January 23, 2016

Series Rewind: The Mediator

Series Rewind is a new feature here at Not-So Teen Reads.  There are a million series that I haven't read yet, so every once in a while I'm going to pick a series and do some type of mini-review on the whole thing.  First up:

The Mediator by Meg Cabot

This series will be split into two posts, but they should both be posted before Remembrance comes out on 2/2/16.  (Update: Part two is right here)  For every book I'm going to give a little bit of plot and a breakdown of the ghosts we encounter.

Suze is awesome.  She's a mediator (duh), someone who helps ghosts move on from our world to the afterworld.  The series starts with her moving across the country when her mom remarries, into an old house (not so good for avoiding ghosts) with three new stepbrothers.  She very quickly acquires a Giles-like mentor in Father Dom, one of the teachers at her school.  There's a little bit of a cheese factor: Suze is from New York City.  She talks fast and wears leather jackets in California, but it was written in 2001, so I'm giving it a little bit of a pass.  My biggest praise about Suze is that she's so freaking awesome and she's not just Mia-light.  A lot of Meg Cabot's female leads that come after The Princess Diaries came out rely too much on Mia's personality to carry them through.  Suze is her own character.  She's weirdly obsessed with prom like Mia, but that's about it.

The ghosts:
Mr. Simon - Suze's dad, not seen, just mentioned.
Heather -  Dead girl at school, she's the reason that there was an empty spot in the school for Suze to fill.  This one made me feel a little squicky - she killed herself, reportedly over her boyfriend who broke up with her.  Now she hangs around the school, sort-of regretting her decision, definitely terrorizing her ex.
Jesse - Hottie hot hot cowboy ghost that resides in Suze's room.  I don't think he's going anywhere anytime soon.  

Suze is sent on a mystery mission to tell someone named Red that he didn't kill a woman.  Ghosts, man.  So vague and dramatic.  While on the search, Suze gets tangled up with a man who may or may not be a vampire.  Now, this series is basically about ghosts, but the vampire thing really felt weird to me at first.

The ghosts:
Mr. Simon - Suze's dad makes an appearance!  He comes to check on Suze, give Jesse a talking to (LOL!), and warn Suze off of investigating on behalf of an unnamed woman.
Unnamed lady - Wakes Suze up twice by screaming her head off with very little info on what she wants.  I would have smacked the crap out of her.  Something was clearly up with this lady (who does, in fact, have a name), and it does come to light towards the end of the book.
Mrs. Fiske - Who I thought was the unnamed lady when she showed up, but I'm glad to know Suze thought so too.  Red Beaumont killed her for her land, or did he?  She was summoned by Cece's aunt and her tarot deck. 
Jesse - still lives in Suze's room and things are starting to get swoony.  Like, in the first book I could tell that I was supposed to think that, but now he's all sitting on her bed, holding her hand, and I am totally sold.  I laughed when he popped up when Suze was kissing Tad in his car.  Super helpful in the final "battle" of the book.

Gina's here!  I appreciate that even though Suze moved clear across the country, it isn't like her past is totally wiped from the record.  Suze is trying to get rid of four ghosts that recently died in a car wreck that may not be as innocent as it first seems.  Also, Gina catches the eye of two of Suze's stepbrothers, while a geek becomes enamored with Suze.

The ghosts: 
RLS Angels - four popular kids from a rival school that recently died in car crash after a dance (Footloose anyone?).  Suze first catches them trying to steal beer from a convenience store on the beach.  Then, she catches them trying to drown one of her classmates.  You know, the usual.
Jesse - he's really becoming Suze's right hand.  He always shows up when she calls him, ready to help with whatever the situation is - even when it's babysitting four disgruntled teen ghosts.  Suze has started admitting to herself that she totally loves him.

It felt a little light on ghosts this book, but I think it's because the four Angels were always together.

That's it for the first installment of Series Rewind: The Mediator.  Be sure to check back next week for the conclusion!

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