When I read the blurb of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl on Net Galley I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a comedy or a thriller, but I was interested so I figured it didn’t matter too much. I can see where people might be upset if they were expecting to be scared, but I went into it simply because I was curious so I believe that certainly affected how I read the book. It had creepy moments but the book was much more about finding out why she can see, hear, and feel things that her mother can’t.
The book was an extremely quick read. I do wish it had been longer. I feel like the book spent too long figuring out what Sunshine was and not long enough focusing on dealing with the haunting that was the catalyst for the whole novel. The majority of the book took place between August and Christmas, then when we finally figure out what’s really going on in the house that Sunshine and her mother are renting the next week is covered in a paragraph and the climax just a few pages before the end.
Despite this the story kept me engaged and the characters were interesting. I am a little tired of female characters who mistake low self-esteem for modesty. You can be comfortable in your skin without being vain or the popular girl. There are geeky and eccentric girls out there who wouldn’t change a thing about themselves. This doesn’t mean a girl who is secure can’t also be self-conscious or shy or uncomfortable in large groups. None of these things are mutual exclusive. I am fine that Sunshine only really has 3 friends (if you include her mom) and that she wears odd clothes. I am just tired of hearing over and over again how she doesn’t think she’s pretty and how could Nolan possibly like her. Okay… rant over.
I loved that Nolan’s touch wasn’t instantly magic and it, in fact, made her nauseous. It was an unexpected conflict in YA where love is often too much like a fairy tale in my opinion. And I love that even though being around Nolan isn’t easy Sunshine sucks it up.
Lastly, I love a good cliff hanger but this one is especially infuriating because there is no projected date for the second book. I guess I could watch the youtube show that the book is based on but I think it would be hard to avoid spoilers.
Rating & Recommendation: 3.5 out 5 quills. I recommend you pick this up for a quick escape or for that bus ride or wait in the doctor’s office.