School Spirits

by Rachel Hawkins
ages: 12+
First sentence: “Killing a vampire is actually a lot easier than you’d think.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Release date: May 14, 2013
Review copy provided by my place of employment.
(You don’t have to, but you might want to read Hex Hall, Demonglass, and Spell Bound first.)

Izzy Brannick has spent her life fighting monsters. She’s the youngest daughter of the last surviving Brannick, and she’s got fighting spirit. Except, something went wrong, and her older sister has disappeared. Nothing’s quite been the same since then, the least of which is the new tension between Izzy and her mom. For a multitude of reasons, they end up packing up and moving to Ideal, Mississippi, on the trail of a murderous ghost, as Izzy’s first solo mission. 

And as part of that, she gets to go to high school. Surely a Brannick can handle that. Right?

Much like the other Hex Hall novels, this was a lot of fun. It’s not as magical as I was expecting, which is silly of me because Izzy’s not a Prodigium, but rather someone who is able to detect magic. It is also not very creepy (even with a murderous ghost about), which (after Anna Dressed in Blood) is also something
I appreciated.

It is, however, a very simple, very enjoyable love story. The friends — Romy, Dex, and Anderson —  that Izzy makes during her brief sojourn in high school — joining the Paranormal Management Society (the PMSs) — more than make up for the lack of magical adventure. The four together have a great chemistry, and the eventual (probably predictable) pairing off was quite satisfying. (Yes, there is a really hot make out scene in a cave. Not many people can pull that off.)

Is it as good as the Hex Hall series? Probably not. But that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the fun.

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