Select one of the keywords
Haunted: A Tale of the Mediator    by Meg Cabot order for
by Meg Cabot
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Surely it's a teen girl's favorite fantasy - a hunk of a ghost (who's not a bit ghostly to her, 19th century Jesse 'with flashing dark eyes, thick black hair, washboard abs, and irresistibly sexy smiles') - in her bedroom, unbeknownst to parents and siblings. Well, to most of her siblings, it turns out. This is the premise of Meg Cabot's lively Mediator series, starring sixteen-year-old Susannah Simon, whose talent allows her to interact with those of the dead who have, for whatever reason, not moved on.

Though this fifth episode (earlier ones were published under Cabot's alter ego, Jenny Carroll) was the first that I had read, it's easy to jump in to the middle of the adventure. Still suffering from nightmares, resulting from an attempt to kill her in a previous episode, Suze is shocked to bump into her hottie adversary Paul on her first day as a high school junior. Paul offers to tutor her in the use of the gift that they share (he claims that they are shifters, not just mediators), just as she absolutely wants to avoid him, despite an insidious attraction to her stalker. That's not all that Susannah has to deal with. There's a stepbrother who's blackmailing her as he plans 'his own personal Oktoberfest' hot tub party in their parents' absence; an angry ghost with murder on his mind; she's losing the election for class Vice-President (and she doesn't even want the job); and, worst of all, her relationship with Jesse is accelerating downhill. It all heats up in the hot tub, where Suze has to intervene, by entering her own nightmare, to save lives.

This series is engaging and funny. The main thread in Haunted is the developing love triangle of Suze, Jesse and Paul, but Meg Cabot enlivens the mix with sibling rivalry (in Susannah's family, as well as between the living and the dead), visits to the otherworld, and the heroine's ongoing quest to understand her gift and its meaning in her life.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews