Book Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (Paige McKenzie)
*I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Release Date: 24th March 2015
Summary (From Goodreads):
Based on the wildly popular YouTube channel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has been described as “Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity for the new media age.” YA fans new and old will learn the secrets behind Sunshine—the adorkable girl living in a haunted house—a story that is much bigger, and runs much deeper, than even the most devoted viewer can imagine…
As a pretty big horror film fan, I’ve read surprisingly few horror novels (not including a massive amount of Goosebumps books in my younger days). So I was pretty excited when I read about this book, even though I’ve not seen any of the videos from YouTube.
Sunshine Girl reads like a classic modern horror film with plenty of suspense to keep you guessing all the way through and give you a chill as you read. I might not always think of classic modern horror as a particularly interesting one to watch (these days plot lines and twists are pretty generic and a bit tiresome) but reading it was a different matter.
Sunshine is a likeable character and her strong relationship with her mom makes the breakdown even harder to bear. There are some really unsettling interactions with her that make you feel genuinely disturbed: when her mom drinks coffee that Sunshine can see is still bubbling it’s so hot, or when she eats raw chicken. As the mom’s possession increased I felt tense every time Sunshine had to go home and be alone with her, knowing that something awful was probably about to happen.
For horror fans like me the plot could feel a little predictable – move to a new creepy house, hear ghosts and such, investigate and find an expert to help, eventually defeat the ghosts – but there’s so much more to the book that this that I didn’t care if it felt like I knew where it was going. It had enough personal touches and quirks to make it a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that I’d recommend to anyone who loves to be creeped out. I’ll definitely look out for more in the series.
As a side note: I read this at the bus stop one day and was feeling pretty unnerved and then I realised someone was standing very close behind me and I nearly screamed. This book gets you on edge!