Sunday, May 5, 2013

School Spirits (review)

4/5 stars

My love affair with Rachel Hawkins' books continues.  School Spirit (Goodreads | Amazon) is everything I expect from her writing.  The book centers around a mysterious haunting that needs to be solved.  The book itself could be consider episodic (the main plot mystery is solved within the book), but there is a bigger overarching mystery that lurks in the background. The combination of a mystery (an actual plot) and a great sense of humor is hard to beat.  I can't say I loved it as much as Hex Hall (but *cough* I wanted to marry Hex Hall *cough*).  One of the biggest reasons Hex Hall will always be hard for Hawkins to top, is that Hex Hall was the original Hawkins story.  It was different and unexpected, a lighthearted plot-driven romp released in a landscape of too many romance- driven paranormal books that took themselves way too seriously. It was a breath of fresh air.  Now it's what I expect when I pick up Hawkins' latest release and School Spirits does not disappoint.
The wall was line with those tacky globe lamps--seriously, vampires are the worst--and a twinkling caught my eye. Glancing down, I saw that I was covered in a fire layer of shimmery silver. Oh, gross. He was one of those body-glitter-wearing jerks.
School Spirits follows Izzy Brannick, the youngest and last of the Brannick clan (those crazy quasi-magical defenders of the world fighting against all varieties of supernatural).  I was really hoping the spin-off would be Brannick driven.  We get all the pitfalls and isolation of being part of a monster-hunting family and get the hilarity of seeing Izzy thrust unwillingly into high school. Give her a vampire and she knows what to do. Give her a school cafeteria and she watches bad soap-operas for research purposes.

The romance in this book didn't quite get me like Hex Hall.  But I gotta give Hawkins credit for writing a boy who loves the ladies in the "carnal sense" and has a great sense of fashion.  Break out of those gender norms!  Don't put your romantic lead in the expected box, but let him be different and unexpected. Like the honeybadger, Hawkins does what she wants.

If you enjoy supernatural stories with a dash of silliness, then School Spirits is perfect.  The mystery is good, dropping clues along the way, the main character is a lot of fun and the witty humor is back with a vengeance.

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