Thursday, June 9, 2016

Read - The Awakening of Sunshine Girl

The Awakening of Sunshine Girl
by Paige McKenzie
296 pages

'Sunshine Griffith can communicate with ghosts.  Even more amazing, she recently discovered --- with the help of her would-be boyfriend, Nolan --- that she's a luiseach, one of an ancient race of creatures who have lived among humans for centuries, protecting them from dark spirits and helping them move on to the afterlife.  Now, Sunshine's powers are awakening and she feels spirits everywhere --- intense and sometimes overwhelming.

Eager to get her supernatural abilities under control, Sunshine agrees to begin training with her mentor, her estranged father Aidan.  He takes her to an abandoned compound deep in the Mexican jungle.  But what she learns there about her powers, and her family history, turns out to be more terrifying than Sunshine could have imagined.  Can anything --- Aidan's experiments, her friendship with another luiseach names Lucio, even Nolan's research --- prepare Sunshine to face the frightening woman who haunts her dreams, and to finally learn the truth about the rift that threatens the future of the luiseach and all of humankind?

The stakes grow ever higher in this epic sequel to The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, revealing that Sunshine has to protect more than her own friends and family --- she may be the key to saving the entire human race.'

*** SPOILERS ***

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was looking forward to reading this second one.  While I did enjoy it, I didn't like it as much as the first.  I love that these book are on the shorter side, both being under 300 pages.  This one, like the first, kept a good pace without a lot of side stories and extra stuff.  I was confused a lot of the time though.  Things that seemed so obvious, at least to me, didn't seem to need to be written in such a mysterious way.  On the other hand though, I never picked up on the main thing in here and when something about it was finally presented I actually had to pause and think and try to put the pieces together to see how they'd come to that conclusion.  Unless I missed a lot of clues along the way, I think the author needs to hint a little more strongly or clearly about intentions or ideas.

I already have a spoiler warning so I'm just going to say it.  Sunshine found out the truth about her birth, about the experiments involving her, and about why she was abandoned.  It was to save her life because one of her parents felt the experiments had backfired horribly and she should be destroyed.  Okay, so I understood that.  Since her birth there have been no other luiseach born and the species is thought to be going extinct.  I understood that too.  But later in the book when Sunshine realizes they might try to kill her to save the luiseach species, I was like 'What?  Wait.'  I thought her birth caused these problems and that was it.  Suddenly it's telling us that her birth caused these problems BUT if she's eliminated everything goes back to normal.  I don't really see how, and I thought the book did a poor job getting us to see that leading up to her own realization.

I also thought it was rather weak why Sunshine and Nolan can't seem to have a romantic relationship.  The person who put that obstacle in place did with the idea in mind that it would be easier to eliminate her if she hadn't formed any close attachments to anyone.  

I didn't quite understand the role of Victoria in this book either.  She was the creepy art teacher from the first book, the woman that Sunshine learned was a lot more complicated than she seemed.  It seemed she was a spy for all sides.  But why?

I enjoyed the book though.  Sunshine is learning more about her powers and the history of her species.  We meet a few new characters.  It kept a good pace and stayed on point.  This one wasn't as creepy as the first but it makes sense that it's not, because she's learned now what's going on.  In the first book she had no clue, so it *was* creepy to be haunted by that little girl.  This book is more about her continuing to learn things to help her deal with her new life.  But the end!  Oh my gosh, the very very end totally sucked me back into the whole story even when it had been starting to lose me.  I can't wait for the third book now!


  1. Good read! I find myself wanting shorter books, as I can't find the time to sit and finish the normal 600+ page books I tend to reach for. In fact, I don't think I've finished a single book this year. This is so unusual for me.
    I looked into the author and was interested to find out that she got her start doing... how to put this... crappily acted out paranormal 'stories' on YouTube. I think I'll disregard that information if I ever pick this book up LOL

    1. Yep, in my review of the first book I mentioned the YouTube thing. I waited till I was done reading the book then watched the web series. It was fun! I stopped watching when it got about to where the first book ends. I think it's still going, but I haven't gone back to watch more. I'm curious about it though, wondering how it can keep following the story (if it even does).