The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Here’s a rare book review from me!

I had added this one to my Overdrive wishlist purely on a whim: I’m one of those people who picks a book based entirely on the cover. So when I was browsing my wishlist (rather than looking for a “new” book to read), I decided I was in the mood for a ghost story.

This one did NOT disappoint! It was properly scary without being overly gory. I’m not a huge fan of the present tense style, but once I’m inside a book I don’t notice it very often (just when a word catches my brain unawares and I have to flip back a page or two to un-confuse myself).

There is a reason I’m actually writing a review here: so far I’m disappointed with the sequel: The Awakening of Sunshine Girl. Here’s the thing: Haunting was obviously set up to be the first book in a series and I was excited to see where it would go. But where Haunting was a good old fashioned ghost story that contributed to the creation of an alternative world, Awakening doesn’t seem to have an single overarching “ghost problem” (which makes for a good ghost story)–the ghosts here are just part of the job, which sounds more like any other paranormal series. It wouldn’t be so disappointing if Haunting hadn’t been so compelling for being a ghost story!

I’m also annoyed that the author is introducing an entirely new set of characters as though she’s trying to force a love triangle when it would have been more appropriate to let Sunshine figure out her relationship with Nolan before sending her away to hang out with the new guy. I guess I can see the necessity of a location change in order to help the plot work, BUT there’s also a plot hole created when everything says how important a Protector is, yet it’s apparently okay for her to be taken to a place where she cannot contact her Protector! I’m only 34% in right now, so there’s plenty of time to fix these issues, but part of me is already too disappointed.

OH! And it’s also a bit annoying that we had insight into the “watcher” in the first book, and now we have a completely different “watcher” in this one. I wish we could have kept some kind of insight into the original “watcher” since he continues to be a character, but now he’s gone essentially dark. I think it would have worked better to just run multiple main characters in a more traditional sense rather than trying to make them extra mysterious. They give away so much themselves that there’s not much mystery there anyway.

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