Remembrance by Meg Cabot
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genres: Supernatural, Paranormal, Romance, Adult Fiction
The Mediator is a series I devoured as a teen. It’s about a teenage girl, Susannah ‘Suze’ Simon, who can see ghosts and helps them pass onto the afterlife, which is often messy and requires some humor. As luck would have it, one of the ghosts she encounters is an attractive boy who haunts her house/bedroom and stuff happens. You can probably guess what “stuff” might entail, but it gets complicated as ghost-human relationships do. The series is also full of mysteries and ass kicking and drama and a side of ridiculousness.
Meg Cabot surprised fans by announcing a seventh installment of the series years after it ended. Except with Remembrance the series passes from YA to Adult Fiction and many fans who have also grown into adults get to see Suze as an adult.
There won’t be any spoilers for this book in the review, but since it’s the seventh book in a series there will be spoilers for the original series. So proceed with caution if you haven’t read the original series and want to.
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural
Sierra Santiago, a teen artist, notices the murals around Brooklyn are fading. And then one sheds a tear. Her grandfather who recently had a stroke finally says something coherent, except Sierra can’t figure out the meaning. Piece by piece she starts to uncover a family secret about shadowshapers and what it all has to do with the murals.
I had been looking forward to this book and was lucky enough to pick up an advanced copy at BookCon.
This book is refreshing in that the supernatural elements are so grounded in reality. The magical elements in this are cool, but it isn’t the fantasy that carries it; it’s the realistic characters running around the very real Brooklyn. There’s also a lot of Spanish and other cultural aspects that give the characters and story more life.
The characters feel like actual teens. Sometimes teenagers in books take on a very poetic nature, which definitely works when done right. But I appreciated the kids in this book being so realistic. Sierra and her friends each have distinctive personalities and Older does this without having to describe her friends all that much. How they talk and act felt more natural than in anything I’ve read in a while.
Then of course there is Sierra herself who is a wonderful heroine trying to learn something about family that was kept from her, which is relatable despite the secrets having to do with spiritual powers. She’s curious and frustrated and keeps fighting for the information she wants.
I also can’t ignore how beautiful this cover is. Not just aesthetically, but to have a WoC on the cover of a YA novel. And at that, a full faced girl that isn’t in a pretty dress.
If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this book. The plot didn’t have quite shocking twist and turns. You could probably predict a few bits of it. However, I loved Sierra and shadowshaping world. This book had a lot of little things that were more important than the story itself.