Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie Book Review

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #1)
by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel



Something freaky's going on with Sunshine's new house . . . there's the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine's always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can't help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.


Usually, for me when it comes to YA ghost stories they tend to fall flat, being very predictable and ending a little to nice. This story was not the same. McKenzie made sure her story had layers, was set a good pace, and left you wanting to know more. The overuse of 'creepy' definitely fits in when describing the book.
“I prefer creeptastic,” Mom answers with a smile.” 
The book starts with Sunshine and Kat's move to Washington. I really enjoyed the description of the desolate streets; no children playing, houses practically silent. The moment they pull up into the driveway and the house comes into view, Sunshine immediately has a reaction to the 'creepiness' that it seems to have over it and the seemingly never ending dullness of everything. One of the things I really enjoyed was that the story as a whole was the pace at which the story is set, with 'paranormal' things happening basically right off the bat, the first few chapters really drawing you in.
“Mom was just teasing when she asked whether I felt safe being left alone in a haunted house. But now I know: once you move into one, you're never really alone again.” 
I will say that the first third or so of the book was definitely pretty creepy, but after that I felt like it lost some of its momentum. You start to learn more about Sunshine's past and some of the other players that are making things happen behind the scenes. Which, don't get me wrong, add much more depth to what would otherwise be a pretty normal, 'creeptastic' ghost story, but the story sort of sways into something much more than your average ghost story, which is both kind of exciting, but also a little frustrating. Once you learn more about what is going on, what everyone is capable of, and who's behind certain things that are happening, much of the story begins to loose its creep factor. (Like when you learn how a magician does one of his tricks.) I mean, towards the end it stops being about the haunting and more about Sunshine's 'destiny'. Which of course takes a little bit away from the whole ambiance of the story, things begin to become kind of convenient and even more predictable. In the end, the twists and turns made the ending just a little bit disappointing. But! I will say that I absolutely loved the stalking mentor. His perspective was always fun to read and though I was kind of mad about one of the things he does to Sunshine (in regards to boys), I found him quite entertaining. 
Overall the book was a fun read but far from fantastic. The writing was relatively armature, only being saved be the overall feeling of the book and the story-line. (3.5/5) - Can't decide.

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