In the spirit of the Meg-A-Readers Blog Hop, I'm going to be reviewing one book by Meg Cabot every sunday for the duration of the event!
This week I went back to the Mediator series - I reviewed the first book, Shadowland, before - and decided to skip to one of my favorite books: Darkest Hour (a.k.a. book 4).
The Deal: Suze Simon thought she would spend her first summer in California having fun and working on her tan at the beach and trying to ignore her crush on Jesse de Silva (the hot ghost who haunts her bedroom), but her stepfather had other ideas in mind and Suze soon finds herself working at the Pebble Beach Hotel and Golf Resort as a staff babysitter.
And it's just her luck that she gets assigned to one of the most annoying kids ever: Jack Slater, whose wealthy parents and perfect older brother Paul are always running around playing golf or tennis. Eventually, Suze realizes what's bothering Jack: he sees dead people, much like Suze herself does. And he's the only person she knows, aside from Father Dom, the principal of her school, who can communicate with the dead.
Deciding it's for the best, Suze starts to teach Jack the ropes of being a Mediator - a liaison between the living and the dead - and how he doesn't need to be afraid of ghosts (she tactfully omits the downsides of the mediator gig).
Meanwhile, back at home, Suze's stepfather Andy has started to dig their backyard in order to install a hot tub, only that strange things are starting to turn up, like a box full of letters addressed to "Hector de Silva" (Jesse's actual name); and soon Suze starts to suspect that there is a lot more than letters buried in there.
My Thoughts: Darkest Hour is one of my favorite books in the series, I actually have a first edition of the book - written under Meg Cabot's pen name Jenny Carroll - which I hunted down when the book went out of print shortly before they changed the covers and re-launched the series in 2004 or 2005.
I think this book is one of my favorites because here we finally learn more about Jesse and his past and how he died, and about the infamous Maria de Silva - Jesse's fiancé - and all that.
Also, I love how the relationship between Suze and her Stepfather and brothers is evolving. In the first couple of books you could see that she still put a wall between her and the Ackerman boys - except for David, who is her favorite - but now she's letting them in a little bit more, even though she still thinks that Brad is disgusting and Jake is borderline narcoleptic there is more teasing in their relationship, and she cares about them.
Another thing is that I find the plot of this book to be very fluid, so it goes by fast -and I enjoy a fast paced book, I admit - plus, I like to see how Suze starts to rely on other people, like her best friend CeeCee and Father Dom, and now she tries to help out Jack.
Is there anything bad about this book? Yeah, Paul Slater. I HATE PAUL SLATER!
But then, I've always been Team Jesse, and Paul is kind of a necessary evil for the next few books.
Favorite Quote: Jesse was the first person I met when I moved to California, and he became my first real friend here. He has always been there when I needed him, which is way more than I can say for most of the living people I know. And if I had to choose one person to be marooned on a dessert island with, I wouldn't even have to think about it: of course it would be Jesse. - Suze.