ARC Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl-Paige McKenzie


21413855Goodreads/Amazon

Release Date: March 24, 2015

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When her mother gets the chance of a lifetime, her dream job as head of the neo-natal unit, Sunshine is forced to pack her bags and begin a new life in the dismal small town of Ridgemore, WA. The last thing Sunshine ever expected when she set foot in her bleak, lonely new home was a ghost.

Tormented by the haunting giggles of a little girl unseen, footsteps stomping up the stairs, and board games that move on their own, the ghost wants to play and Sunshine must oblige. 

As the paranormal activity increases, Sunshine is confronted with a horrifying possibility, that the ghost of the little girl isn’t alone. 

With her unlikely ally, a cute blond guy named Nolan who has a love for all things weird and paranormal, Sunshine discovers that there’s much more to her haunted house than meets the eye and she is at the heart of it all. 

When Sunshine’s mother starts to grow distant and gains an unnatural hunger for raw chicken breast, Sunshine is worried that something sinister has taken possession of her mother’s body.

An unlikely adventure with hidden twists and startling reveals, Sunshine learns that everything she thought she knew is nothing compared to the truth.

***

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…

-via Goodreads

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Weinstein Books.

PROS:

  • The hauntings are terrifying. From the creepy giggles of the little girl to the rearranged stuffed animals and horrifying screams, it’s paranormal activity to the max. Chills are a definite possibility. You might want to read this with the lights on.
  • Mystery drives the plot. Twists and turns will leave you perched on the edge of your seat and hungry for answers. What happened to the little dead girl, how did she die, why won’t she leave, why is Sunshine the only one able to see her? You will NEED to know.
  • Nolan and Sunshine are natural together. There’s tons of awkwardness between them minus the sexual tension but it’s real and understandable. They get each other on a deeper level that allows an ease and complete willingness to be there for each other no matter what.
  • Sunshine is an odd girl. She likes vintage, doesn’t make friends easily and has a killer glass unicorn collection. She’s quirky but lovable and has genuine compassion for people, even those who are invisible. Sunshine’s confusion and sense of hopelessness are a dark, oppressive cloud that hangs over her head. As prospects get worse, Nolan becomes the strength she needs to solve the riddle of the haunted house and what’s happening with her mother. Sunshine realizes that she needs help and that’s part of what makes her both relatable and courageous. Sunshine never pretends to be what she’s not. She’s honest and openly admits she’s scared, it’s refreshing.

CONS:

  • Secondary characters fell out of the story. Personalities were undefined and didn’t have much impact on the rest of the plot to the extent that they almost felt like filler. I would have liked to have seen more of Nolan’s personality, his likes, dislikes, etc. There was a sizable absence of info that would have made characters more likable and real. 
  • Sometimes it felt like Sunshine was completely oblivious to things that were SO obvious and right in front of her face.  It was irritating that she couldn’t put the pieces together and needed Nolan to show her the way. 
  • The POVs from the mentor threw off the story. While they did give some clue as to what’s coming, the tone and cryptic hints were an unnecessary intrusion.
  • Sunshine’s aversion to romance with Nolan was strange and a little off-putting. While there is an explanation granted in the form of the mentor’s POV, it feels sporadic and like Sunshine is denying a huge part of herself. 

SEE WHERE IT ALL BEGAN:

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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