My So Called Monster Hunting Life (School Spirits – a Book Review)

School Spirits (Hex Hall #4)

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published: 2013

On Goodreads

My Rating: 

Rated C for corny canoodles and PG for paranormal goofiness.

Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters.

For centuries, the Brannicks have trained to fight monsters and banish evil spirits and protect humans. Izzy is the latest in the family line. At fifteen years old, her twin has vanished and she and her mom are on estranged terms. That leaves the only other person she has to talk to, which is a centuries-old warlock stuck in a mirror.

When a case involving a possible haunting comes up, Izzy goes where she’s never been before. High school. As Izzy navigates the foreign waters, she discovers that blending is a lot harder than she thought. With the help of the ghost hunting club, she manages just fine. Still, she doesn’t want to put her new friends in danger while she hunts the ghost that threatens the school. Unfortunately, she and they are in the dead center of it.

Though part of a series, this really stood on its own. No previous book(s) required. I found that pretty cool! You didn’t have to rely on previous info from past books. If there was need-to-know then you got it. There was no interference with the storyline whatsoever.


The setting was pretty basic and didn’t leave nor need much to the imagination and that was fine. I was more interested in the storyline anyway and the little details that Izzy noticed. That also went for the writing style as well. It didn’t reach me with and significance and that didn’t make me mad. I’ve read some horribly written books and this was not one of them. Still, that didn’t mean this was one of those that left an impression. It just kind of fell between “That was nice.” and “Hm.”.

This was one of those that was fun and corny. There wasn’t any serious emotional turmoil that left me beaten and bruised. That didn’t mean there weren’t some good moments of drama and intrigue. From trying to keep her monster hunter side a secret in school to facing off with her mother’s secrets, Izzy didn’t have it easy. While it was refreshing how mature Izzy was, it was also tragic. She was having all of these teen experiences for the first time. She’s led such an adult life that all of it was so foreign to her. It was so sad.


I will say one thing. The short-lived possibility of Izzy and Dex being together was a letdown. With wonderful chemistry between the two-Izzy being a nervous wreck and Dex being charmingly forward, I was feeling endgame, but it changed right before the end and squashed me like a bug. Like, why build it up only to demolish it like an episode of Lego Masters? Still, Dex’s plot twist was pretty good. I certainly give Hawkins kudos for keeping me surprised.


Aside from the natural side of the book, the supernatural was intriguing. Hawkins included not only a snarky warlock but a hedge witch that could’ve been Stevie Nicks’s cousin. The branches of magic and witches were light due to the ghosty problem. Still, I think this makes me want to delve into the other Hex Hall books. Not only for the magic but to see if Izzy’s sister is in them.


Not bad. Fun and cheesy, but those can be nice and a good time. Did that make it memorable? Sadly, no. Do I still want to read the others to the series? If I come across them, yes. It wasn’t as if I became obsessed with this book, but I didn’t hate it. Not at all. Entertaining and amusing, but that was about it.


“Ah, high school romance. I never get tired of it.” (Dex, p. 95)

More to come soon…                                                                                               


Song Today? Sugar We’re Goin Down by Fall Out Boy

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