Book 56 of 2015: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

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In that place where you’re more asleep than awake any more, I hear something else. A phrase uttered in a child’s voice, no more than a whisper: Night Night.

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mum believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.

I first came across The Haunting of Sunshine Girl one night during one of my husband’s deployments. I viewed a few episodes of the webseries and thought it interesting enough to subscribe to the Youtube network. That said, I decided it would be fun to read the book once I found it in bookstores. Knowing what to expect, I opted for the audio library book (which functioned nicely during knitting, exercising, and chores).

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl follows the life of a sixteen year old goody two shoes named . . . well, Sunshine. I know, the name is a bit strange, but we have some weird ones out there (let’s not mention mine). As I was saying, Sunshine moves to the Pacific Northwest because her mother was given a job in the neo-natal clinic of the hospital in the small town of Ridgemont, Washington. I personally liked this because my own mother is a nurse and we moved to Bremerton, Washington for her job in the Navy. It kind of parallels.

In her new home and town, Sunshine feels strange. She is beginning to realize her home is haunted and that there is more to it than just Casper the friendly ghost. Not to mention, it may not be friendly. Through all of this, she learns something about herself and it’s connection to her destiny.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way: if you think the book sounds juvenile, you would be right. I’m not saying juvenile because of it being cutesy (though there are moments when Sunshine speaks), the book can be seen juvenile because of the level of fright.

Now, I’m not claiming to be a great horror aficionado, but I take my horror rather seriously. I have levels of how scary a movie or book is. Mind you, my labels are titles of movies or books or authors in order to get a better idea. The levels go as: Devour (a movie with Jensen Ackles. Great actor, absolutely horrible movie), Goosebumps/ShiversFear Street, Stephen Kingand horrific (I have yet to find a horrific just yet). Okay, back to my review.

I found The Haunting of Sunshine Girl to be at a Goosebumps/Shivers level of horror. There were creepy moments, but nothing to truly wet your pants or lose sleep over. This is fine. Like I said, I was expecting it. The best part in the horror vein was during the night when Sunshine and Mom get the fright of their life. It was creepy, had a level of sorrow, and I wouldn’t want that experience in my own home.

Because of the level of horror, the book is more about a young girl finding her destiny. That part was a bit easy to figure out, but it wasn’t unenjoyable to read (err, listen to for me). The way Sunshine finds an ally and learns what she does was interesting. I didn’t see the little twists until later on and I liked that.

There is an abundance of the word “creepy” that can get very annoying, but the “creepy” does start to dwindle somewhere in the halfway point. It’s either that or I got used to the word being used multiple times in one chapter.

There is also an abundance of Jane Austen references, but I wasn’t too annoyed by that. I like Jane Austen. I would have tea with her if I could.

There was an adequate enough action in the book to keep me listening. Yes, it had slow moments and yes, it wasn’t action packed. In fact, most of the action was in the ending. However, this didn’t bother me in reading the book.

All in all, this is a fun book for the younger crowd. Like, thirteen and under. I liked it, but you have to expect something like this before reading it. Don’t go diving in thinking you are going to be unable to sleep. If you are unable to sleep after this book, please see a specialist. You shouldn’t be scared about this book. That said, it was fun and it did end in a cliffhanger. I will probably read the others as they come out.

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