The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie (5 out of 5)

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This was a great young adult find.
Thank you to Perseus for sending an advance to the store.
Before I launch into the review, I have to say that “Sunshine Girl” is a Youtube phenomenon, of which I had no (and still have no) knowledge of (haven’t had time to investigate further), and which has more than a little bearing upon this book. I would recommend you check it out, although it isn’t necessary, if I’m any indication.

Sunshine moves from Texas to rainy, gray Washington with her mom. She knew it was going to take time to readjust to the huge change, but frightening things start happening in their new house almost immediately. Things in her room begin to move around, including her stuffed owl, and her checkers board, which is always set up and looks like the next move is hers, whenever she returns from school. Sunshine confides in her friend Nolan, a kid whom she shares a mild crush on, and whom believes in ghosts, thanks to his recently deceased grandfather. Sunshine confides in her mom, and her mom and she have a frightening incident where they are locked out of the bathroom and hear the cries of a little girl who’s drowning in the bathtub. After the incident occurs, Sunshine’s mom suddenly turns from believer into a distant shadow of herself, not believing anything Sunshine says, and seemingly wasting away before her eyes. Nolan believes that Sunshine’s mom has been taken over by an evil entity, and after seeing her mom basically almost cut her hand off while chopping tomatoes, she’s inclined to believe. The house is definitely haunted, but Sunshine is the only person who can see incidents or hear the little girl’s laughs, cries, and sounds of fear. Nolan does research and they realize that Sunshine, who turned 16 a few months back, is a luneisch, one who has the ability to communicate with spirits who have not yet crossed over. They do Google research and find out that Anna Wilde was the little girl, and that she was found drowned in her bathtub, her father’s cold body nearby (he died from a heart attack, is the story). Weirdly enough, Sunshine and Nolan’s creepy Visual Arts teacher, Victoria, shares the same name as that of the widowed wife and mom. They confront her and she confirms all of their suspicions. She also tells Sunshine that she alone has the power to put this all to an end- help Anna confront her demon and cross over, help drive the evil demon out of her mom, and then throws in that Nolan is Sunshine’s protector, and an unknown power is her “mentor”. This is a bit much for the 16-year old to take, but she knows she has to get over her fears and come New Years Eve, try to put an end to whatever is inhabiting her mom so things can get back to some semblance of normalcy. This turns out to be quite an event. Definitely a great end to a great book. I really cannot wait til this comes out in March so I can recommend it to everyone. I really enjoyed it, and am so pleased there will be more than one title.

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~ by generationgbooks on December 11, 2014.

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