My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.
Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.
Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?
Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as theNew York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!
My thoughts: This review is not a fair one since I read the book two weeks ago. However, I DO remember that I enjoyed the book for a number of excellent reasons:
1. Plot. It's an introduction of Izzy and her mother with a phantom of her older sister who disappeared in a routine witch warren hunt. The book establishes Izzy is a girl who has not had a typical childhood but one with hand to hand combat training, witchy spells. This book starts with Izzy botching a vampire capture which takes her to a small town to ghost hunt to build up her confidence. This puts her in a real high school where she makes friends. Absent are the stereotypical "in" crowd, trying to make Izzy's life miserable. Glad to miss that one.
2. Character development. So very excellent. Izzy is funny and full of great reactions. She has no idea how to interact with "friends" and mostly wings it while hoping she's doing it right. Supporting characters are just enough quirky to be memorable. Not over the top but definitely quirky. Best supporting role definitely goes to the man in the mirror.
3. Relationships. Between Izzy and her new friends. Between Izzy and love interest. Between Izzy and the man in the mirror. Very funny, by the way, although I don't trust that guy. Best of all, between Izzy and her mom. The edges soften as they redefine their relationship with the sister missing yet I really did like Izzy's mom.
4. The ending. No dangly strings yet clearly the first in a series. I look forward to reading this series. I did not tire of it even for a moment.
5. Clean. I'm handing it to my daughters to read. That's a 5 star deal right there.