cover image The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Paige McKenzie, with Alyssa Sheinmel. Weinstein, $16 (304p) ISBN 978-1-60286-272-2

Upon turning 16, Sunshine Griffith suddenly develops the power to perceive paranormal activity and comes to the chilling realization that her new home in rainy Washington State is haunted by a girl who was brutally murdered and the demon responsible for her death. First in a series based on a popular YouTube series, this adaptation attempts to turn quick-cut video special effects into a gripping tale. On paper, the pace grows tedious as Sunshine’s internal monologue flits among concerns about her busy mother’s frequent absences, boys, and the increasingly creepy events taking place in her house. Coupled with contrived banter, confusingly interspersed musings of an omniscient narrator watching over Sunshine’s life, and a penchant for blatantly laying out what Sunshine is feeling (“I’m not sad anymore. I’m angry”), the novel’s attempt to build mystery and suspense around Sunshine’s newfound ability falls short. There are some harrowing scenes, as when the ghost destroys the family bathroom, but by and large the story’s chills are on the light side. Ages 12–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Mar.)