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**An ARC was provided by Disney Hyperion via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review**
School Spirits is a spin-off Series of the popular Hex Hall Series , but this is something I only learned after I requested a copy of School Spirits . The Hex Hall Series is on my reading list & wishlist but since I have yet to read them and I was worried I may be a bit lost jumping into an pre-existing fantasy world. Soon enough though, I felt completely immersed in this new-to-me world, and if there were any references or allusions to Hex Hall , missing them didn't seem to affect my overall enjoyment of this book. If anyways, reading School Spirits has me even more eager to check out all the Hex Hall goodness that I've apparently been missing!
Izzy Brannick is descendant from a long line of Brannick women trained to fight or take of anything paranormal. She and her sister had been a pretty kick-butt team until her sister vanished on the job one night. Feeling it might be time for a change of pace, and scenery - Izzy's mother moves them to a small community in the middle of nowhere and enrolls her daughter in a normal high-school. It soon becomes pretty obvious that this high school is far from normal - in fact, it's haunted! Izzy is hell-bent on solving this mystery on her own but soon it becomes clear, this is no regular haunting...
I love a book that can make me laugh! A few giggles here and there is memorable enough but when I burst out laughing - more than once, it's such a treat. Anytime a book can make me laugh, I feel like awarding an extra star to it's rating! School Spirits made me both giggle and laugh out loud while being sick with a cold! How great is that?! I was very quickly captivated by the story, the world and the characters that live in it. The fact that I more or less read this book in one sitting means it not only was quick and easy to read, but that I was enjoying myself immensely while reading it!
Izzy felt different from any other teen female MC I've encountered. Because she'd never attended any kind of 'regular' school, her experiences with other kids were limited, especially normal kids! Seeing her try to adapt to something so foreign to her was both humorous and endearing. And I loved how she rented bad YA television drama series' to help her adjust and ended up relating real life to the silly situations those shows always play up. As a life-long monster-hunter, she's obviously very brave and adaptable too but she was also very independent and always kept her head on her shoulders.
One of my favorite things about School Spirits were the 'normal' friends she makes at her new school: Dex, Romy and Anderson. Clearly outcasts as school because of their choice in extra-curricular activities, I appreciated that Izzy had no problem befriending them, and though they weren't supposed to be cool, I found them to be just that. They were all different in their own respect but they were all just so sweet and funny! I've rarely felt so strongly about the hero's friends but this was a solid bunch of characters all around for me.
School Spirits is a bit tame and 'young', as all Disney reads tend be so don't go in expecting anything super scary and suspenseful. Some of the haunting bits were pretty creepy though I'm not exactly famous for my nerves of steel O.O The big finale was a bit on underwhelming side, though not because it was all that predictable or anything - more because it just sort of fizzled instead of going out with a bang. All the same, School Spits was an engaging and enjoyable read and I'm anxious to see where the series will go from here. I've also decided that I need to read the Hex Hall series - like yesterday!