Month: July 2013

Review: School Spirits

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 304

Source: Library
Why I read it: I have read the first two books in the Hex Hall series and didn’t realize that the author had a new spin off series. Of course I had to read this!
 
Izzy is a member of the Brannick family, a family that hunts magical creatures. She, her sister, who has mysteriously disappeared, and her mom are the last of the Brannicks. They keep to themselves, and move around hunting different magical creatures. After Izzy botches what should be a simple vampire case, her and her mother move to a small town in Mississippi. The local high school has a mysterious haunting and Izzy is supposed to solve the case. Unfortunately, or fortunately, she begins to befriend people at the school, which interferes with her work and her disguise that she is a normal teenage girl.
 
I could not put this book down! I had read the first two books in the Hex Hall series and when I saw the author had a new series, I really wanted to read it. I didn’t realize the book was a spin off, as I haven’t finished the Hex Hall series.
 
The novel is fast paced and the mystery surrounding the haunting of the school is compelling. The characters are also really compelling. I loved the group of friends that Izzy meets at school through the PMS, also known as the Paranormal Management Society, especially Romy and Dex. I loved Romy’s quirks and her warmth and Dex’s quirks, like wearing old fashioned clothing and her flowery speech. I can’t wait to see where they fit in the next books. 
 
Izzy is also a great character too. She struggles with trying to fit in and is a bit snarky and jaded, which of course, a monster hunter would probably be. Romy and Dex are really good friends to Izzy, and I warmed up to them quickly. Dex is also romantically interested in Izzy and she is interested in him too, but I felt like that plot line didn’t overshadow the rest of the story. Izzy knew that her mission was the most important while struggling with her feelings for Dex and also her growing friendship with Romy. I though the conflict between the two was handled well and not too much hand wringing over Dex.
 
The ending felt a little rushed and actually I felt a little thrown off from what I expected to happen. It seemed thrown together and I wonder how the next book will start off, based on what happened at the end of this book. However, of course I will read the second book to see the new developments!

Review: Hex Hall Series

imagesdemonglHawkins_HexHallI started this series awhile ago a couple of years ago and recently realized that the third book in the series had come out. I had forgotten what had happened in the first two books, so I had to reread them before continuing on to the third. Warning: There will be spoilers!

The series centers around Sophie Mercer, who is a witch, or so she thinks until towards the end of the first book. She finds out she is a demon, one of the most powerful supernatural creatures or prodigium in existence. The series starts out with Sophie having to attend Hex Hall after she does a spell that goes wrong. Hex Hall is a school for “bad” supernatural teenagers. Throughout the series, she has to grapple with being a demon while also being a teenager. She deals with love, family, school, friends and unlike most teenagers, the possible destruction of all supernatural creatures.

I find the books a bit fluffy, but I do enjoy them. I even read the spin-off series, School Spirits. My favorite part is probably Sophie. She is pretty sarcastic and uses sarcasm to cope with all the chaos around her. I also like her relationships with Elodie, her nemesis in the first book, and Jenna, her vampire best friend. I especially love the banter between her and Jenna.

There is a love triangle in this book and while normally I am not a fan of love triangles, I thought this one worked fairly well and was realistic. Sophie, like many other witches and warlocks, is betrothed to a fellow warlock, Cal. However, Sophie falls for Archer, resident bad boy. Both boys represent a clear choice for Sophie, in regards to which direction she wants to head and I think Hawkins handled it well. I also liked her resolution with the triangle, though it did seem a bit convenient.

However, sometimes I feel like the endings were rushed in the books,  especially the last one. I felt the last one felt a little jumbled in the plotting and the ended was very rushed.

Overall, I really liked this series and as I mentioned before, I have started the spin-off series. I think this series would translate really well to a movie or TV show, as it does have fun characters and the plot is very compelling, plus there is lots of action!