Haunted: A Tale of the Mediator

Haunted: A Tale of the Mediator by Meg Cabot

In 2000, young adult novelist Meg Cabot juggled between two different books released at the same time (all within the same month, but out under two different publishing companies). In October, Cabot released the first of The Princess Diaries series, the series she is now mostly known for, and “Jenny Carroll” released the first book of a frankly better and more mature series, Shadowland. While The Princess Diaries went on to develop into a movie deal and bring on 13 other books, Shadowland stayed in the dark, only producing 5 sequels (even though presently a movie deal is in the works). Despite its less-than-Princess perfect lifetime, the series that really speaks the best for Cabot is the classic story of a teenage mediator trying her hardest to live her life in San Francisco, CA while NOT falling in love with the handsome but dead ghost-next-door.

Susannah Simon has a complicated life. To say the least. She is a mediator, someone that can see, speak to, and even touch the dead. Think of her as present day's Hailey Joel Osment. This time, though, mediators have a mission; get the dead to move on. Move on to what, exactly, they don't know, but it must be better than walking around in this life with no way to communicate with the people you left behind. Susannah's recently moved into a new house with a whole new family because of her mother's re-marriage and the first thing she sees when opening her bedroom door is Jesse de Silva, a ghost that's been dead 150 years. He died right in her bedroom, and is therefore contained to that spot at the moment.

Perfect. So Susannah's gotta share a living space with a hot, but dead, 20-year-old guy. What could go wrong with that? Try everything. In a moment of weakness, Jesse and Susannah share a kiss and from that point on it's awkward city between the two. What makes it worse is that another guy is soon to enter into Susannah's life and make it even more complicated. If that's even possible.

In the forth book in the Mediator series (Darkest Hour), she meets Paul Slater during a summer at the beach. At first glance, Paul seems just like every other hot guy she's come across. He's charming, very attractive and definitely knows it, but he also seems to like her too. When she spends more time with him, she discovers that they share more than a love of the beach in common: they're both also mediators. But Paul has more of a sinister plan about the “gift” than Susannah. When he first discovered his ability, he decided to use the ghosts as his own personal “henchmen”, or slaves, instead of trying to help them move on to their next lives. Susannah discovers this, and immediately sees Paul in a new light. Jesse knew all along that this guy wasn't any good, so the recent turn of events does nothing to sway his opinion of the teen.

In Haunted: A Tale of the Mediator (the 5th book that Cabot actually put her name to), Susannah finds herself juggling between the two boys, all the while running again for the 11th grade student council VP spot (ironically against the new guy, Paul Slater) and trying to get Paul off her back, because now that he's at her school he's become more annoying and attractive to her as ever. And she still has hopes that Jesse will one day realize that it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if the two of them were to get together.
It was this book in the series that caught my attention first, mainly because I saw Cabot's name and was interested to see how she could handle the “darker” side of drama. I have read this book six times since, and have never grown tired of it. Just under 250 pages, it is a shorter read, and the way that Cabot embodies Susannah's tone of voice is so natural, you forget that Cabot is 42 and not the 16-year-old girl that she writes as.

You will get hooked to this series and have to read through all 6 books, because the real ending isn't until you turn that last page in Twilight. I encourage all fans of Cabot's other works to try out the Mediator series because it is the one where she truly shines as a young adult novelist.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

SurfSandSun09 said...
Apr. 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm
thank you =) i really appreciate it!
 
Anna Christie said...
Apr. 2, 2009 at 3:23 am
Dang, Mary! Now I HAVE to go read the books. This is so your fault. Amazing review.
 
freeversecrafter said...
Apr. 2, 2009 at 12:01 am
Great job Mary! I love this book, and you did an excellent job summarizing and selling it.
 
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