So I was walking through my local Kmart recently and not surprisingly (for anyone who knows me at all), I was drawn to the book section. Specifically, the dark, Twilight inspired Meg Cabot cover, emblazoned with the titles Love You To The Death and High Spirits. My immediate reaction (I’m sorry to say) was a groan. As a huge fan of Meg Cabot, and a tolerator of the Twilight phenomenon (yes, you can all start yelling at me now over that piece of information), all I could think was ‘Oh no Meg, not you too?’
Upon closer inspection however, as in I actually picked up the book and had a good look at it, I realised the book was not about sparkly, vegetarian vampires but rather about a teenage mediator. As in she deals with ghosts and sends them on their merry way into the afterlife. And, it was released 10 years ago under the pen name of Jenny Carroll, which is obviously why I knew nothing of this series until now. So for the bargain price of $9, I took my two book omnibus home and began to read about the adventures of 16 year old Suze.
Suze, or Susannah Simon, has always been able to see ghosts. It’s a secret she keeps only to herself though; despite her mother’s continual stress about her sneaking out of the house at all hours of the night, her unexplained injuries as part of the tough love approach to ghosts (yes, she actually hits them!) and her insanity at seeing things that aren’t really there. Instead, Suze tends to stay away from old buildings and tries to maintain some normality in her life, which is kind of hard when you’re a 16 year old freak who sees dead people.
That is until her mother remarries and she’s forced to move from New York, to Carmel in California and into an old house – with three new step-brothers to boot – where she has a gorgeous, 150 year old ghost haunting her bedroom. And if that isn’t enough for her to deal with, she’s confronted with the ghost of the most popular girl in school, who died over the summer. The very same one who’s decided she’s not leaving the school and wants to stick around and exact revenge on the living.
Originally released as Shadowland in 2000, this novel is classic Cabot – witty, engaging and great fun. It would be best described as a cross between Ghost Whisperer and Medium, but much more fun because Suze is such a fabulous character. While she’s trying to be 16, which in itself is hell on earth; she’s dealing with a new home, a crush on the ghost in her bedroom, a new stepdad, a dad who’s still haunting her since his untimely death, three new stepbrothers, and trying to make new friends in a new school. All while taking on the ghost of the very cranky, very jealous and very invisible Miss Popular. If you thought bullies were hard to deal with in person, you can only imagine how angry they get when no-one can see them. Oh, and when they feel they’re being replaced because their boyfriend has suddenly become very attracted to the new girl, who’s also ‘stolen’ your locker.
An awesome book for YA readers, specifically those who love urban fantasy, the supernatural and good humour. In fact, I loved it so much that I went back to Kmart and bought the rest of them. Now you have to go and get them for yourself. Happy reading! xx
For more information on Meg Cabot visit her webpage: http://www.megcabot.com/
For the Mediator series published by Pan Macmillan, click here: http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/display_title.asp?ISBN=9780330519502&Author=Cabot,%20Meg
P.S. The film rights to this book have been sold and a script is in development, so hopefully we’ll see Suze’s adventures on the big screen soon too! 🙂