The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
If you love YouTube and a scary story, you may have found your book.
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is based off the YouTube series of the same name that started in 2010. In the Youtube series, Paige McKenzie plays a girl named Francis aka Sunshine. It follows her story of moving into a haunted house and figuring out why it is haunted. The Youtube series became quite successful, and Weinstein Books came a knocking to ask McKenzie to write a book or two using the Sunshine character.
The book starts off with Sunshine and her mother, Kat, moving into a new house in a new state. Sunshine is very creeped out about her new surroundings and is not sure what to make of it. Their first night at the house, Sunshine hears phantom footsteps. Something paranormal is happening to Sunshine daily, but her mother does not believe anything that Sunshine is experiencing. Then one night, things get VERY scary for both of them, and Kat starts to believe. The next day, however, Kat acts as nothing has happened. This immediately makes Sunshine concerned. Now the circumstances change when the paranormal activity turns violent and personal.
This book doesn’t waste any time getting into the action. The paranormal activity starts in Chapter One, and it pretty much doesn’t stop. There shouldn’t be too much of a reason for a kid to be bored while reading this. The pacing was done well even with the parts where not much paranormal activity was happening, and you were getting a lot of information.
There isn’t too much character development happening in this book, but for this genre, it’s more about the environment than the people. The story does touch on being the new kid and feeling like an outcast, so you do get to know Sunshine on somewhat a personal level. Those themes are easy for kids to relate to, especially if they are middle school aged. There isn’t much romance in the book, which is nice since most Young Adult books rely heavily on that. However, romantic feelings are explored and thought about in this book which are pretty accurate for a teenager. There is just enough personal information about the characters to make you care about them and want to keep reading.
If you were a fan of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street (and Goosebumps) books, this book may be right up your alley. There are some scenes in the book that are scary. The imagery was done pretty well, so it’s easy to visualize what the characters are experiencing. It does help that some of the scenes in the book were taken directly from her YouTube channel, so it’s a bit easier to write scenes of that nature.
If you have a child that doesn’t like to read, this book just may get them into it. This is perfect for middle school aged kids. It is easy to read, get involved in the story, and get freaked out. The first book ends on a cliff hanger, so they will definitely would want to pick up the sequel when it’s released.
If you haven’t seen the YouTube channel first, the book will definitely make you want to watch it and see what’s the same and what’s different. The YouTube series has a lot of differences from the book, so it will be a fresh story for you to experience without being totally spoiled.
Definitely give this book a go if you like Young Adult and Paranormal books. You shouldn’t be too disappointed with what you find.