Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time!
This week I chose Shadowland by Meg Cabot. I've reviewed the Mediator Series as a whole before, but I'll talk about this one in particular.
At First Sight: After her Mom's marriage to Andy Ackerman, sixteen year old Suze Simon has to move across the country - from NY to California - so she and her Mom can live with Andy and his sons (Sleepy, Dopey and Doc, as Suze calls them). And even though Carmel-by-the-Sea is quite pretty, and Suze has an amazing view of the ocean from her bedroom window, that doesn't take away from the fact that her new room is haunted by a (very hot, droll-worthy) 150 year old ghost.
Yeah, Ghost! For as long as she can remember, Suze has been able to see and talk to the dead - and even to punch them in the face if they are not cooperating - as she is a Mediator, and is her job/cosmic-joke-on-her to help them get to wherever they need to go after they die - or to kick them there if the need arises.
But Jesse isn't like other ghosts, for one he's good looking, for two he doesn't plague Suze to help him with his unsolved business. He is also not very supporting of her Mediating, particularly after mediating puts her in the path of the ghost of Heather Chambers, a particularly violent ghost who's out to get Suze.
Pretty quickly, Suze realizes that just because she moved, her problems didn't move away. Luckily, she has new friends, a fellow mediator (Father Dominic, her new school's Principal), her stepbrother Doc, and Jesse to help her out.
Second Glance: Mediator is one hell of a story over all, and it's actually my favorite Teen series by YA Lit goddess Meg Cabot. Shadowland is a great kick of of the series, as all the major characters are quickly established, and Meg does a wonderful job of summarizing Suze's story pre-Carmel and getting to the main plot fast.
I love how Suze is so kick ass, how she's ready to go on with her mediator duties much as they annoy her, how she quickly warms up to her youngest step brother Doc and really starts to care for him. She's very funny and resourceful, and so everyday normal - if you take out the whole mediator factor. And Jesse, well, I love him. He is not as much in this book as he is in later ones, but that's understandable since they just meet, but I just love when he pops in, his interactions with Suze are always fun to read.
Bottom Line: Shadowland is funny, fast paced, quick read that kicks off a great series. It has great characters and a nice plot. Not my favorite Mediator book (that would be book 4 Darkest Hour, and then maybe book 6 Twilight (the only good Twilight) ) but it's still a kick to read.
Favorite Quote: "It isn't often that I run into a ghost who also happens to be a hottie, but this guy... boy he must have been something back when he was alive because here he was dead and I was already trying to catch a peek at what was going on beneath the white shirt he was wearing very much open at the throat, exposing quite a bit of chest, and some of his stomach , too. Do ghosts have six-packs? This was not something I had ever had the occasion - or a desire - to explore before." -Suze.