#BookReview: School Spirit by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirit by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #4
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 193
Publication: 2013 (Disney Hyperion)
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?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

My Thoughts

This is a very good book. Interesting to read. We have fun and heartwarming characters and situations to die of laughter as others that will make you mourn.

Fundraising is the story of Isolde (aka Izzy), who belongs to the last three Brannicks left in the world. They are part of a ancestral family of corrupt Prodigium's hunters. But now there seems to be only two, because inexplicably, Izzy's older sister, Finley, has disappeared in the execution of a job and there's no sign of her. Because this same situation in one of Izzy's missions a vampire reads her mind and distracted her with it, makes her to lose him. So, her mother moves to a new town for a new mission that "will" help her to regain confidence in the game. But things are not easy for Izzy, the same day she arrives to her new school (important that she has never gone to school before), she hit hits the popular boy, meets a Prodigium she has no idea what kind he belongs and ghost-hunting gang that can get into her plans, and last but not least, she has to deal with these new problems of teenage. All this when her mother is acting strange and all over her to finish the job faster.

Straightening my shoulders, I faced the coach. “Izzy Brannick.”
“Okay, Izzy Brannick, do you wanna tell me why you just knocked McCrary here on his butt?”
Confused, I glanced over at Ben. One of his friends was helping him up. His face was pale, and when the other boy touched his shoulder, Ben winced.

“I was just…playing the game,” I replied, and this time there was a little waver in my voice.

“He was out,” the coach said, and when I just stared at him, he shook his head. “You caught his throw. So he was already out. There was no need to throw the ball at him, and certainly no need to—” He broke off to look at Ben, and his eyes went wide. “Dear God, did you dislocate his shoulder?”

This book is quite entertaining, but at times can become very slow. At first everything goes great, intrigue and the things to discover, how will school goes for Izzy and which is getting Izzy, are interesting; but since the middle of the book you want to finish it already, and that it tells you once and for, all the lies behind the secondary Mary Evans. The problem with this is that there are too many chapters and some things are left over, even when the shortie it is. But the end is very good and I particularly like it; I didn't expect what happened and fewer events that triggered everything.

As for the characters, there are many to mention. Starting with Izzy. We met Izzy (who read the Hex Hall series) in Spellbound, as Sophie's cousin. There we saw her as the weakest of the Branninck sisters and this is how it maintains in her own book, She is not a strong character, like those I like to read. While it is progressing along the plot, I think it has been left too overcome by his mother, and it's perhaps this reason that she can't become a person by herself; she hasn't an identified personality and in my opinion, things gone well by pure luck, just because the story need her to has luck and sometimes even seems forced. Like (one of the many things), she arrives school, she already has guys drooling over her, I'm not saying that this can't be, but it felt very rushed. However, at the end of the book, and only at the end, it looks like she changed thanks to mission in Mary Evans High.

One of the guys that fall Izzy was Dex. He is quite funny and has the best lines of the book. Although I finished the book and I still wonder if he is gay. That is, when I met him, I really thought he was and then he just fall in loves for Izzy (and me: "What?!"). I finished the book and I know everything that happens but I still wonder. He is great, one of my favorites, but I think that the author didn't has to made him too effeminate. Clearly, it is noteworthy that he is weak and asthmatic.

As these two characters, I like to see its evolution over the next books. I think it would be great to see them in the hunt for Prodigium and new adventures. It is interesting, that the relationships between the characters are great and occurred naturally. While there are things in the book should be removed because they are pure filler tasteless, the interactions between each one are quite credible.

Romy scowled but stepped into line. I stepped next to her, tugging at the hem of my hoodie.
“What’s your name?” Romy asked. A tiny dimple flashed in one cheek. “I mean, in my head, you’ll always be The Girl Who Took My Desk, but that’s kind of an awkward thing to call you all the time.”

Another important characters in Romy. She is like a psychedelic texture within plot that never shuts up. Always full of energy, it is the proud founder of the Organization Jackets Ghosts Mary Evans High. Fond of paranormal topics, isn't very popular and doesn't have friends, so with the arrives of Izzy to school, she immediately takes her under her wing and takes over from her days with the mission (despite of known nothing of the real motivation of Izzy). I liked her participation in the book and it's a real shame that this has been her only mission in Mary Evans because I like to see more of her.

There is also the magician in the mirror, Torin, who I imagine him as the guy in Anne Hathaway's movie, Enchanted Elle, which is enclosed in the book, but Torin in inclosed in a mirror. He has something in hand and, of course, has to do with Izzy; I also believe that he likes the girl. But we'll see how things develop later. As for Izzy's mother, I don't like her. She is too controlling, and sincerely I believe that all her problems with Izzy giving her the mission was to have her even more controlled, to not lose her because I was seeing that possibly due to the disappearance of Fin, she could reveal and leave her mother alone. Also, I think that was Fin was her favorite daughter and Izzy was only booked in case something bad will happen. I don't like her at all. And finally, Maya the witch, seems suspicious; I don't know what's wrong with her, but I'll definitely eyes open in the next books.

In conclusion, a book very easy to read, short, and simple. But most situations are not going to the case of the plot, but it compensates with good characters and a grand finale that asks for more.

*Note: I thought this was a new spin-off series from Hex Hall, however, the author herself adknowladge that there won't be another sequel of this book. I'm not sure if there will be another in the future but right now there's no plan for it. Though, I would like to, because there are so many questions without asnwers.  

About the Author

Rachel Hawkins is a marican writer, best known for her young adult books with paranormal and romactic subjects setting on South of USA. Her most known series is Hex Hall.



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