Second Look: THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL by Paige McKenzie

The Haunting of Sunshine GirlTitle: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Author: Paige McKenzie (with help from Alyssa Sheinmel)
Published: 2015
Genre: Teen Horror

So, what’s it about?  When her mom gets a new job in the Pacific Northwest, Texas native Sunshine must pack up her things and leave her best friend behind.  However, the immense amount of rain, cold, and generally cloudy days in Washington aren’t the only surprises Sunshine faces, like a haunted house, a murderous demon, and the truth about what she really is.

What I Thought About It:  I loved it.  It was everything I was hoping for — a creepy ghost story, mixed with a little bit of paranormal personas.  It wasn’t just about a haunted house, but there was an entire story behind the haunting.  Every character was tied to the main story in some way, which wasn’t always obvious until the very end.

Sunshine is a great character.  She’s real and believable.  I was scared when she was scared.  (Hello, who wouldn’t be freaked out by a stuffed owl flying in circles above your head?!)  The novel didn’t just focus on the paranormal, either.  It had a great look at how long-distance friendships don’t always work, especially when priorities change.  Also, first crushes.  (I’m looking at you, Nolan!)  At the center was a strong mother-daughter relationship that was tested by a demon (because, it’s a ghost story), but it did have a happy ending.  (There are a few snafus, though.)

The writing was fluid.  I was completely engaged the entire time.  By the end, I was sad to put it down and wanted to know more about the story and what’s happening next.  (Hint: the sequel is set to release in October, but no news on Amazon yet.)  I was also pretty scared at points (Yeahimnotashamed.)  I give major kudos to McKenzie and Sheinmel for their writing style(s).

I’d highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good haunting.  I’m also going to check out the web series that it was based off of, as soon as I finish marathoning the new girl (damn you, Zooey Deschanel).

I don’t usually do read-a-likes, but this reminded me a lot of Patrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek series (middle grade).  I’d recommend that, if you liked this.  (There’s about 4 of those books, I think.)

Rating… 10/10 stars.

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