The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie Review

Sunshine Book Cover

Image Source: Google

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…” (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Released: 26th March 2015
Pages: 301
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Source: Purchase
As someone who loves the horror genre, it is a bit disappointing that horror doesn’t get the attention it should do in YA. When I saw The Haunting of Sunshine Girl at this years YALC event at London Film and Comic Con I jumped at the chance to read it. I hadn’t heard of the Youtube network before so this book was my introduction into Sunshine’s world.
I enjoyed reading The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. I didn’t find it to be the most original of scary stories and the ghostly happenings in the book aren’t anything new if you’ve seen/read a lot of horror as I have. I’ve found that because I consume so much horror in varying formats I’ve become desensitized to a lot of scare tactics used in horror so I can’t say that I found this novel to be frightening. However, I do think that it does have the potential to scare people who aren’t as familiar with the horror genre and the audience the book is mainly aimed at: teenagers. I think that The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is a great gateway horror read for people looking to explore the horror genre further. The book reminded me of the Point Horror books I used to devour when I was a teenager and had I been in my teens when I read this book I would have loved it.
At times the pacing felt a little off and the writing felt a bit rushed but these are only tiny criticisms. I also appreciated the fact that Sunshine and her Mum are close. YA often depicts tense and fragile relationships – if any at all- the main character has with his/her parents/guardians and the good Mother and daughter relationship in this book made a nice change. I also found the concept of lusieaches to be quite interesting and I’d like to know more about them.
On a final note, for the past couple of years I’ve been battling depression. Depression has pretty much destroyed the love I once had for the written word. I find it so hard to read novels now but I actually wanted to pick this book up and read it. Some part of me has remembered how much I love reading and that’s all because of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. I can’t thank Paige McKenzie enough for that. This book will always have a special place in my heart because of that.
I wish I didn’t have to wait until next year for the sequel but, while I wait, I’ll head on over to Youtube and check out the Sunshine videos.
“If I stared long enough and hard enough, would I be able to see the demon beneath her skin?”
4/5 stars
– Liz



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