O P E N I N G   H O O K:

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, #1)

I watched it happen. Katherine, the woman who adopted her, baked her a cake: carrot cake, a burnt sort of orange color with white frosting smothered over the top of it. A girl named Ashley came over to her house with candles, which they lit despite the sweltering Texas heat. Then they sang—Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you. Our kind don't celebrate birthdays. Except, of course, when one of us turns sixteen. Just as she did today.

At precisely the time of her birth—7:12 p.m., Central Standard Time, August 14—I sensed the change in the girl named Sunshine. I felt it the instant the spirit touched her. Katherine had just set the cake down on the table in front of her: sixteen—no, seventeen...why seventeen?—candles. Sunshine grinned and pursed her lips, preparing to extinguish the flames. But then an instant of hesitation, the smile disappearing from her eyes.

(Page 1, US Hardcover Edition)

    I stop pacing. "So luiseach are kind of like guardian angels for the entire human race?" Definitely not me, I think. I'm too much of a wimp to be anyone's guardian angel.


I'm a sucker for anything with ghosts or supernatural undertone. I like all manner of frightening stories; the gorey horror, the psychological thrillers, jump scares and werewolves and psychics oh my. My one condition for any sort of paranormal story is that it suspend my belief of reality for a time, that the plot sucks me in with moments of rawness that make the extraordinary happenings feel like they are actually happening. Paige McKenzie, author of the Ya trilogy THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL, delivers that rawness in spades. The fantastic paranormal tones of the book are supported by realistic moments that make you feel like you're watching this unbelievable plot unravel in your neighbor's kitchen. In the moments where the story really sucks you in, it can even make you feel like those goosebumps running up your arm are because it's happening to you.

I could ramble for an hour about the entire trilogy, and how consistently amazing it is, but in case any of you haven't jumped onto the sunshine train yet, I'll stick with the first book and give you an appetizer. Sunshine Griffith has just turned sixteen, and coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) she's moved into a haunted house with her mother, Kat. Of course her mother doesn't believe the place is haunted, but Sunshine's curiosity is piqued and she can't stop herself from trying to capture evidence of the haunting.  What makes Sunshine such an amazing main character is that she's a self proclaimed wimp. She does not face the happenings in her home without fear, in fact she trembles with it. The thread that keeps her going forward is that she cares; about the safety of her mother who has begun acting strange, about the ghost of a child who seems lost and afraid. Sunshine is one of those heroes that doesn't bravely choose to run into a supernatural battle, but does so instinctively at the last minute because she is driven by a need to protect those she cares about. Those are the kinds of heroes you really fall in love with, the ones who just want to finish high school and figure out why they feel awkward and strange around the boy they maybe kind of sort of like. It's a parallel for the growing pains of being a teenager in general. Another favorite aspect of mine is the relationship between Sunshine and her mother. Her relationships with everyone around her are important and indicative of her character growth, but her scenes with and love for Kat are the meat. They made me feel warm and fuzzy and want to go hug my own mother.

The other thing to be said about this series is that it's not just another haunted house book. Oh no, McKenzie's imagination is bigger than that, and what happens in the house is just the tip of the iceberg. By the time the first book ends you realize you've stumbled upon a much bigger plot; supernatural superheroes protecting humanity  and helping spirits cross over, a dangerous rift between a group of supernatural beings that are dwindling . . . and Sunshine is an important player in all of it, no matter how much she wants to shirk her destiny. It's no wonder that this storyline feels so engaging and flushed, McKenzie has been playing in this world since she was sixteen. This plot originally began as part of a youtube web series, and in writing the book she was able to take a storyline she was already familiar with and add more. What results is a book that is rich in action, intrigue, but also these quite human moments that somehow tie everything else together. I religiously binged the entire series, the final book in the trilogy THE SACRIFICE OF SUNSHINE GIRL came out on April 4th, and I'm now obsessed with the youtube channel too.

If you like ghosts, adventure, family and friendship, and the pitfalls of trying to figure out who you are as a person while also trying to be (or not be) a paranormal guardian angel, then you will love THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL as much as I did. If you want to learn more about the web series phenomena and what it's like to write a paranormal trilogy, last week's interview with Paige McKenzie is available here!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 (Kissing, light romance, but really Sunshine is too busy dealing with hauntings to have time for romance.)
Language: PG ( No cursing.)
Violence: PG13 (.There's one or two instances of blood, some supernatural fight scenes etc )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I'm in love with the covers for all three of the books in this series. The fact that Paige McKenzie herself graces them sort of serves as a way to bring her youtube portrayal of sunshine to life. They are eerie and beautiful and perfectly embody the atmosphere of the series.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Paige McKenzie
Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: Weinstein
Received: For Review

Something freaky's going on with Sunshine's new house . . . there's the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine's always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can't help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.


Celebrate the launch of THE SACRIFICE OF SUNSHINE GIRL!!!

You could win a SIGNED COPY of the final book in this spooky and exciting trilogy!!! 


You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway