Jul
03

Title: Remembrance (The Mediator #7)
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: February, 2016 by William Morrow
Pages: 388
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

You can take the boy out of the darkness.
But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.

All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.

What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?
If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.

From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

Final Thoughts:
Having only just read the original series for the first time, I didn’t go into this with the nostalgia glasses on so I felt like some of the things that irked me were harder to overlook. Suze was the main culprit. With her now in her mid-twenties, I just couldn’t get over how immature she came across. And Paul, the main villain of series, he’s back, and trying to force his way into Suze’s pants again. Ugh. I thought this plot had been wrapped up, albeit hurriedly, in the previous book. But no, this angst pretty much drove the book. Chapters and chapters of Suze hiding things from Jesse, all the while, wondering why he wouldn’t give up his pre-marital chastity vow and sleep with her already.

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Mar
13

Title: Proposal (The Mediator #6.5)
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: January, 2016 by Avon
Pages: 97
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs – Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together – including Jesse and herself – especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Final Thoughts:
No longer in high school, Suze is now in her early twenties and living in a dorm. Being away from her family, we only learn of what’s been happening in their lives through Suze’s internal musing. Even Father Dominic, who had such a big presence in Suze’s life throughout the series, is only mentioned in passing. While it was a short story, the other books were quite short as it was, so it didn’t feel that different pacing-wise. The ghost plot actually got a bit more focus with the lack of supporting characters. Still, there was Jesse, no longer dead, apparently succeeding in life, and with his old-school beliefs, driving Suze crazy.

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Mar
08

Series: The Mediator
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: 2000-2006 by Avon/Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: approx. 200 per book
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Being a mediator doesn’t exactly make Susannah Simon your typical sixteen-year-old. Her job is to ease the path for the unhappy dead to their final resting place. She finds her skills tested to the maximum. But can this girl get her ghost?

Final Thoughts:
You can tell from reading these that ghost-mediator, Suze, was pretty much the queen of sass for early 2000s YA. Never lost for words, she tells it how it is, throwing around attitude on anyone that gets in her way. I loved her for this. However, when it came to her romantic endeavours, she had a more than questionable string of duds. It seemed like whenever a new bad guy popped up on the scene, Suze would find him and end up going on a date. It helped get her tangled up in the plot, but I had to wonder what she was thinking at times.

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Nov
10

Title: Shine (Shade #3)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Published: May, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 399
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves…even if that means betraying her own heart.

Final Thoughts:
With a heavy focus on Aura and Zach’s relationship, fans of that aspect of the series will eat this one up. I don’t know if too much time has passed since I read the last book, but for me, I thought we got too caught up in all of that. It started out great, with Zachary out of the picture, the stakes high, and Aura and her friends taking on the DMP, but after a while, the evil organisation plot slipped onto the backburner. Still, we did learn pretty much all of the secrets, but I could have used more of an ongoing struggle against the DMP. The ending just felt like it had been tacked on the end—like it could have been placed at any point in the second half of the book and we would have gotten the same result.

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Apr
02

Title: Shift (Shade #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Published: April, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 367
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one at her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift. She’s not the only one seeking answers, though, and danger grows as she discovers new truths.

Who can Aura trust with her secrets? And to whom will she give her heart?

Final Thoughts:
This took me AGES to get through. It just wasn’t clicking for me. I kept finding myself putting it down mid chapter, leaving it a few days, then telling myself I had to get back into it. It was just so different from the first book, and not in a positive way. With great ideas, this paranormal had heaps to offer, but unfortunately most of the plot this time around gave way for a mess of relationship drama. And with Aura playing musical beds, I really couldn’t connect with her. For me, this love triangle (and at times, square), just didn’t work.

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Dec
22

Title: Red Fox (Experiment in Terror #2)
Author: Karina Halle
Published: June, 2011 by Metal Blonde Books
Thanks: Karina Halle
Pages: 287
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

With Book Two of the Experiment in Terror Series, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray trade in the stormy Oregon coast for the unforgiving deserts of New Mexico.

In the for­got­ten town of Red Fox, a Navajo cou­ple is tor­tured by things unseen and by motives unknown. Wild ani­mals slink through their house in the dark, a bar­rage of stones pound their roof nightly, and muti­lated sheep car­casses are turn­ing up on their prop­erty. Armed with a cam­era and just enough to go on, Perry and Dex travel to the des­o­late locale, hop­ing to film the super­nat­ural occur­rences and add cred­i­bil­ity to their flail­ing web­cast. Only their show has a lot more work­ing against them than just grow­ing pains. Tested by dubi­ous ranch hands, a ghost from Dex’s past, and shapeshift­ing decep­tion, the ama­teur ghost hunters must learn to trust each other in order to fight the most ancient of myths…or die trying.

Final Thoughts:
Seriously loving these books. The series format allows for many new settings, new characters and new stories. Perry and Dex hold things together, being at the center of it all. Their relationship, or rather non-relationship, has progressed slightly from its beginnings in Darkhouse. I was both frustrated and happy with the pacing at which things moved in that regard. I know I said in my last review that books didn’t have the same scare factor that movies did, but this one pushed things closer. The paranormal has been amped up and so has the danger. Red Fox is one creepy book!

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Dec
20

Title: Darkhouse (Experiment In Terror #1)
Author: Karina Halle
Published: May, 2011 by Metal Blonde Books
Thanks: Karina Halle
Pages: 309
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.

Final Thoughts:
After reading a book that dragged on, I was happy to find myself speeding through this one easily. I was surprised by how much I loved reading it. The similarities between my life and that of the main character, Perry, were freakishly uncanny. I enjoyed slipping into her world and going along with her sometimes wacky, but often understandable trains of thought. The mystery of the lighthouse had its creepy moments, but what I loved came more through the banter between Perry and Dex. The romantic undercurrents were paced realistically, and fun to watch unfurl.

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