The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Description: Sunshine is an adopted 16 year old who felt that she never truly fit in due to her close relationship with her mother and her love of vintage clothing. Sunshine and her mother move to Washington for her mother’s job but Sunshine feels ill at ease in their new home; the place smells damp and musty, she constantly feels a chill, hears noises and thinks the house is haunted. Her mother does not believe any of it,. Sunshine starts documenting the strange occurrences in hopes to convince her mother but when she shows her mother photographic proof her mom is unable to see it. Sunshine and her mother even have a haunting experience with the spirits but in the morning her mom is unable to remember it. Sunshine takes photographs of the ghost of a young girl who wants to play with Sunshine’s board games and stuffed owl. Sunshine notices that her mother is starting to act strange and she is unsure what is going on, all she knows is that the house is haunted and something isn’t right with her mom. No one believes Sunshine until she meets Noah; Sunshine and Noah start to document and research the haunted house. As they research the supernatural events they find out some interesting information about Sunshine, her mother, her family history and what happened in the house. The two must join forces to try and save the little girl’s spirit and to defeat the evil demon threatening her mom.
Review: I will start off by saying that I have never watched the YouTube channel, maybe I would have had a greater appreciation for the book if I had watched it first. I love a good horror/ghost story and was very excited by the premise of the book. The first half of the book is “creepy” (a word that is overused in the story) and has all the ingredients of a good haunting. I raced through the beginning of the book and was really excited by the character dynamics and the supernatural elements. Unfortunately, the second half of the book is anticlimactic and is more about Sunshine and her destiny than it is about the haunting. I found that things fell into place too easily, was too predictable and the creep factor wasn’t there any more. The second part of the book lost the element of surprise, which is what made the beginning so good. Ultimately, this is more a story about family and friendship than it is about ghosts and demons. I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy the YouTube channel and like lite paranormal stories, I would not recommend this book to hardcore paranormal/horror fans.
*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley