Book Review: The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie, reviewed by teen reviewer Lexi
Having passed her test in Book One, Sunshine’s Luiseach powers are now fully awakened: for months now, Sunshine has felt spirits everywhere: heard voices, felt emotions – intense and sometimes overwhelming. She tries to ignore them, but it is impossible. Hoping to get her powers under control – and hoping for answers to her never-ending questions – she agrees to undergo training with her Luiseach mentor, even though she still hopes to give up her powers someday.
She and her mentor clash left and right; he doesn’t understand or approve of her attachment to the humans in her life; and she can’t understand how he could give her up so many years ago, only to endanger her mother’s life as part of a test.
Sunshine’s training is every bit as terrifying and creepy as her test was, and along the way she meets and befriends another young Luiseach, forcing her to confront her feelings for Nolan. Though her mentor is reluctant to answer her many questions, she finally learns more about her lineage, as well as the rift that threatens the future of Luiseach and the human race… and the crucial part she has to play in repairing it. (Published March 1, 2016)
“Saving the world is the greater good. Maybe it’s the greatest good there is.”
Sunshine has found her destiny. A destiny that separates her from everyone else, making her unique and different. A destiny that could lead her to a sacrifice of everyone she loves.But it is her decision on if sacrificing herself is for ‘the greatest good there is’.
The book starts off with yet another ominous third party person whose identity is obscured from the reader, but whose ideas are very clear.
“Sixteen years to plan it.
Sixteen years to envision it.
Sixteen years to steel myself for the task that’s fallen at my feet.
I’m ready to eliminate her. I just have to find her first.”
Much like the first book, this sequel captures the reader with not only the point of view of young, quirky Sunshine Griffith but with also the mysterious man who watches her. However, unlike the first book this mysterious man isn’t as friendly as the man in the first one.
Between becoming a trained Luiseach, an ancient race who protect humans from the demons who set out to harm them, and juggling the truth of who she is and where she comes from, Sunshine finds herself in the middle of Mexico isolated from her family. Aidan, her biological father, teaches her everything she needs to know about fighting demons and helping ghosts. For Sunshine her life has taken a turn from the ordinary Texas girl who shops at vintage stores and who over uses the word ‘creepy’. She is now taking a journey to becoming a full fledged fighter of all things that go bump in the night. Alongside her love interest and protector, Nolan, her biological father, and a fellow Luiseach, Lucio, Sunshine will go through trials and obstacles in order to save the world.
The Awakening of Sunshine Girl is a very decent sequel to The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. Aside from the constant need for the main character to emphasize how different she is and from the monotonous voice of the writing. The book seems better than the first.
The writing is still a little mediocre compared to the usual taste of books i read but it doesn’t take away fully from the plot of the story. While reading these book i had an overwhelming urge to read R.L. Stines books because of how spooky this book is. I recommend it for anyone who likes quirky ghost stories that will leave you with a cliffhanger almost every time.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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