Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review of THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa Sheinmel

Being snowed in means lots of reading for me in New England. Some books have been better than others, but THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL is one that I've been looking forward to reviewing all month.

Before I hop into the review, let me give you a little background on the book. I went into it not knowing that the story is based off of a YouTube channel and has already been picked up to be produced as a movie. How cool! But more details about that in a moment.

The book is the joint effort of Paige McKenzie and Alyssa Sheinmel. To learn more about them, click on their names. To watch the book trailer, click here.

But enough prelude! Here's the cover and synopsis of a book that I'm sure you'll want to read.




Synopsis:

"Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother, Kat, move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they cross the Washington state line, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows something about their new house is just…creepy.

On their first night in Ridgemont, Sunshine is awakened by the sound of footsteps coming from above, followed by a child’s ghostly laughter. In the days that follow, things just get more frightening. But Kat seems oblivious to the terror, insisting that Sunshine’s imagination is getting the best of her. Determined to prove her mother wrong, Sunshine begins taking photographs, desperate to catch evidence of the supernatural presence. At her new school Sunshine meets Nolan Foster, a cute—if slightly bookish—classmate. Nolan also has a passion for photography—and, more importantly, for ghosts. He offers to help Sunshine figure out exactly what’s going on.

What they uncover is a story that’s much bigger and runs deeper than they could have imagined. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become stranger—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—Sunshine learns that everything she thought she knew about her past has been wrong."

***

So I LOVED this book. I whipped through the entire thing on my flight from Connecticut to San Diego, and it made the trip fly by, no pun intended. 

THE HAUNTING was a breath of fresh air. I think I enjoyed the story so much because it had all the traditional elements of young adult fiction--a fated love story, paranormal elements, coming of age struggles--but it was also highly suspenseful and creepy. I can also say that I didn't foresee the turn that the book took about halfway through. I was expecting traditional horror and ended up with so much more. 

Because of the book's singularity, it's comfortable, conversational style, and the likeability of both the main and secondary characters, I'm giving this book a solid 5-stars on my Goodreads. I also plan to purchase and read the next (several?) book(s) in the series. 

Furthermore, I LOVED that this is a story being told in several mediums. The way we can use social media blows my mind. This is an excellent example of how many possibilities there are for readers, writers, and viewers to tell and seek out stories that we can fall in love with. You better believe that when THE HAUNTING comes to a theater near me, I'll be right in the front row on the edge of my seat. 

But enough from me. Now it's time for you to go out and form your own opinion!

THE HAUNTING debuts on March 24th, 2015, and I would recommend pre-ordering a copy. I'm hoping that reading buddies of mine post comments here once they finish the book on their opinions. 

Next month, I'll have another have another young adult proof to review! Find more details about my review schedule on my Facebook. Check back often for other updates--like my upcoming review of the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY movie. 

Till next time! XOXO