Sunday, May 26, 2013

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

I received this as an eARC from Netgalley and Disney Book Group. This is a spinoff of the Hex Hall series and while you would not have to read the Hex Hall series first, there are a few sentences in School Spirits that will give away the ending of the other series. This review will not have spoilers for Hex Hall.

Disney Book Group

Izzy is a Brannick and she knows her job is to defend the world from monsters. aka Prodigium (teens who are witches, vampire, fae, etc.) and sometimes ghosts. On her first mission solo, she tries to capture a vampire that is wrecking havoc and almost gets herself killed. Her mother saves her, but Izzy would not have needed saving if she had been thinking about her duty and not her missing sister. Finley disappeared when the two were capturing a coven of dark witches. Izzy and her mother try to carry on without Finley, but things are not the same, then Izzy's mom suggests they try an easy task, capturing a ghost that has attacked a teacher at a school in Ideal, Mississippi. For this task, Izzy will have to go undercover as a high school student, something she and Finley always wanted to try. With cheesy high school soaps and Torin, a centuries old warlock trapped in mirror to guide her, Izzy hopes to blend end. She manages to dislocate a jock's shoulder with a kickball and befriend the Paranormal Management Society (PMS) members, so not exactly blending in. Izzy will have to use her skills to protect her new friends, including Dex, a possible love interest and likely Prodigium, from a malevolent ghost. In the end, she may have to sacrifice lives in order to stop a ghost, but Brannicks have to do their job at all costs or do they?
This has the same snarky humor, clever puns, and suspense as the Hex Hall trilogy and leaves you eager for the next book in the series. Izzy is both a true Brannick and girl with the same hard choices as her cousin Sophie.

Favorite Character: I loved both Izzy and Dex. Dex has a sense of style and pizzazz that is all his own. Pizzazz is actually the perfect word for him. Izzy is complex, strong, and out to make her own way.

Favorite Quotes: " Romy, I don't think Havard is going to be very impressed by your membership in something called PMS." I actually laughed out loud at that one.

"I don't know what heaven smells like, but if it doesn't smell like freshly baked cookies, I will be really disappointed."

"But the person you are is delightful, and they will like you if you'll just ... be that."

With a warlock trapped in a mirror, an angry ghost, PMS, a monster-hunting heroine, and a male love interest who looks great in purple, this book has everything, especially laugh out loud moments. I like this even more than the Hex Hall trilogy. 5 cups of cocoa for me!

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