Review: School Spirits (Hawkins)

AUTHOR: Rachel Hawkins
SERIES: School Spirits, book 1
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423148494
PAGES: 304
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: paranormal
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS girls, fans of Hex Hall series

SUMMARY: After sister mysteriously vanishes, fifteen-year old Izzy Brannick and her mother move to a small town to banish a suspected ghost that recently attacked a high school teacher. To figure out what’s going on, Izzy enrolls as a high school student and joins a school club aimed at investigating paranormal activity at the school.

REVIEW: Sweet, cute, fun! I am a huge fan of the Hex Hall trilogy, and I definitely plan to read the sequel to School Spirits. The story is very different from Hex Hall, but I loved it just as much. Izzy’s character is funny and self-deprecating, and I loved the inclusion of Torin the mirror man. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing much more of him in the sequels. I loved Romy as Izzy’s new best friend, and Dex is the perfect love interest for Izzy. I loved the little twist on their romance at the end–will make for a fun sequel!

The ghost story itself may be a little creepy for more sensitive readers. I’ve read lots of horror novels, and reading this at night had me a little creeped out. It isn’t scary, but readers who are easily frightened have been warned.

This will be an instant hit with my middle school girls, and I will likely need multiple copies.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Fun and fabulous! If you loved Hex Hall, you’ll love School Spirits. The stories follow a similar story arc, but the characters and plot are different.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I have zero doubt that my MS girls will be all over this the second I get it in. I’ve already pre-ordered one copy, but I’ll be adding at least two more. The Hex Hall series has been consistently popular in my school for the past two years, and I recommend them often.

READALIKES: Hex Hall (Hawkins), Paranormalcy (White)


  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 4/5–cover art and story arc are similar to Hex Hall
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: mild–some kissing
  • Violence: mild-medium–violent ghost targets students, creepy Barbie voodoo doll found in locker, talk of frog with head smashed in, possession
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none

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