel Hawkins really wins with her characters, Izzy is a spit-fire but has a very vulnerable side that I think I lot of young readers will relate to. Around Izzy are some pretty amazing co-stars including the enigmatic and slightly bizarre Dex.  His dry humour made me laugh a lot and I really loved him.

Another stand out character is Torin whom I might be a little obsessed with. Who knew boys in mirrors were my thing? He is obviously going to play a major part in the upcoming books in the series but as a friend, enemy or love interest remains to be seen.

School Spirits isn’t perfect, it wraps up very quickly in the end and there were times where Izzy’s mum frustrated me but for the most part I thought this was brilliant. I really, really enjoyed it and cannot wait for the next book. 

4 stars

Published May 14th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion.  A free copy was provided for review.  Image courtesy of Goodreads.
Review by Kate Phillips


  1. I have this book but I haven't read the Hex Hall books yet either... so you don't think it makes a difference if you've read the Hex Hall books or not to get what's going on in this book?? It looks fab, so I do want to read it soon :)

  2. Haha love that you've found your dream guy in a mirror! Have to admit to being a bit wary about School Spirits but definitely have to try it out now. Fab review, Kate :)

  3. I love Rachel Hawkins. :) This one is on my tbr pile and your review definitely makes me want to read it soon!
    New follower of your super cute blog! :)
    Sabrina @iheartyafiction


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