Review 13: School Spirits (Rachel Hawkins)

 School Spirits

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy

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? (Goodreads)


I’m not sure what to make of this book. The pacing was quick enough to keep me on my toes. It had a good balance of funny and creepy, and I liked the characters. However, it just didn’t pull me in or make me want to keep reading without stopping.

For the characters, my favourite was Torin and his sassy nature. He provides a lot of the comedy and fun moments, even some of his methods may be a bit questionable. Izzy is the usual “new girl out of water” character but she takes it to the next level by being more kickass. Her nature as a monster hunter definitely adds some spice to the mix. The other supporting characters are good, but I didn’t feel like they got enough development. Dex fared a bit better, but I still thought he was kinda pushy.

It was interesting to listen to all their magical creature hunting techniques and rituals, and I was reminded of Supernatural (only less scary). It was also funny to see how Izzy’s hunting and her instincts affected her normal life as a high school student.

As for the story, it had pretty good pacing for most of the book. I didn’t see that twist coming, honestly. But I felt like it ended too quickly and on a rather abrupt note. It wasn’t really a cliff-hanger, but it feels like was supposed to have some kind of sequel. Goodreads says it’s a standalone, but I don’t know. Anyone know?

Overall: Like I said, I’m not sure what to make of this book. Main characters were likeable, but I felt the supporting characters needed more work. The pacing was good, but the ending was abrupt. It wasn’t completely engrossing, but it was quick enough read if you’re in the mood for some fun and creepiness.


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