Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Released: May 14, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Hex Hall
Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures - and fifteen-year-old Izzy is the last of her line. But when her older sister vanishes without a trace, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break from the Brannicks' age-old calling.I loved the Hex Hall series, its wit and sass and action and emotion, so of course I was eager to read School Spirits. And it doesn't disappoint! It's just as full of wit and sass, action and emotion, and Izzy is just as much a great character as Sophie is. I love the seemingly effortless tone, as if Izzy is just talking to us , telling the story to a circle of friends - now that she has friends. The way she has to integrate into school life after not having contact with kids her own age all her life is really great to watch. It affirms her strength of character, as she doesn't freak out about it, just observes what she has to change and does so. I'm not sure I liked that she had to change her all-black ensemble in order to fit in. If there was a reason she dressed all in black, maybe she could have joined the kids who had the same reason to dress in black? Unless, of course, the only reason is that she was raised as a monster-hunter and she really belongs in a different crowd. She makes friends quickly enough, but they're not the popular, bright and cheery students - they are witch-hunters, after all, as amateur as they are!
As Izzy and her mom move on to Ideal, Mississippi, however, they discover the town is 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. First, her clothes are all wrong. Second, what are these things called "friends"? Third, there's a boy named Dex making her heart skip - but not in a bad way...so, that's weird. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it feels strange to suddenly be the center of attention.
Izzy's training taught her to never get attached, but she doesn't know if she can solve the case alone. Can she trust her new friends to find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?
I love the romance with Dex, and all his purple, and everything that happens around it. That's all I'm saying. And Torin, for all his obnoxiousness, is a pretty great character too.
I can't find any info about the sequels, though there should be, considering the set-up for the mystery of Izzy's sister. But Rachel is meanwhile publishing another book, Rebel Belle, due out on April 14, 2014. And it sounds great, so be on the lookout for it!