Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release: May 14th 2013
Genre: Supernatural, Ghosts, Magic, YA
#1 in the School Spirits spin-off
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?
Honestly, I'm disappointed. Truly disappointed. In part it is my own fault for expecting this to be just as much fun as Hex Hall, but also because it doesn't really deliver on all fronts.
For starters, this novel is not half as adventurous and eventful as Hex Hall, nor as Rebel Belle to be frank. The setting is quite boring and ordinary, since it's a normal high school and not even a boarding school for the supernatural or anything, and the plot crawls forward with no real twists or anything to make it exciting. All that happened was basically between the characters, normal, banal stuff like hanging out and watching movies or going to basketball games. It was lame.
As for the characters, I really fucking missed Sophie and Archer. There was one line where the MC, Izzy, muses about how Sophie and and Archer always throw each other witty one-liners, and that was seriously lacking in this book. Rebel Belle is also sassy and funny in that sense, but Izzy is just not a snarky person and in addition to the ultra lame storyline, the lack of sass was just digging the grave a little deeper than it already was. Had it least been funny, I think I would have enjoyed this one tons more. I mean, it wasn't not funny, there were one or two lines that did make me laugh, but it really wasn't on Hawkins's usual pun level.
The romance was nice enough, but it didn't make me feel all of the things, or anything, really. I tolerated it for the most part and I didn't mind it, but I never shipped Izzy and Dex either. Also, something that did annoy me a little was the fact that it all split up so conveniently nice yet again — like, there's two guys and two girls and of course they're paired up accordingly, with no complications or problems at all, save for a bit of miscommunication maybe.
Oh, and the end climax. That was just kind of ridiculous if you ask me, the reveal of the culprit and their motives was just laughable and then the whole thing was resolved way too effortless. Especially since Izzy didn't do jackshit in the first place to really get rid of the problem, except for pouring some salt maybe (which isn't the kind of butt-kicking I would have expected), and then she gets off the hook that easy. "You did good work here, Izzy" omfg what work? No, seriously, what fucking work did she do. She did nothing. Fucking nothing. She went and got attached to people like you told her she shouldn't, Mrs Brannick, and then you go and praise her for it? What?
Well. I don't know if there's a sequel planned for this spin-off series or not, but if there is, I'm not sure yet if I'm going to read it. I guess I better stick to her other books.