by Meg Cabot
HarperCollins, January, 2003.
Trade Paperback, 256 pages.
Ages 12 and up
Haunted is a book that will appeal to California Girls, wherever they may be. Susannah Simon has the best situation any sixteen year old girl could possibly have. She attends an elite private school in Carmel where she has many friends. She enjoys shopping and wearing designer outfits, about which she is very knowledgeable. But best of all, she has a handsome, mysterious roommate who happens to be a ghost! Only Susannah can see him, so she has an exciting situation that no one else knows about, except other people in her life who know about the spirit world and mediators. For Susannah herself is a mediator: a person who can see and speak with ghosts and who must help these troubled spirits move on into the next level of existence.
Trouble comes in the form of a very exciting student named Paul Slater. An eleventh grader with bewitching eyes, casually elegant clothes and a BMW convertible might make any sensible girl frightened. All that perfection in one human being is likely to be very dangerous and generally always is. Paul and Suze have met before in another mediator adventure and Suze finds his attentions very frightening. Anyhow, she is falling deeply in love with Jesse, the ghost. When Suze's stepbrother brings home a friend home from college, he brings another guest -- his dead brother. Suze must help him to come to terms with being dead.
This is the fifth adventure in the mediator series, the first four being written under Meg Cabot's pseudonym, Jenny Carroll. Suze is a likeable protagonist, and her concerns with the pressing issues of the preteen set (boys, clothes, school, parental discipline) will resonate with the target audience. This is a lighthearted and fun read that should garner an even bigger audience now that Ms. Cabot's real name is on the cover.
--Sarah Reaves White
Haunted is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the February, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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