"School Spirits" by Rachel Hawkins

Lisa Koslowski

What is it about?

Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters.

For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures - and fifteen-year-old Izzy is the last of her line. But when her older sister vanishes without a trace, Izzy's mom decides they have to take a brake from the Brannicks' age-old calling.

As Izzy and her mom move on to Ideal, Mississippi, however, they discover that the town is not as normal as it first appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate.

One of the teachers at school died, but the room was locked from the inside which would make it impossible for somebody to kill him but there is no evidence that he committed suicide. Somebody must have killed him and it is in Izzys hand to find out who and to protect the students from future murders.

For the first day of school her mom gives her some instructions how to behave but it turns out to be harder said than done. Her first day at school is pretty decent but then she faces problems she never had to deal with.

How do you talk to guys and how do you behave in their presence?

Izzy does a pretty good job even though she does not get the attention fro her mom she wishes for but she develops a tight friendship with Romy, Anderson and this handsome guy. By developing friendships Izzy is breaking the Brannick's rules...humans are just a means to an end!

Izzy tries not to get to close but she soon realizes that she likes to go to school and she likes to have friends. It is an advantage that her friends have this weird club where they meet to investigate about the teacher and other ghosts and Izzy gets closer to unwrap the true story.

Additionally to all the friends - ghost - mother problems, Izzy starts to get feelings for the handsome guy who apparently likes her too and every time she touches him she feels something. She is not sure if he is a witch or a ghost and she wants to find out as soon as possible!

After a few weeks Izzy thinks she knows who the ghost that haunts the school is, and she defeats it with an easy spell but then things turn out to be harder than she though and the four friend find themselves in a dangerous situation and the ties of their friendship are being tested...

Which characters play important roles that relate to the overall theme?

At first there is Izzy herself and she is the most important character in the book. Izzy is involved in every part and she is mostly responsible for everything that happens. The book starts out really interesting but after the first 100 pages something is missing because my expectations of what would happen were different from what actually happened and I did not like it.

Besides Izzy there is her mom and she is basically jus company for Izzy because she is not the warm caring type of mother every child wishes for. She is rather cold and she seems careless but then again she is not because everything she does is for Izzy.

Dex is an important character especially because he brings some tension into the story but I expected him to be someone else than he urned out to be and I didn't like that part either.

Romy and Anderson, Izzy's only friends besides Dex, are the reason for some exciting and challenging events the friends master but overall I hoped the story would be different than it was because it seemed to be really interesting and exciting but then it was a little bit boring and disappointing.

Was the ending satisfactory? Why or why not?

In my opinion the ending was not satisfactory at all because there was just too many things going on and too little information. I like it when every little thing is sorted out and everyone is happy with what he or she has. The ending was really abrupt and Izzy still had some unsorted business. Even though the book seemed to be really interesting and exciting it wasn't because something was missing and it never came up. After approximately 100 pages it seemed as if the author didn't plan on writing a whole book which made the story seem stuck and turning around on one point.

What was the genre of the book?

School Spirits is a fantasy book for young adults.

What did you enjoy about the book?

The book makes it seem as if every little thing in life was worth much more than we think it is. I think most of the people consider having friends as one of the most normal things in life which it is not. This book made me think about my friendships and it made me appreciate these relationships. I really enjoyed that even going to school was a challenge for Izzy and it just assured me in the way I thing about some things. I could easily identify myself with Izzy because the way she tried to solve problems reminded me a lot of how I do certain things. I especially liked Izzys relationship with her mom. It was really distanced which made me think about the relationship I share with my mom. It just made me appreciate what my mom did for me in the past years and what she still does.