Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Shadowland

Shadowland

Meg Cabot
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
HarperCollins, 2004   ISBN: 978-0060725112

Susannah Simon is not exactly thrilled when her mother packs up their worldly goods and moves them both to northern California. But Suze's mother has got married again and her new husband lives in Carmel with his three children, so the move is unavoidable. When she arrives in California Suze is ready for her new life to be as isolated and mostly friendless as her old one was.

But instead, she makes friends quickly and her popularity escalates when she saves one of the popular boys in her new school - Bryce - from being killed by his dead ex-girlfriend. Of course with the exception of Suze and the principal of the school (who is a priest), no one else knows that a ghost was responsible for the "accident." Suze can see and communicate with the ghost because she is a mediator. For some years now she has secretly worked to help ghosts move on from this world into the next. At times they have not left voluntarily and it soon becomes clear that this angry teenage girl ghost, Heather, is going to be very stubborn about leaving her old life behind. She is very angry with her ex-boyfriend and she wants revenge. Apparently the boy dumped Heather, and when he would not take her back she killed herself.

As if this is not complicated enough, Suze also discovers that there is a ghost haunting her room in her new house. The ghost, who calls himself Jesse, lived at the turn of the century and his ghostly presence is all the more disturbing because he is uncommonly charming and good looking.

In this often funny and highly entertaining book, Meg Cabot takes her readers into a world where a teenage girl can see the dead. With her frequently dry humor and sharp tongue, Suze is easy to identify with, despite her unusual "gift." Readers will be keen to discover what is going to happen next to this unusual girl who has no qualms about punching a dead person in the nose.

This is the first book in the highly popular Mediator series.

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