(The Mediator #1)
Suze is a mediator -- a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations...read more at Goodreads.
Susannah "Suze" Simon isn't your average teen: she can't drive, she wears a motorcycle jacket, and she's a mediator - a person who can see, speak and (if necessary) give ghosts that extra nudge (or shove) into the beyond. Giving up NYC life to go live in Carmel, California, Suze attempts to make the best of her new stepfather, Andy, and his three sons, Jake (Sleepy), Brad (Dopey) and David (Doc). But the moment she steps foot in her so-not-Suze bedroom, she realizes the move will be more difficult than she anticipated. Mostly because of the Spanish-speaking ghost that refuses move out of her bedroom. But in comparison to a ghostly Queen Bee named Heather waiting for Suze at her new school, he's the least of her problems. Being a mediator, it's up to Suze to deal with Heather, especially before someone gets hurt...or worse.
Every time I reread this book, I'm reminded why I love Cabot's writing (especially her earlier work) so much. Cabot includes intriguing storylines, characters you can't help but to adore, a strong/realistic heroine, and an abundance of amusing moments to keep your spirits up. Suze isn't some weak protagonist - she's not afraid to defend herself and the people she cares about. This is also one of the few paranormal stories that manages to keep family/friendship at the heart of the story, and I love how Cabot writes a light paranormal story where the family is present and cares about our protagonist (instead of killing off the family/making her parents completely suck like other books do). There's enough to keep a reader pleasantly surprised as well.
Highlights: Suze's witticisms and attitude bring this story to another level. She is without a doubt one of my favorite book characters. Even her stubbornness makes her endearing. Many of the characters - from Father Dominic, Jesse, to the Ackerman family - are enjoyable and amusing because of how realistic and unique they are. I loved the California descriptions because it was a bit interesting to see Suze's reactions to the beach/palm trees/Cali life in comparison to NYC.
Lowlights: Not quite enough is done with some of the supporting characters (especially Jesse, Ceecee, Father Dominic, and Adam), but it is only the first novel. Besides, I already know that all of these characters get more page-time later on.