From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Since her older sister went missing nearly a year ago, 15-year-old Izzy and her mother are all that remain of the family. Endowed with extra strength and supernatural powers, the Brannicks have been ridding the world of evil creatures for thousands of years. Without her sister by her side, it's a lonely life for Izzy, who is still trying to prove to her mother that she is ready to handle the family business on her own. After a nearly disastrous run-in with a vampire, her mother decides to give her something easier to work on. They move to Mississippi, and the teen enrolls in the local high school where a rogue ghost has attempted to kill one of the teachers. Dealing with the ghost should be a simple task, but attending high school for the first time is a scary prospect for the homeschooled teen. She joins the school-sanctioned Paranormal Management Society and becomes friends with its members. She begins to fall in love with one of them and discovers that another member may be the reason she can't get the ghost under control. Always warned by her mother to go in, do the job, and get out, Izzy realizes that the relationships she's formed may be placing people's lives in jeopardy. It's impossible not to compare this book to Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it blends equal parts humor, drama, and romance-just like the popular TV series. Girls will eat this one up.-Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this Hex Hall spin-off, Hawkins takes us to Ideal, Mississippi, where 15-year-old Izzy Brannick and her mother have fled to escape Izzy’s sister’s disappearance and Izzy’s own botched attempt to slay a vampire. But Ideal is hardly the ideal small town. Instead, the high school where Izzy will soon enroll has endured a series of progressively escalating hauntings. Perhaps this is Izzy’s chance to restore her reputation by solving a tragic, yet harmless, ghost visitation gone awry. Or perhaps it’s just the opportunity she hasn’t even known she desired: to finally have a best friend and even a boyfriend, who, by the way, might just be a Prodigium, a warlock of sorts. In true Hawkins fashion, School Spirits combines romance, intrigue, and the paranormal with humor and high-school drama to produce a light read that bodes well for another Hawkins series, this time featuring the Brannicks. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This spinoff of the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series should be similarly well received. Grades 7-10. --Frances Bradburn