Thursday, November 12, 2015

Read - The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
by Paige McKenzie
2015
294 pages

'Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just ... creepy.

In the days that follow, things only get stranger. Sunshine is followed around the house by an icy breeze, phantom wind slams her bedroom door shut, and eventually, the laughter Sunshine hears on her first night evolves into sobs. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become more frightening—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—Sunshine must accept what she is, pass the test before her, and save her mother from a fate worse than death.
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I kept seeing this book and the one I previously reviewed (Diary of a Haunting) together whenever I was looking at books.  I finally gave in bought the other one, and whipped through it, so I went ahead and bought this one next.  There are a couple more in this creepy, haunted genre that I want to get next before I get back to reading the books I already have.  I just needed a break from the same old series I'd been plowing through.

It says on the bottom of the front cover, 'Based on the YouTube web series phenomenon.'  I was curious about that but purposely didn't check into it because I didn't want the reading of the book version to be spoiled.  Now that I'm done reading though, I am absolutely going to check into the web series because I loved this book.  I have mixed feelings about one thing though.  I thought this was a stand alone novel, which is what I'm really craving these days.  But no, this is the first book in what is going to be a series.  I'm bummed AND excited about this.  Bummed because I'm almost always disappointed in the remainder of a series even if I loved the first book.  And excited because I am curious to see where this story goes.  I hope it doesn't become some long, drawn out thing with increasingly longer books and increasingly busy storylines.

But anyway, back to THIS book.  Remember my thing for angel stories?  Guardian angels, and nephilim, and fallen angels, and such?  I had no idea this book was going to end up being somewhat in that category!  I went into this thinking it was just another haunted house, possession type thing.  What a pleasant surprise!

I liked that this story kept things fairly simple and straightforward.  It kept a good pace, without extra side stories and complications.  The characters are all very likable, very believable, because the author doesn't try too hard to make them cool.  They are just presented as need be and the reader is allowed to form their own opinions.  The story neatly ties things together.  It's quite clever in some ways.  I certainly didn't see some things coming, and I had fun pondering some things too.  It was a quick and easy read, and that's just what I'm looking for these days.

I love the relationship between main girl Sunshine and her friend Nolan.  They're cute and awkward together and you keep wondering when it will turn into more than just friendship.  I'm pretty sure there will be something in the future saying they can't be together, just like all great couples need an obstacle in their path to happiness.  Still, if the style of the next books stays like this first one, I think I can deal with it.  I did see a small spoiler about who Sunshine's mentor is, although it was hinted at pretty strongly at the very end of this book.

I'm kinda just warbling in this review because I don't want to go into story details too much.  I'll just leave it at that, and add . . . Go read this book!

(If you're curious about the YouTube series instead, go HERE.)

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