Book reviews

EARLY REVIEW: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

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…

Release Date: April 2015
Source: ARC  from Pan Macmillian Australia
280 pages

My Rating


I’m a big fan of horror films, especially well-made ones. I loved The Conjuring and I have yet to see Annabelle but I am not easily scared by horror films because I have grown up watching them. So when I requested this book, I was so excited for a good ol’ horror story because in all honesty, even though I love horror movies, I haven’t actually read a horror book except for Carrie but I’m not really sure that counts. Before reading this book, I found out that it is actually based on a web series which I haven’t heard of (weird) but I plan to marathon it during the next school holidays. Hehe, I’m excited for that.

The book begins with setting up the context of the novel. Sunshine has just moved in to Ridgemont with her single mother. As soon as she steps into the house, she knows automatically how creepy it is and the strange feeling she gets once she arrives in this small town. It is with the help of a cute boy (of course) named Nolan that she tries to uncover and solve her very own haunting.

I went into this book thinking it was classic horror, with ghosts, thumping noises, closing doors and unexplained moved objects and I got all of that, oh I got it but it lacked something that made me scared. I’m not sure if its just because I’m not easily scared or the book, itself but I did not get the effect of a chilling feeling down my spine when reading the horror moments of this book. The ghost, a little girl is so sweet which really defeated my expectation of an angry, determined ghost reeking havoc on everything and anything. This little girl ghost plays board games with the main heroine, Sunshine and it seemed that it wasn’t until close to the end of the book that I finally found out the ghost’s aim. Turns out there is also another ghost, the one that actually needs the dealing with (no spoilers).

Sunshine is the type of girl who like vintage things. She’s into old fashioned clothing from op-shops, anything Jane Austen and developing photos instead of turning digital. There was a section in the book, where she denied everything she had found out about her haunting. The evidence was clear and yet she shook her head and said no. Take note, this was happening through at least half of the book. I think this was the bit that annoyed me the most; denial about the obvious.

I didn’t really feel anything while reading this book. I didn’t attach to any of the characters in anyway. I could drop this book and pick it up again at any moment I felt like it. I really wasn’t into it but that didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it. This book turns paranormal towards the end and even when I thought it would get a bit more exciting, nearing the end, I found that the ending was very rushed. At the very beginning of the climax, Sunshine literally waits for the fighting to begin which I really didn’t like. It felt as if one moment, everything was silent and the next, everything’s going crazy.

Because only Emma Stone can describe my thoughts

In conclusion, I guess this was just an “okay” book. I didn’t like it enough to give it only two stars but I certainly did not love this book. I found the pacing quite slow for even the short read and the writing and unfolding of the story was very average.



3 thoughts on “EARLY REVIEW: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

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